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AwardsFeature Film

26 Animated Features Submitted For 2017 Oscar Race

Twenty-six animated features have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category of the 90th Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.

In nine out of the last ten years, the Academy has rubber stamped a Walt Disney Company-produced animated feature as the category’s winner, representing a near-unprecedented streak for a single company’s domination of an Oscar category and raising questions about the legitimacy of the category.

This year’s submitted films, in alphabetical order, are:

The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales
Birdboy: The Forgotten Children
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie
Cars 3
Cinderella the Cat
Despicable Me 3
The Emoji Movie
Ethel & Ernest
The Girl without Hands
In This Corner of the World
The Lego Batman Movie
The Lego Ninjago Movie
Loving Vincent
Mary and the Witch’s Flower
Moomins and the Winter Wonderland
My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea
Napping Princess
A Silent Voice
Smurfs: The Lost Village
The Star
Sword Art Online: The Movie – Ordinal Scale
Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming

The Academy points out that even though the films have been submitted doesn’t mean they’ve all qualified yet:

Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying run. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules before they can advance in the voting process.

Sixteen or more films must qualify for the maximum of five nominees to be voted, which will certainly happen this year.

There is one less film this year than last year’s record-breaking 27 animated feature submissions. The category could have been bigger, and some films that we had anticipated would be submitted were not, among them, Big Fish & Begonia, Have A Nice Day, and Tehran Taboo.

Of the submissions, eleven of the films were produced by major Hollywood studios and fifteen were produced by independent and/or foreign companies.

The Academy has changed the voting process this year, opening up nominations voting in the category to its entire eligible voting membership. The controversial move is widely perceived within the animation community as a way to diminish the influence of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch (which has exhibited a strong tendency to nominate artistic and challenging films), by adding in more Academy members from other branches, who have a bias towards recognizing mainstream Hollywood productions.

  • Cameron Ward

    while the bigger titles have not all been that great, the indie side of things is simply beautiful. So many to choose from. Probably just as good as the variety from 2013 indie animation scene.

  • Ryan Cullen

    My guess is the nominees will be The Breadwinner, Coco, A Silent Voice and possibly The Boss Baby as a “we need another mainstream feature” nominee.

    • Inkan1969

      Remember the rules change, though, where all members vote for nominees instead of members in the animation industry. We may never get a non-mainstream nominee ever again.

    • Cameron Ward

      I highly doubt The Boss Baby will be nominated. If Secret Life of Pets or Finding Dory couldn’t make it last year, then it has no chance

  • Inkan1969

    First, let me get this out of the way:

    I am so infuriated that “My Little Pony: the Movie” is not on this list. I still stand by my assertion that among mainstream wide release movies, it was the best of 2017. Hasbro released this movie in 2000 theaters vs the 3000 theaters other mainstream movies got, did not prescreen the movie to critics, and now it appears to have not submitted the movie for consideration. The studio really screwed this movie over. I always assumed studios submitted their movies regardless of its chances for a nomination or win just as a courtesy so that the category has enough movies to give an award. No submission seems an insult to “My Little Pony”, “The Lego Movie” and “Atlantis: the Lost Empire”.

    OK, that’s out of the way.

    My first reaction to the rules change was horror. I was impressed how so many foreign and independent animated movies have been nominated over the years. The rules change raises the possibility that such movies will never get nominated again. But then I remembered how “Spirited Away” is the only non-US movie that did not get a US wide release that has won this award. So, I have to concede that the rules change might not make any difference as to the outcome of the award.

