2022 Annie Awards: Preview of Oscars again?

Not surprisingly, four of the five contenders for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars number among the leading contenders for the 49th annual Annie Awards. Our predicted winner of that race, “Encanto,” reaped nine nominations here. It was outpaced by “Raya and the Last Dragon” with a leading 10 bids while “Luca” and “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” are at eight each. All four are up for Best Studio Animated Feature as is “Sing 2,” which merited just this one mention.

“Flee” rounds out the Best Animated Feature 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, March 12. That is five days before final Oscar 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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