The race for the 84th Academy Awards is on in the Animated Feature Film category, with eighteen animated features being submitted for consideration this year, Deadline report. Last year saw the largely expected victory of Toy Story 3, marking the fourth year in a row for a Disney/Pixar film to win the award, which is now going to be in its eleventh year.
The list is headed up by all the expected candidates, with a number of unexpected names making the list as well – though, we can no doubt expect that those unexpected names aren’t going to be appearing on the final nominees list come January next year.
The eighteen films that have been submitted are, in alphabetical order:
- The Adventures of Tintin
- Alois Nebel
- Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
- Arthur Christmas
- Cars 2
- A Cat in Paris
- Chico & Rita
- Gnomeo & Juliet
- Happy Feet Two
- Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
- Kung Fu Panda 2
- Mars Needs Moms
- Puss in Boots
- The Smurfs
- Winnie the Pooh
Though I admit that I’ve not actually seen any of this year’s potential candidates, it’s only through lack of time/availability in my local cinema that I’ve not seen a number of them, with many of them being well received both critically and commercially.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, for example, has been doing well so far, taking more than $55m. in its first few weeks of release in most international markets, with more than a month still to go before its US release on 21st December, where it will hopefully make up the rest of its $135m. budget – America, of course, being the market where a lot of films make the majority of their box office money.
Kung Fu Panda 2 has also done well this year, earning more than half a billion dollars, with typically well-received reviews as the follow-up to one of my favourite animated films. Cars 2 did well commercially through the summer, also going past the $500m. box office mark, though perhaps was received less favourably critically. The Smurfs was another to reach the half-billion milestone, becoming a success beyond everyone’s expectations – though it, too, didn’t do as well in critics’ eyes as it did at the box office.
Films like Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Mars Needs Moms (which notoriously bombed at the box office this year), and the upcoming third film in the series, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked fill out much of the rest of the list, and these will probably be the first to go in most people’s eyes upon seeing the contenders.
Puss in Boots has done well so far at the US box office, taking the #1 spot at its opening last weekend, internationally taking north of $110m. of its $130m. budget just a couple of weeks into its release, which is pretty good work for a spin-off. Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp’s venture into animation this year with Rango also did really well, and was very well critically received, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes it to the final nominees list in two months’ time.
And though I haven’t seen it, I personally quietly hope that Winnie the Pooh will make it to the final list come January and go on to win the Best Animated Film category, simply because how amazing would it be to be able to say that Winnie the Pooh won an Oscar? (Very.)
The final nominations will be announced on 24th January next year, with the Academy Awards themselves being held the following month on Sunday, 26th February. Feel free to let us know below which of the eighteen films above would win your vote.