    Anyways, I was glad to see 15 limited release movies get submitted. Here’s a list of their official websites:

    First: seven GKids movies

    The Girl Without Hands – http://www.thegirlwithouthands.com

    My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea – https://www.highschoolsinking.com/

    Napping Princess – http://www.nappingprincess.com

    The Breadwinner – http://thebreadwinner.com/

    Mary and the Witch’s Flower – https://www.gkids.com/films/mary-and-the-witchs-flower/

    The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales – https://www.gkids.com/films/the-big-bad-fox-other-tales/

    Birdboy: the Forgotten Children – https://www.gkids.com/films/birdboy/


    A Silent Voice: The Movie – http://www.elevenarts.net/asilentvoice/

    In This Corner of the World – http://www.inthiscorneroftheworld.com

    Sword Art Online: The Movie – Ordinal Scale – http://www.sao-movie.net/us/

    Other Movies;

    Loving Vincent – http://www.lovingvincent.com

    Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming – http://www.windowhorses.com

    Ethel and Ernest – http://www.ethelandernestthemovie.com/

    Moomins and the Winter Wonderland – http://moominswonderland.com/

    Cinderella the Cat – https://www.facebook.com/GattaCenerentola/

    • JodyMorgan

      The LEGO Movie actually was submitted, the Academy just chose not to nominate it, presumably because it was based on a toy line. Which is why I don’t care that Hasbro (and/or Lionsgate) declined to submit My Little Pony: The Movie, because there was no way it was going to get a nomination either. It’s true that Atlantis: The Lost Empire wasn’t submitted by Disney; given that it was the first year of the award and that it was virtually certain that there would be only three nominees, it’s been speculated (and seems reasonable) that Disney decided to focus solely on Monsters, Inc. in order to give it a better chance against Shrek.

      And thanks for the website list; that’s going to be a handy resource.

    • benC

      MLP wasn’t submitted by its own producers,and Emoji was.
      The academy has nothing to do with who gets submitted.

      • Inkan1969

        Yes, that was what I was assuming.

  • Alex Hartsell

    My main bets for the nominations (that I hope the new voters will like and chose, also I added the reasons why they may chose them) are:
    1. The Breadwinner (The new voters might chose this cause half of them maybe trying help middle easterners out and have fundraisers to help people around the world)
    2. Captain Underpants (Some of the new voters may be comedic geniuses and might be friends with Kevin Hart, Ed Helms and the writer of the film)
    3. Coco (Everyone loves PIXAR)
    4. The Lego Batman Movie (Edgar Wright said he love The Lego Movie, so he and others who loved The Lego Movie may chose this spin-off film of that)
    5. Mary and the Witch’s Flower (some voters might know of it’s English cast and may chose it cause of it)

  • Ryan Serowinski

    Emoji Movie’s NOT, I repeat NOT going to be nominated, despite making money(unfortunately, that’s the case with most bad movies)

    • Inkan1969

      With that new rules change, who knows?

      • Alex Hartsell

        Well I just hope the new voters are smarter to not chose the Emoji Movie and know that it got really awful reviews.

      • Alex Hartsell

        I just hope/pray the new voters for this will be smart and pick the right good ones for Best Animated Feature, plus don’t chose The Emoji Movie or Cars 3. Also I think the Academy needs to have them watch all 26 films together to get a good clue who is good for this year.

        • Sean Ramsdell

          Coco will definitely win

          • Alex Hartsell

            Yes I know Coco is going to win because it’s the better PIXAR movie of 2017 and the Inside Out of 2017. I just pray that the new voters for the nomination for Best Animated Feature will be smart and wise to chose what is the right animated films to be nominated for the 90th Academy Awards.

  • Anon

    Honestly, when I pay to go see a movie, it is never an animated feature let alone series of shorts. I’m an artist, I’ve worked in Animation all my life, I grew up in the world of animation (my father was one of the original Disney crew) but even as a kid I never liked animated Hollywood released stuff. I’ve tried to like them but just cannot get into it. I love animation itself but until there’s something other than cutesy 3D moral tales or clever gimmicky things, I’m sticking to live action.

    • benC

      That means you haven’t looked around enough.There’s more non-Hollywood animation out there (even in this submission list) than Hollywood animation.And a lot of it is excellent.
      Being in animation,I’m really surprised you don’t seem to know them(otherwise,you could’ve mentioned it).

