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Will Hayao Miyazaki Reject the Academy’s Invitation Again?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the stodgy group of film industry workers who hand out the Oscars, has revealed a list of the 271 people it has invited to become members of its organization this year. Among that group are 27 people in the short film and feature animation branch, and 19 artists in the visual effects branch. The new members were chosen from applications submitted by existing members, who can each sponsor one new candidate per year.

The most notable animation-related invitation of this year is Japanese film director Hayao Miyazaki. He was invited on at least one prior occasion—in 2006—to become a member. To his great credit, Miyazaki rejected the invitation.

Miyazaki’s stance makes sense when you think about it. He is indisputably the most revered animation filmmaker of the modern era. He’s achieved that distinction by retaining a singular sense of self and rejecting the groupthink attitudes of industry filmmaking. At this point in his career, what would he have to gain by joining an old boys’ network of commercial filmmakers whose general membership doesn’t give a shit about feature animation and whose animation branch remains woefully clueless about new developments in contemporary short-form animation?

We’ll have to wait until September to find out whether Miyazaki will join the organization that snubbed his final feature film, The Wind Rises, in favor of Frozen. Below is a list of all the invitees in the animation and visual effects branches:

Didier Brunner – Ernest & Celestine, The Triplets of Belleville
Scott Clark – Monsters University, Up
Pierre Coffin – Despicable Me 2, Despicable Me
Esteban Crespo – Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me), Lala
Peter Del Vecho – Frozen, The Princess and the Frog
Kirk DeMicco – The Croods, Space Chimps
Doug Frankel – Brave, WALL-E
Mark Gill – The Voorman Problem, Full Time
David A. S. James – Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Megamind
Fabrice Joubert – Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, French Roast
Jean-Claude Kalache – Up, Cars
Jason Katz – Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo
Jennifer Lee – Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph
Baldwin Li – The Voorman Problem, Full Time
Nathan Loofbourrow – Puss in Boots, How to Train Your Dragon
Lauren MacMullan – Get a Horse!, Wreck-It Ralph
Tom McGrath – Megamind, Madagascar
Dorothy McKim – Get a Horse!, Meet the Robinsons
Hayao Miyazaki – The Wind Rises, Spirited Away
Ricky Nierva – Monsters University, Up
Chris Renaud – Despicable Me 2, Despicable Me
Benjamin Renner – Ernest & Celestine, A Mouse’s Tale (La Queue de la Souris)
Michael Rose – Chico & Rita, The Gruffalo
Toshio Suzuki – The Wind Rises, Howl’s Moving Castle
Selma Vilhunen – Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitta? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), The Crossroads
Anders Walter – Helium, 9 Meter
Laurent Witz – Mr. Hublot, Renart the Fox

Gary Brozenich – The Lone Ranger, Wrath of the Titans
Everett Burrell – Grudge Match, Pan’s Labyrinth
Marc Chu – Noah, Marvel’s The Avengers
David Fletcher – Sabotage, Prisoners
Swen Gillberg – Ender’s Game, Jack the Giant Slayer
Paul Graff – The Wolf of Wall Street, Identity Thief
Alex Henning – Star Trek Into Darkness, Hugo
Evan Jacobs – Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Olympus Has Fallen
Chris Lawrence – Edge of Tomorrow, Gravity
Eric Leven – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Steven Messing – Godzilla, Oz The Great and Powerful
Ben Matthew Morris – Lincoln, The Golden Compass
Jake Morrison – Thor: The Dark World, Marvel’s The Avengers
Eric Reynolds – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
David Shirk – Gravity, Elysium
Patrick Tubach – Star Trek Into Darkness, Marvel’s The Avengers
Bruno Van Zeebroeck – Lone Survivor, Public Enemies
Tim Webber – Gravity, The Dark Knight
Harold Weed – G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Star Trek