The Best Animated Feature Oscar race is starting to look very, very familiar. The top three of our five predicted nominees are sequels — “Toy Story 4,” “Frozen II” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” — and if either of the first two films wins, it’d be the first time a franchise has claimed multiple victories.
Only one sequel has ever won since the category’s inception 18 years ago: “Toy Story 3” (2010). But since the first two films, released in 1995 and 1999, predated the category, “Toy Story” just has one animated feature Oscar to its name at the moment. “Frozen” (2013) nabbed the award six years ago. (2010’s “How to Train Your Dragon” and 2014’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” were nominated but didn’t win.)
“Shrek” (2001), which took home the inaugural Best Animated Feature Oscar, and “The Incredibles” (2004) are the only franchises thus far that could’ve added a second win. However, “Shrek 2” (2004) was foiled by none other than “The Incredibles,” and last year’s “Incredibles 2” was no match for the late-breaking, crowd-pleasing “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which handily swept the season. “Shrek 3” (2007) and “Shrek Forever After” (2010) weren’t even nominated, and neither was “Finding Dory” (2016), whose mothership, “Finding Nemo” (2003), won.
SEE What will join ‘Toy Story 4’ and ‘Frozen II’ in Best Animated Feature Oscar battle?
“Toy Story 4” appears to have the advantage here, which would give Pixar its 10th win from 13 nominations. While there was initial skepticism over the film — like, should it exist at all since the third one tied things up so well and was even nominated for Best Picture? — the new adventures of Woody, Buzz et al. proved to be a critical and commercial success, becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of the year.
On the other hand, “Frozen II” has been highly anticipated since the first film and that earworm of a song became worldwide smashes. But it’s still somewhat of a question mark since it doesn’t hit theaters until Nov. 22. Disney is the second most awarded studio in the category, with three wins from 11 nominations, but it has never beaten a Pixar film head to head, going 0-4. All three of its wins — “Frozen,” “Big Hero 6” (2014) and “Zootopia” (2016) — were in Pixar-less years. So Pixar could ice out Disney yet again.
Rounding out our top five are “Abominable” and “Missing Link.”
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