Best Animated Feature Category Might Have Five Nominees

October 11, 2009
Source: Awards Daily

Pixar's Up

Even though we're not an Oscar blog, that doesn't mean I don't like to occasionally talk about awards buzz. One category of the Oscars that I'm always nervous about is the Best Animated Feature Film category, which usually (and deservedly) ends up going to the latest Pixar feature (which it should this year too), but occasionally ends up going to someone else (like when Wallace & Gromit or Happy Feet won). The category has usually featured only three nominees, but word is that might finally be bumped up to five this year. It's not due to a change in rules, it's simply that there are enough animated movies to allow for five nominees.

Here are what the Academy rules state for the Best Animated Feature Film category:

"If there are 8 to 15 qualified animated features it triggers the category in any given year, and if there are 16 or more the nominee count can climb from three to five."

The only year previous that there were at least 16 animated films was in 2002, the second year after the category was officially introduced into the Oscars, and the year that Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away won. As we all know, every film needs to play for at least one week in New York and Los Angeles by the end of the year to be eligible for Oscar consideration (I think that still pertains to this category as well). Thankfully distributors are putting out all of their animated movies so that there may be enough to push the number up to 16 by the end of 2009. As of this moment, here are the 16 animated feature films (via Awards Daily):

» 9
» Astro Boy
» Battle for Terra
» A Christmas Carol
» Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
» Coraline
» Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone
» Fantastic Mr. Fox
» Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
» Mary and Max
» Monsters Vs. Aliens
» Planet 51
» Ponyo
» The Princess and the Frog
» Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
» Up

I haven't even heard of Evangelion (a Japanese anime?) and don't know how the Tinker Bell movie counts (since I thought it was straight-to-DVD). However, not only is Awards Daily claiming these are the 16, but the LA Times' Oscar blogger Pete Hammond says that there are enough features to push the nominees up to five as well. If he says it, then I guess I should believe it. There's even a chance that the brilliant Belgian stop-animated feature A Town Called Panic may fill in a gap if necessary as well. It's an eclectic list, but enough. And why does it matter that there are five nominees? Well, it helps everyone if there are, right?

There was plenty of conversation and controversy when the Academy announced back in June that they would be upping the number of Best Picture nominees to 10 this year. A lot of people thought it would dilute and water down the nominations and even make the winning movie a less-than-perfect choice (at least until they changed the voting rules in August). Does anyone think that's the same with the animation category? Will it be watered down? I don't think so, especially considering the five that will probably be nominated (9, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Up) are actually great movies anyway.

I will definitely be looking forward to seeing if five movies do end up being nominated by the Academy this year and which five they actually are. Personally I feel like Pixar's Up is the shoo-in, but then again I may be a bit bias. Although I assume (and hope) that the majority of moviegoers out there agree, since Up was an incredible movie, on all accounts. Then again, this could be another year with an upset, and something like Coraline or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or even Mary and Max could take home the Oscar instead. You never know what the Academy might choose! Which animated movie will you be rooting for?

Find more posts: Awards, Discuss, Editorial



9, Astro Boy, A Christmas Carol, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Fantastic Mr. Fox (!), Monsters Vs. Aliens, Planet 51, Ponyo (!), Up.

Robbie on Oct 11, 2009


Mary and Max, Up, Princess and The Frog, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Coraline. Nuff Said.

Al on Oct 11, 2009


uhm... El Superbeasto??? How is that not on there?

daniel on Oct 11, 2009


One possible reason why Tinker Bell is considered eligible is because it will be playing at the El Capitan Theatre in L.A. However, it is only playing there for a week, so I'm not sure what else is going on.

James on Oct 11, 2009


Evangelion? OMG! My love for this series will reach another level if nominated.

Dave on Oct 11, 2009


i think a Robert zamecks a christmas carol should be in the list i no the film is not out until November 6th but the trailer look's fantastic.

Cineprog on Oct 11, 2009


Also, I would say Coraline, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ponyo, The Princess and the Frog, and Up.

James on Oct 11, 2009


Dude, you have some catching up to do if you've never seen Evangelion. You are (not) alone is a feature length re-telling of the mid-90's anime show that has been called the best anime ever.

Dan on Oct 11, 2009



Morty on Oct 11, 2009


lol you havent heard of evengelion

lol on Oct 11, 2009


Don't make fun of him #9, you wouldn't like him when he's angry... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUR. I'm rooting for Ponyo. I'm sort of sick of hearing people say "Of COURSE I've heard of Miyazaki... I saw Princess Monokonokadingdong." Studio Ghibli has done so much more than this, and deserve so much more credit for their work. So yeah another award would be good. The end.

dRailer on Oct 11, 2009


Princess and the Frog will obviously get nominated an win.

Underscore on Oct 11, 2009


Regarding my earlier post (#4), I thought a movie had to play for two weeks. Since Tinker Bell would be playing for one week at the El Capitan, I can see how it would be considered eligible.

James on Oct 11, 2009


have you never heard of evangelion before? wow...

mnk on Oct 11, 2009


Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone(Evangerion shin gekij├┤ban: Jo) is from 2007, how can it be nominated in 2010??

David Banner on Oct 11, 2009


Doesn't matter. Pixar's going to win.

SlashBeast on Oct 11, 2009


is going to be hard this year, and exciting!

paulina on Oct 11, 2009


Cloudy with a chance of meatballs Up Ponyo Ice age 3 A christmans carol.

Alessandro on Oct 11, 2009


Fantastic Mr Fox won't make the list. The director didn't treat his animators like actors, but instead as technicians. That'll show in the quality of the final performance, and won't be nomination worthy.