  • Johnny Marques

    A lot of excellent movies in there. Loved Birdboy and the Breadwinner, plus Loving Vincent was just an absolute treat for any fan of Van Gogh. Also liked the painterly style used by The Girl Without Hands. And Captain Underpants was unexpectedly awesome. But if the Academy’s list of nominees is comprised of The Boss Baby, Despicable me 3, CoCo, The Emoji Movie and one of the Lego ones, we’ll have confirmation that the award has lost all significance.

  • Renard N. Bansale

    My Nominees for Best Animated Feature:
    (out of 14 of the eligible animated films seen as of this comment)
    — Cars 3
    — The Girl Without Hands
    — In This Corner of the World
    — Loving Vincent
    — My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea

  • Renard N. Bansale

    I don’t really mind that My Little Pony wasn’t listed here, but…I was somewhat hoping that “I’m the Friend You Need” (i.e., the film’s best song and the only one worth remembering) could get nominated for Best Original Song just so that Taye Diggs could sing it at the telecast. (Maybe the film could still be eligible for that category?)

    • Inkan1969

      I don’t know if they’ve announced the Best Song qualifying list yet. I’d be happy to see “Rainbow” get submitted.

  • Renard N. Bansale

    In This Corner of the World and The Girl Without Hands are hands-down 2017’s two best animated films (as of this comment). If neither of them get nominated, I WILL throw a chair. >_<

    • Inkan1969

      Of the movies in this list that I’ve seen, I’d give the Oscar to “In this Corner”. It’s cool to see Cartoon Brew give some coverage of anime releases like this movie and “A Silent Voice”.

    • JodyMorgan

      Better get a cheap chair ready in an area where throwing it won’t damage anything else.

    • benC

      Prepare to throw lots o chairs.When it comes to animation,members of the academy are very pro-mainstream.

    • Renard N. Bansale

      Perhaps a kiddie chair, knowing that the Academy opened up the nomination phase to the entire voting membership.

    • Jerome Mazandarani

      I handled worldwide distribution on “In This Corner…” I would dearly love to see it make the nominations. I agree with you. It’ll be tough. It saddens me to see how many people are talking about how weak the mainstream animation releases are this year, but not talking about how amazing the international animated movies have been. This has been an amazing year for animated films. A Silent Voice, In This Corner of the World, Big Fish & Begonia, The Breadwinner, 4C/Anakam’s “MUTAFUKAZ”, Lu Over The Wall, The Breadwinner, Ethel & Ernest. The list goes on. I think its hard for the Academy to not acknowledge and celebrate SoCal graduates and the work of Disney and Pixar studios. They are dominant in the film industry and recognising their continuing brilliance seems to take precedence over celebrating animation as a medium. At least we won the Jury Prize at Annecy this year!

      • Renard N. Bansale

        Whoa, thanks for replying! By the way, it would comfort me greatly if you can tell me that you and the other distributors for In This Corner of the World (or any world animation distributor not named “GKids”) have learned from Your Name. (my favorite animated film of 2016) and how it failed to garner that most-deserved Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination.

        Please bear with me in my reply. I think my observations will be useful for any world animation distributor seeking to play the awards game as well as GKids.

        I believe that Funimation blew Your Name.’s Oscar chances from the moment they announced its N. American general release for this past April. Such a release month all but ruined Your Name. chances of reaching even half of Spirited Away’s $11.25 million N. American gross (which turned out to be a correct prediction, for Your Name. only earned $5.02 million). That outcome would’ve occurred even if Your Name. somehow got nominated and, as predicted, the release didn’t help that either.

        What amazes me, however, was the impact of Your Name. Oscar-qualifying run in LA around the start of last December. Your Name. opening day timed perfectly with LA’s Film Critics Association Awards, which took place literally days after Your Name. started its Oscar-qualifying run there. As a result, they awarded Best Animated Feature to Your Name. (with The Red Turtle as the runner-up).

