Oscar analysis: Bad day for 'Argo,' 'Les Mis' and 'Zero Dark Thirty'

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Best Animated Feature

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Rise of the Guardians can’t catch a break. The DreamWorks Animation movie underperformed at the box office, and was the contender most pundits (including me) thought would make this list.

If there’s a front-runner, I’d say it’s Wreck-It Ralph, although Brave and Frankenweenie are just as likely. (Each one comes from a subsidiary of Disney, so the Mouse House has a Sophie’s Choice on its hands.) Sometimes the Academy votes for older fare, which would favor ParaNorman. The leader is a bit hazy at this point.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits? Few expected the Sony Animation movie to score a nod. Maybe it’s lucky to be here, or maybe more voters will now see it and fall for the wacky seafaring adventure.

Prize Fighter Score: Four out of five. I didn’t see Pirates coming — and, honestly, haven’t seen Pirates, period. (I’ll fix that this weekend.) My guess was Rise of the Guardians but … there you go.

Lesson Learned: Well, it’s not the first time a “band of misfits” caused upheaval for Santa.

Next Page: The Best Original Screenplay category …

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