Mark on Oct 11, 2009


I thik it would be funny if only the disney movies were nominated since there are 5 of them, but I doubt that would happen. Id say Id like Up to win, but I still haven't seen Fantastic Mr Fox A Christmas Carol or The Princess and A Frog yet. And The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto Cannot be eligible because it went strait to dd, and poor Rob Zombie will never win an Oscar... He should make a movie about killing every judge of the academy! That would rule!

Topher on Oct 11, 2009


I say Princess and the Frog, Up and Ponyo are the big contenders. but i believe that the academy is going to eat up Princess and the Frog so my bets on that.

DoomCanoe on Oct 11, 2009


her my list 1(cloudy with a chance of meat balls),(up)(princces and the frog)(christmas carol)and offcourse this list would not be complete without (coraline) now this is competition

alan on Oct 11, 2009


I hope (and I'm glad other people think this) Cloudy with a chance of meatballs wins the award, of course they'll probably give it to Up just because Pixar made it. That's not to say I didn't like Up, I loved that movie, but I think Cloudy is much more deserving of it.

SkaOreo on Oct 11, 2009


I think Princess and the Frog is going to win the award simply because its been so long since Disney or anyone has made a decent hand drawn musical animated film. I think everyone's kind of hungry for a classic Disney animated film, and it looks like Princess and the Frog is just that. I liked Up, but at times the movie was a bit too odd. I loved the creativity and the story, but I think the talking dogs annoyed me a bit. It was just too simple of a plot device, and it played across a bit cheesy compared to the surrealism in the rest of the movie. However the academy may relate well to that movie because of it's connection to the elderly. Dark Horse has to be "9" That film was really unique and different for an animated film. It's not for everyone, but I think out of all the films it breaks the most new ground for animation.

ImaginaryVisionary on Oct 11, 2009


-Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (much better than expected- 85% Tomatometer- and if Sony could get Surf's Up a nomination two years ago, then they could easily score one for a film that's both well-received AND a box office hit) -Coraline (between this and Fantastic Mr. Fox, I'm giving the edge to Coraline- it's quality has already been well-established, and more Academy members will have seen it- Focus would have no trouble handing out some screener discs) -Ponyo (lock- Miyazaki's been nominated twice before, and with Disney's backing and a 90% Tomatometer, its absolutely assured to make the final list, whether there's 3 slots or 5) -The Princess and the Frog (if it's as good as its pedigree insists, then you can count on it) -Up (lock- just give it the Oscar already. Oh, and a Best Picture nom!) This is the most likely list, in my mind. While I certainly enjoyed 9, it's not perfect, and it doesn't have the kind of reviews that Coraline has to back it up. The same can be said for Monsters vs. Aliens, and A Christmas Carol is a wild card at the moment. Fantastic Mr. Fox should be great- but is it TOO hip? TOO trippy?

Andrew on Oct 11, 2009


up ponyo coraline ice age 3 will be in the mix, but the fifth? hard choice

Dude on Oct 12, 2009


Never heard of Evangelion?! I didn't think it was such a non-mainstream series.

RC on Oct 12, 2009


Mary And Max - Aussie claymation film that is very touching, director/creator previously won an Oscar for Short Animation for Harvey Krumpet. Ponyo - The sweetest film I have seen in ages. Miyazaki is a genius, not to mention it was hand drawn. It deserves it for effort. These two are pieces of art, something, no matter how hard to try, you can't computer generate. For the benefit of animation, the academy needs to ween itself off its addiction to Pixar.

kincuri on Oct 12, 2009


Up, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline, 9, and A christmas Carol are most likely going to be the 5 contenders for Best Animated Feature, but that's just my opinion. These look like the best 5 animated movies of the year, and least artistivally.

The_Kid on Oct 12, 2009


I can also see Princess and the Frog on the list possibly instead of a Christmas Carol.

The_Kid on Oct 12, 2009


Up should probably win, but Coraline was really, really good too. If you haven't seen Evangelion, I would suggest watching the entire series. It's quite a trip.

Korm on Oct 12, 2009


9 Coraline Fantastic Mr. Fox Ponyo Up

klausey on Oct 12, 2009


Ponyo, Astro Boy, or Evangelion should win, why? Up was horrible, it was another fucking Pixar mess, they got it right with Toy Story and Nemo, but then they kept rehashing the same fucking feeling in every movie, make something a little different for a change. Up and Wall-E proved to me that Pixar is running out of ideas, and Alex, I'm pretty surprised that you can't see this as you're a Pixar fan like myself. I think Astro Boy looks fantastic, I could be wrong, but wouldn't it be interesting to see someone other than Pixar win? And I want either Ponyo or Evangelion to win because traditional hand animation hasn't won in a while.

Kail on Oct 12, 2009


thank god for #28, the only one on this damn site to even know what Mary & Max is, and if not, then certainly the only one who recognizes its value.

Al on Oct 12, 2009


Waltz With Bashir should've been nominated and should've won last year. 'Nough said.

SasQ on Oct 12, 2009


"You are (not) alone is a feature length re-telling of the mid-90's anime show that has been called the best anime ever." Only by people with poor taste.

adfgadfg on Oct 13, 2009


Evangelion - Not happening Ponyo - Sucked Coraline - Great Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Good 9 - Sucked Up - WINNER!

Governor on Oct 13, 2009


i actually think that coraline should win, surprisingly. up will win though

allen sharpe on Oct 14, 2009


Likely nominees Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs# Up Monsters Vs. Aliens A Christmas Carol Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs or Coraline Up or A Christmas Carol for the win. Pixar can do no wrong however Robert Zemeckis is a mo cap GOD. Polar Express and Beowulf should have been nominated! People think of Miyazaki as the master of Animie. Robert Zemeckis is by contrast the Miyazaki of Motion Capture.

Jeeze on Feb 1, 2010

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