The Best Animated Feature Oscar race is starting to take shape, but first we have the various precursors to separate the wheat from the chaff. A win at the Golden Globes can arguably be the biggest boost an animated film can receive before the Oscars. In the 13 years of its existence at the Globes, the winner of Best Animated Feature has matched up 10 times with the Academy Awards, only differing in 2006, 2011 and 2014. As for nominations, the Globes Animated Feature lineup often includes at least three films that would go on to earn Oscar noms. The past two years have found the two organizations completely in sync, indicating a Golden Globe nomination in Best Animated Feature is more important than ever for future Oscar glory.
The Golden Globes have traditionally been much friendlier to big studio productions than the more selective members of the academy’s animation branch. Over the years, we have seen such films as “Cars 2,” “Despicable Me,” “The Good Dinosaur,” “Hotel Transylvania” and “Sing” earn Globe approval but fail to translate into Oscar noms. Meanwhile, the academy has gone their own way, choosing independent and/or non-English language films like “Boy and the World,” “Chico & Rita,” “Ernest & Celestine,” “Persepolis,” “The Red Turtle,” “The Secret of Kells” and “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.”
Yet, we have recently seen a shift in Golden Globe voters’ taste. In 2017, large studio films like “The Boss Baby,” “Coco” and “Ferdinand” were all expectedly nominated, but so were the less traditional “The Breadwinner” and “Loving Vincent.” All five would go on to earn Academy Award nominations. The same thing happened last year, with predicted bids for “Incredibles 2,” “Isle of Dogs,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” but also the Japanese film “Mirai.” Again, all five picked up subsequent Oscar love.
So how is this year’s Animated Feature race shaping up? Gold Derby has a trio of sequels at the top of the odds, justifiable considering all three properties have a track record at both the Golden Globes and the Oscars. Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” is in the pole position, followed by “Frozen II” from Disney and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” the third film in DreamWorks’ trilogy. “Toy Story 3” remains the only sequel to win Best Animated Feature in 2010 while the original “Frozen” won in 2013. Both films took home Golden Globes in their respective years as well. “How to Train Your Dragon” and its sequel were nominated in 2010 and 2014 at the Golden Globes and Oscars, with the former giving “How to Train Your Dragon 2” its Best Animated Feature prize.
After those expected three, it becomes more difficult to predict the final two slots that will get in at the Globes. Gold Derby experts, editors and users are going with one major studio film and one from Japan: DreamWorks and Universal’s “Abominable” and GKIDS’s “Weathering with You,” which is also Japan’s Oscar submission for the International Feature Film category. Other top contenders looking to sneak into the lineup include “The Addams Family” (United Artists), “Missing Link” (Laika/Annapurna), “Klaus” (Netflix), “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles” (GKIDS) and “The Secret Life of Pets 2” (Universal).
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