Academy Considering Twenty-One Animated Features

Who? Who will win the Oscar this year, at the 85th Academy Awards? Hey Krishna? The Mystical Laws? Walter & Tandoori’s Christmas?

Maybe – or maybe Pixar’s Brave, Sony’s Hotel Transylvania, or Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph will be among the final nominees. Today, the Academy announced the twenty-one features which have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category. Five will be selected for nomination.

Listed in alphabetical order by title (click on highlighted title to see trailer), they are:

Adventures in Zambezia
“Brave”
Delhi Safari
“Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax”
“Frankenweenie”
From Up on Poppy Hill
Hey Krishna
“Hotel Transylvania”
“Ice Age Continental Drift”
A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman
“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”
The Mystical Laws
The Painting
“ParaNorman”
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
The Rabbi’s Cat
“Rise of the Guardians”
Secret of the Wings
Walter & Tandoori’s Christmas
“Wreck-It Ralph”
Zarafa

Several of the films listed have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying runs. 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. The nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10th, 2013, at 8:30am EST/5:30am PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The winners will be announced on Sunday, February 24th, 2013.

Which ones do you think will be nominated?

(Thanks, Janet Hoffman)


  • Inkan1969

    Whoa. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a list with so many films I’ve never heard of, or was not aware of the distribution plan.

  • Drew

    Frankenweenie is going to win. Tim Burton deserves his oscar

    • Eman

      I dunno. I thought ParaNorman was much more technically ambitious and had a stronger plot.
      Not that Frankenweenie was bad by any means.

    • Joe

      Tim Burton NEEDS to take a few years off to find his creativity again. The stop-mo is always fantastic, but it was a re-do of his earlier Live Action short and had designs he already used in Family Dog & Vincent.

      He is extremely talented, but has gotten himself in a rut with uncreative movie picks (Planet of the Apes, Dark Shadow, Willy Wonka, and Alice to name a few) and keeping himself attached to talent he has re-used too many times has made him too comfortable. He’s at his best when jumping outside his comfort zone.

      • Sotiris

        Regarding the similar designs, I find it natural since Burton has a specific drawing style. It’s his signature style. A lot of artists do that.

        • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto González

          Yep, he reuses character designs a lot, but he’s kind of doing that from the very beginning. I think that’s ok, in fact, I agree it’s his signature style.

          The dog looked like the main character in Family Dog and Weird Girl looked exactly like Staring Girl from “Oyster Boy” but I didn’t have problems with that. In fact I think they looked more Burton-esque than any character in The Corpse Bride, and I like it better that way.

          Regarding the stories it would be better if didn’t have to remake his own short for that, but I also prefer a repetition of his usual obsessions, characters and subjects than one of his ‘adaptations’ that are never faithful to the original material and more often than not they are not Burton at this best either.

    • jlo

      Seriously?! Frankenweenie was boring as hell! There were some very interesting characters but the main (Victor and Sparky) had little to no personality, the plot wasn’t very engaging either. Paranorman was so underrated, I really hope it wins, if not, I’ll go with Brave

  • Laughing Hyena

    Sadly, I really want to see Rabbi’s Cat, being that I’ve read the graphic novels for it. I’m crossing my fingers that it will show up in local art theaters soon. But generally, even if nominated, the Oscar doesn’t go to foreign full-animation films. The only ones that did win from what I can remember were Spirited Away and Curse of the Wererabbit. Unless someone corrects me there with more cases/examples.

    Out of the mainstream animated flicks I’ve seen, yeah, count another loss for Pixar this year despite how good/okay Brave was. I think there will be two main contenders fighting for the Oscar: Wreck-it Ralph and ParaNorman.

    Nominations will be: (Seeing the new trend of the Oscars cutting it down to three films recently.)
    Brave
    Wreck-it Ralph
    ParaNorman
    The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Maybe?)
    Rise of the Guardians (Wait on it, not sure yet.)

  • Juliusaurus

    Not that they aren’t good movies, but I’d rather one of the stop motion horror not win… I’m rooting for Wreck-It Ralph, I think it took more risks visually and had a much more refreshing theme, I feel.

