Monday, January 12, 2015

Oscar Predictions: Best Animated Feature

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 15th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest and Celestine, Frozen, The Wind Rises

This year’s locks: The Lego Movie, Big Hero 6, How to Train Your Dragon 2

Very likely: None

Possible: The Boxtrolls, Song of the Sea, The Book of Life, The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Unlikely: Rocks in My Pockets

The rundown: There are twenty films officially eligible in this category. I’m not sure how exciting this race will be since the same five films were nominated by the Golden Globes and the PGA. The Lego Movie, Big Hero 6, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 are all sure things, and the question marks are The Boxtrolls and The Book of Life. It’s very feasible the Oscar list will look exactly the same. Earlier in this season, I would have thought that the Irish Song of the Sea and Japanese The Tale of Princess Kaguya would have followed the example of “Ernest and Celestine” and “The Wind Rises” in 2013 and “A Cat in Paris” and “Chico and Rita” in 2011, but I don’t think they can both do it now. Those two joined the Globe and PGA-nominated five as Annie Award nominees. I think “Song of the Sea” has the better shot because its director Tomm Moore was nominated for his first feature, “The Secret of Kells,” back in 2009. It’s also distinctly possible that Rocks in My Pockets, the Latvian submission for Best Foreign Film, could be a nominee, but I doubt it.

One possible crazy scenario: The eighth Annie nominee for Best Animated Feature, Cheatin’, from director Bill Plympton, who has earned two animated short nominations over the past three decades, shows up.

Forecasted winner: It will be a competition, but ultimately, I think it will be The Lego Movie that prevails.

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