        When I learned of that news, I was overjoyed! That category’s winner has gone on to at least become a Best Animated Feature Oscar nominee ever since the equivalent Oscar category has existed (save for 2008, when the LA critics gave Best Animated Feature to Waltz With Bashir as a consolation prize after they rightfully gave Best Picture to WALL•E). Knowing that trend, my hope that Your Name. would get one of the remaining two slots rose greatly (since I also have accepted that Zootopia, a great film in itself, was going to win and that Kubo and Moana would be 2nd and 3rd).

        The problem was, after Your Name. splash in LA…it all but FELL OFF the awards radar. While it broke bank after bank in East Asia, Your Name. needlessly stood by as Zootopia, Kubo, and The Red Turtle steamrolled through all the remaining critics groups throughout N. America. The memory of Your Name. LA critics victory had all but disappeared when the Best Animated Feature category showed that The Red Turtle and My Life as a Zucchini (the European animation darling) took the remaining two slots. Now, I really like both of those films, but not as much as Your Name. Zucchini’s runtime is too much on the short side for me, whereas The Red Turtle…It’s a beautiful film and all, but I’m not one to exaggerate its simple castaway island experience narrative. I actually resent the fact that The Red Turtle got Oscar-nominated almost entirely by the reputation of its makers (Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli) and with a small box office presence (less than a million in N. America and $6.6 million worldwide), whereas Your Name. became the highest grossing anime film worldwide (though not in Japan or N. America) and didn’t get nominated.

        I saw In This Corner of the World late this past August and while I’m glad it got its general release out of the way, I’m also worried that it was too soon. The love for Your Name. has only reached here in N. America this year, making many of its uninformed fans question why it’s not on this year’s list of eligible animated films for the Oscar. They have yet to experience a backlash on the film (which, I suspect, is what ultimately led to the Japanese Academy awarding In This Corner of the World their Best Animated Film award rather than Your Name.).

        As such, I draw on Your Name. LA impact for my tips for you, the rest of In This Corner of the World’s distributors, and any non-GKids distributor of world animation:
        1.) CATER TO THE CRITICS GROUPS JUST BEFORE THEIR AWARDS: Look up the schedules as many major critics groups in N. America as possible and screen the film for as many of those cities as the theatrical distribution budget can permit, prioritizing the critics of that city. (If you’d rather save targeting the mainstream viewers’ wallets for the general release, then limit the showings to less than one week, perhaps even just a weekend with heavy promotion.) Time the limited release in each city just before their critics groups vote for their awards. If done well and naturally, the groups could all react like the LA critics did and, with the film fresh on their minds, they’ll award it their Best Animated Film prizes. (When Oscar voters need one last nominee or two to fill a category, they often turn to critical acclaim and/or foreign releases rather than box office.) The LA critics aren’t enough; a film needs to capture the minds and hearts of the entire nation and the critics can facilitate that effect.

        2.) TIME THAT GENERAL RELEASE!: Yes, make the Oscar-qualifying, LA County run before Dec. 31st, but for the general release, box office should take priority. If you DO NOT have confidence that the film is a shoo-in nominee, consider releasing during the first two weeks of January to keep the film fresh in the minds of Oscar voters filling out their nomination ballots. If you DO have confidence that the film will get nominated, then consider a late January/early February release. This will draw not only Oscar voters, but also mainstream viewers who read the nominees and see that some of the films are currently playing at their theaters. Nothing gets Oscar voters voting for your film more than when they and the rest of America love your film and continue to love your film at the time of the Oscars ceremony. Natural backlash can’t hurt you much after that ceremony, but it can deal devastating blows before that ceremony.

        These are my tips for you, the rest of In This Corner of the World’s distributing teams, and any other world animation distributor not called “GKids”. I hope you can study them and consider going by them in the future.