  • Sotiris

    Wasn’t Don Hertzfedlt’s ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’ going to be submitted for consideration? What happened?

    Also, Anime News Network had reported that ‘After School Midnighters’ was going to submitted as well.

    Other notable absences are Disney’s ‘Arjun: The Warrior Prince’ (which is odd since Disney already gave it a qualifying theatrical run) and ‘Dino Time’.

    • Andrew Kieswetter

      Not to mention Arrietty/The Secret World Of.

      • Sotiris

        ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’ is ineligible because it has been two years since it premiered in Japan. It was released in 2010 there. According to Academy rules “a picture first theatrically exhibited outside the U.S. prior to the Los Angeles County qualifying run shall be eligible for submission provided the prior exhibition takes place in a commercial motion picture theater after January 1, 2011″.

    • EKaplan

      These are the features – “It’s a Beautiful Day” is being submitted as a short. There’s a list of the others in an earlier post here.

      I really want to see some of these (some of the trailers are amazing.) and am sad I probably won’t be able to. Anyone seen any of the non-US-major – studio films?

      • Sotiris

        I’m not talking about the short but about the compilation feature of the same name.

        According to Jerry Beck “this special engagement of ‘It’s Such A Beautiful Day’ – a feature-length combination of his magnificent “Bill” trilogy of short films – will qualify the 70 minute film for Academy Award consideration”.

        http://www.cartoonbrew.com/feature-film/don-hertzfeldt-qualifys-its-such-a-beautiful-day-for-oscar-consideration-70192.html

        • http://www.cartoonbrew.com/author/jerry Jerry Beck

          Apparently Hertzfeldt decided not to qualify the film… though he certianly could have.

          • Sotiris

            Could the feature had become ineligible because he submitted the short for consideration?

          • Eric Graf

            No, he couldn’t have, unless he arranged a full week’s run in LA County. The run at Cinefamily was only 5 days, and that’s not long enough according to the official rules.

            It has a better shot as a short anyway, methinks.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I predict the following five;

    Brave
    Frankenweenie
    From Up on Poppy Hill
    Rise of the Guardians
    Wreck-it Ralph

    I hope that The Wolf Children will be nominated at the 2013 Oscars. Still disappointed that Ponyo and Arrietty weren’t.

    • TinTin V.

      I agree with this list completely!

  • http://dirtylaundryday.blogspot.com/ Jamil

    The Rabbi’s Cat by far is the best foreign competitor this year!!!

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto González

    The Rabbi’s Cat has amazing animation and I loved the first part of the story but I got bored in the last act. Anyway, it’s great that France is doing traditional animation for adults.

    I haven’t seen Wreck-It-Ralph yet but I predict it’ll probably win.

    I quite liked Brave, more than most people seem to like it, but I don’t think Pixar is going to win this time, and it’s ok for me.

    Not sure but probably The Pirates! is my favourite this year, followed by Brave and Frankenweenie. I haven’t seen ParaNorman or Wreck-It-Ralph yet.

    I enjoyed Hotel Transylvania but it had some flaws and the critics didn’t like it so I don’t think it would have a chance. It is still significantly better than Madagascar 3, Ice Age 4 (which I enjoyed to some extent) or The Lorax, which was probably the most decent Dr. Seuss feature yet, but that’s not saying much.

    And yeah, there are a bunch of them I’ve never heard of.

  • Mohegan

    I actually hope that ParaNorman will win. I have never heard of a movie about zombies and ghosts that has won an Oscar, so I think it would be pretty awesome, plus, ParaNorman was a great movie!

  • wever

    How is Secret Of The Wings considered?! That’s a direct-to-video movie!!!

    • http://bestanimatedshort.blogspot.com ajnrules

      It played theatrically in Los Angeles before the DVD release to qualify.

  • Mike

    Haven’t seen any of the foreign films yet, but from the mainstream films, I’m pulling for ParaNorman. Far and away the best of the horror trio and deeper than all the CG fare. I’d like to see Pirates nominated also, but I’ll be surprised if that happens.

