Not surprisingly, four of our five frontrunners for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars number among the leading contenders for the 49th annual Annie Awards announced on Dec. 21. Our predicted winner of the Oscar, “Luca,” reaped eight bids as did its closest rival “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.” They were outpaced by “Raya and the Last Dragon” with a leading 10 nominations and “Encanto” at nine. All four are up for Best Studio Animated Feature as is “Sing 2,” which merited just this one mention.
We are predicting that “Flee” will round out the race at the Oscars. This Danish import is up for Best Independent Feature against “Belle,” “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko,” “Pompo the Cinephile” and “The Summit of the Gods.”
These precursor prizes are presented by the Hollywood chapter of the International Animated Film Association. The ceremony is set for Saturday, February 26. That is 18 days after Oscar nominations are announced and 19 days before final voting commences.
Seven of the last 11 Annie Awards champs have previewed the Oscar winner: “Rango” (2012), “Frozen” (2014), “Inside Out” (2016), “Zootopia” (2017), “Coco” (2018), “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2019) and “Soul” (2021).
In 2020, “Klaus” was tops with the Annies but it was “Toy Story 4” that took home the top Oscar. Back in 2011, “How to Train Your Dragon” won over the Annies while the academy embraced “Toy Story 3.” In 2013, the Annies went with “Wreck-It-Ralph” while the academy adored “Brave” and in 2015, the Annies named “How to Train Your Dragon 2” as Best Animated Feature but the Oscar winner was “Big Hero 6.”
The Annie Awards also honor achievements in television. Best Animated TV Production (General Audience) is roughly equivalent to the Emmy for Best Animated Program, and this year the Annies nominated these five shows: “Arcane,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Love, Death + Robots,” “Star Wars: Visions” and “Tuca & Bertie.”
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