        I’d love to hear your response to these tips soon! ^_^

  • Emilio Aguinaldo

    The MLP movie was in no means a great movie nor was it a bad one and as a fan i genuinely accept that, I’m just glad 7 years of pony resulted in an experience that is the movie, but its really hard to accept that fact knowing that the Emoji movie submit for an Oscar nomination, I’m a calm collective man but seeing that abomination hoping for an award at the Oscars makes me a little bit upset

    • benC

      These are submissions,not nominations.Blame producers for what get submitted and what doesn’t. Emoji was submitted by its producers ,MLP was not.
      The academy has nothing to do with who gets submitted.Just who gets nominated and who wins.

      • Emilio Aguinaldo

        i am fully aware that the producers did not file a submission its the emoji movie that musters the courage to even submit hoping for a nomination at least the producers of the mlp movie acknowledges that the film was mediocre

        • Cameron Ward

          it was probably Lionsgate playing it smart. They probably knew they couldn’t win and pulled out.

          They submitted Shaun the Sheep Movie back in 2015 because out of all the big budget films, it didn’t have much competition besides Inside Out.

  • JodyMorgan

    Wow; it wasn’t until I perused this list that I fully realized just how, um, lackluster the slate of mainstream animated films has been this year. But, sadly, with the recent rule change regarding nominating films for this category, there might not be any independent or foreign animated features among the nominees. I think the only one with a realistic chance of a nomination is The Breadwinner; because of its topicality, it might capture enough attention to garner a nomination.

    Otherwise, the only movie I’m fairly certain will be nominated for the honor of losing to Coco is Despicable Me 3; beyond that, I’d list Ferdinand, The Boss Baby, and Cars 3 as the most likely to round out the category, in decreasing order of probability, with The Breadwinner. The LEGO Batman Movie, and yes, The Emoji Movie having a shot at a nomination.

  • Cameron Ward

    To me, it’s already probably been decided that


    The Breadwinner

    Loving Vincent

    have taken three of the spots and the other two will probably go to either

    The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (the director worked on the Oscar-nominated Ernest & Celestine)

    Mary and the Witch’s Flower (GKids and ex Studio Ghibli would make this a dangerous combo)

    In This Corner of the World (massive amounts of positive press and festival awards)

    Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (GKids)

    The Girl Without Hands (GKids and multiple festival awards)

  • ea

    What GKIDS and other indie companies should do is send DVDs of their submissions to members of the academy who got in for categories that might appreciate alternative animated works: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture, etc.

    • Jerome Mazandarani

      IT’s a good idea, but none of us can afford to press and mail 35,000 discs to members. It’s crazy expensive for an indie.

  • Inkan1969

    In other message boards, I also posted a list of 22 new animated movies that I know had US theatrical releases in 2017 but were not on this list. This list plus the Oscar list brings the number to 48. I thought I’d post that list here as well, to see if anyone here finds it useful.

    My Little Pony: the Movie
    Rock Dog
    The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

    Batman and Harley Quinn

    Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic
    One Piece Film: Gold
    Fairy Tail Dragon Cry
    Project Itoh: Genocidal Organ
    Attack on Titan: Gurren no Yumiya
    Attack on Titan: Jiyou no Tsubasa

    Kizumonogatari, Part 3 – Reiketsu
    The Irregular at Magic High School: the Movie – The Girl Who Summons the Stars
    Fate/Stay Night [Heaven’s Feel]: the Movie – Part 1, Presage Flower

    Yu-Gi-Oh: The Dark Side of Dimensions

    No Game No Life Zero

    Kikoriki: The Legend of the Golden Temple

    Pokemon: the Movie – I Choose You!
    Resident Evil: Vendetta
    Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars

    Spark: a Space Tail
    Bunyan and Babe

    This list doesn’t include special re-releases of years-old movies, like the Ghibli movies and “Sailor Moon R”. Also, I figure that animation insiders like Amid probably know even more movies that got very limited releases in the US this year.

  • J Roy

    And that would be the 2018 Oscars…

  • Larry Townley

    Mabey it’s about for animation to have their own show !I/e their own place away from the oscars!