In a substantial blow to the animated film community, the Academy announced today that only 15 films have been accepted for consideration for the Best Animated Feature prize this year, meaning that only three films may be nominated for that Oscar. Had there been one more film accepted, the category would have increased to five slots. The 15 semi-finalists are: Alpha and Omega, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Despicable Me, The Dreams of Jinsha, How to Train Your Dragon, Idiots and Angels, The Illusionist, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, Megamind, My Dog Tulip, Shrek Forever After, Summer Wars, Tangled, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, and Toy Story 3.
At first glance, it seems to me that Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon, both big hits that also scored fantastic reviews, are the best bets, while Disney’s upcoming Tangled and Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist might battle it out for that coveted third slot. It’s a shame that in such a fabulous year for animation, so many worthy films now won’t make the cut. But if you look at it mathematically, it’s not so bad: 20 percent of the eligible movies will end up getting an Oscar nomination.
Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for more Oscar updates.