On Wednesday (October 24), the academy announced that 25 films qualified for consideration in this year’s Oscar race for Best Animated Feature. That is one shy of last year and two off the record number of entries in 2017, which in turn had eclipsed the 2014 record of 20 features. There could be up to five nominees depending on how they score with the screening committee. All of the major players in the animation field have at least one film in the running. (See the full list at the bottom of this post.)
Will Disney continue its Oscar winning streak and claim Best Animated Feature for the seventh year running? The mouse house has two films in the competition this year: “Incredibles 2” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” The studio’s most recent Oscar winners are “Brave” (2012), “Frozen” (2013), “Big Hero 6” (2014), “Inside Out” (2015), “Zootopia” (2016) and “Coco” (2017).
This marks the second year that the entire membership of the academy can take part in the nomination stage of the Animated Feature Oscar race. Previously, only select members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch and invited members from the other branches could serve on the committee that decided the nominees. Collectively, they tended to favor traditional and stop-motion films over CG fare.
Mandatory attendance at screenings has been dropped and voters who want to be on the nominations committee need only attest to having seen all the contenders at theaters or screenings or by way of the the academy’s streaming site or mailers.
And the method of determining the nominees has been changed. Gone is the system where voters scored a film from 6 (poor) to 10 (excellent) with only those movies meriting an average mark of at least 7.5 eligible for a nomination. That method has been replaced by the same preferential ballot used to determine the contenders in acting, directing, writing and the craft categories (except makeup/hairstyling and visual effects) for decades. This system requires members to rank their top five choices and a multi-step system of counting winnows the various contenders down to the final nominees.
The 25 animated features in contention are:
“Ana y Bruno”
“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”
“Have a Nice Day”
“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”
“Isle of Dogs”
“The Laws of the Universe – Part I”
“Liz and the Blue Bird”
“Lu over the Wall”
“Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms”
“The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl”
“On Happiness Road”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Ruben Brandt, Collector”
“Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
“Teen Titans Go! To the Movies”
“Tito and the Birds”