WAY TOO EARLY PREDICTIONS
“Over The Moon”
“A Shaun the Sheep Movie:
#1: “SOUL” — WALT DISNEY PICTURES + PIXAR ANIMATION
Not to give this award away before the Oscars have even announced their nominees, but the Animated Feature category is all Pixar’s “Soul.” There will just be no beating it. As good as I imagine “Wolfwalkers” is, there’s a reason Pixar has won sixteen Academy Awards. “Soul” will also likely be competing in Best Original Score (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste). I’ve got a gut feeling it might even show up in the Best Picture, as beloved animated features often do. And if that ends up transpiring, you can damn well bet “Soul” wins Best Animated Feature.
#2: “WOLFWALKERS” — APPLE + GKIDS
Like Pixar, there are other studios that, if they release a film that year, end up nominated for an Oscar. GKIDS is another one of those studios. “The Secret of Kells,” “Chico & Rita,” and “A Cat In Paris” are just a few examples of these studios’ films that have been nominated for Oscars. Cartoon Saloon is another name you should remember. “The Secret of Kells” and “Song of the Sea” were made by the company and were nominated for Oscars. The hand-drawn style of all these films is definitely beloved by the Academy voters. Add to that the film’s universal love, grabbing numerous critics’ awards and a Golden Globe nomination. This is a locked-and-loaded contender.
#3: “ONWARD” — WALT DISNEY PICTURES + PIXAR ANIMATION
Had “Onward” come out any other year, it probably would have been a pretty strong contender for Best Animated Feature. But with “Soul” stealing its spotlight and a very early release date, I think “Onward” was forgotten. However, I remember the emotional resonance this film had and believe it will, at the very least, garner an Oscar nomination. The Hollywood Foreign Press remembered it because they gave it their nomination. And, again, it’s Pixar. And Pixar rules the day.
#4: “OVER THE MOON” — NETFLIX ANIMATION
You might need to hear me out on this one. For starters, it handles a pretty heavy subject matter of a young girl losing her mother. Next, its song “Rocket To The Moon” has a decent to middling chance of getting nominated for Best Original Song. The fact that it’s available on Netflix means it’s been readily available for anyone who wants to watch it since its release. It has inclusion on its side, with a female lead and being about the Chinese culture. And the animation is very well done. I believe Netflix has a more substantial presence at the Oscars this year, more than ever, which means popping up all over the categories.
#5: “A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON”
There’s a strong possibility that this movie sucks, and I’m way off on this one. However, the Academy leans toward loving, not only claymation but the brand of claymation of Nick Park and those that followed him. Park has six Oscar nominations and four wins, one for his feature “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” The “Shaun the Sheep” series was a spin-off of “Wallace & Gromit,” and in 2015, the “Shaun the Sheep: Movie” was nominated for Best Animated Feature. With this final spot pretty wide open, I could definitely see the Academy sticking with their tried-and-true.
° “THE CROODS: A NEW AGE”
The first “Croods” was nominated for an Oscar in 2014. The Golden Globes also just selected it as one of their nominees for Best Animated Feature.
° “TROLLS WORLD TOUR”
This year, the film made enough buzz, being one of the first major studio films to be released online instead of in theaters. Even if that didn’t make it popular, it landed it on people’s radars for sure. However, the first “Trolls” wasn’t nominated the year it was released, so chances are relatively slim here if you ask me.
° “THE Willoughbys”
It’s Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning people enjoyed it, and it’s got a distinct animation style, which the Academy goes for. It has the Netflix availability I mentioned for “Over The Moon.” And it has a strong voice cast, with Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Terry Crews, Martin Short, and Ricky Gervais.
ELIGIBLE animated feature entries:
|“Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus”|
|“The Croods: A New Age”|
|“Demon Slayer -Kimetsu No Yaiba-The Movie: Mugen Train”|
|“Earwig and the Witch”|
|“Kill It and Leave This Town”|
|“Lupin III: The First”|
|“My Favorite War”|
|“Nos Ili Zagovor Ne Takikh”|
|“No.7 Cherry Lane”|
|“On-Gaku: Our Sound”|
|“Over the Moon”|
|“Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs”|
|“Ride Your Wave”|
|“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”|
|“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run”|
|“Trolls World Tour”|
|“A Whisker Away”|