  • Lib

    Regardless of what films end up being nominated, it’s still sad to see that major studios will continue to just submit anything as long as it’s animated for the Oscar.

  • TinTin V.

    Over 16 films trigger 5 nominations. My prediction based on critical response would have to be as follows:

    Wreck-It Ralph (The Disney slot)
    Brave (The not so safe this year, Pixar slot)
    Rise Of the Gaurdians (The lead so far?)
    Frankenweenie (Burton’s best in years, honor him slot)
    From Up On Poppy Hill (The Foreign/Miyazaki slot)

    Wildcard(s):
    Paranorman (Can’t see the academy nominating both this AND Frankenweenie. Might be one or the other?)
    Madagascar 3 (Eh…)
    Ice Age (Bleh…)
    Hotel Transylvania (The box office surprise.)

  • TinTin V.

    Apologies, Poppy Hill is NOT a Hayao Miyazaki work but a Miyazaki nonetheless…

  • Lola

    oh look they’re considering everything that’s been released this year.

  • beamish13

    MYSTICAL LAWS looks fascinating. How often do you get the chance to see animated cult propaganda?

  • Rahul

    Shame that Arjun The Warrior Prince lost out on this opportunity on account of a technicality (availability on Netflix Instant before the mandate LA run at the theatres).

    • Sotiris

      Really? How do you know?

  • http://dtoons.com Dtoons

    If there’s one thing I enjoy about these lists is seeing so many unique looking (and some are even 2D!) animated films. Puts a big smile on my face!

  • Krishna

    I am happy to see 2 INDIAN animation movies. Of which Hey Krishna is my choice at least for nomination.

  • Concerned Observer

    I agree with the assessment that their nominating practically every animated film that has received major distribution this year, not narrowing the list to the more qualified productions. That the Academy is considered practically all of these releases and not narrowing their choices shows just how seriously they take this medium. Because its obvious that some of these films pale in comparison to the other nominees, but for the Academy to bunch the mediocre with the truly astounding productions into one category shows how much they care. Animation based on Academies perspective will always be the unwanted step-child of live-action, like it or not those elitist attitudes just never die. It doesn’t matter matter how much effort Disney, Pixar and others have put in trying to get rid of that stigma, some people out their will just be to stubborn to acknowledge the merits of this medium. Even celebrities occasionally endorsing Pixar and Myiazaki, still doesn’t get rid of the prejudice that most of Hollywood’s elites have against animation. Concerning Burton he creatively burned out, once unreasonable expectations were placed on him to repeat the magic of his earlier efforts, he began cracking under such pressure and it has made him more comfortable with rehashing certain concepts, and designs. I think that reptition of designs, concepts, and premises was something that Burton wanted to do because its the only way to keep hungry investors, and executives at bay. I’m sure most animators that have the backing of major distribution and several investors constantly heckling you to produce Gold, would want to take the easy way out to avoid such pressure and tension. With major productions like the ones Burton and others helm, it becomes less about being creatively liberating and more about pandering to investors and executives losing sight of what actually matters. Surely if any animator was put in Burton’s position they would learn fast that when you handed several millions of dollars, it does not give you an excuse to call all the shots or produce the movie on your own terms. Much of him creatively burning out is the result of pandering to executives and investors and the expectations they continuosly mount onto to him. This makes him more comfortable with rehashing with what worked before.

  • justin rasch

    For the list of animated films this year Nothing comes close to pushing the envelope like PARANORMAN .

    It Broke new ground in EVERY single way possible. No stopmotion ANIMATED film has ever reached that level of acting- ACTION and Believeable LIFE that it achieved.

    All fans of animation need to really take a good look and recognize the amazing achievement. I am blown away by the accomplisments of that film and feel it deserves the OSCAR like none of the others.

  • Maxwell

    As a dedicated stop-motion person, happy to see so much support here for Paranorman and Frankenweenie. Even if these films weren’t Pixar style mega-hits, I’m just glad to see that people are enthusiastic about the art form.

  • Eric Graf

    Unless you’ve seen all the movies, you really have no standing to say which five are the best. Most likely there are one or two fantastic ones you haven’t seen (remember “The Secret of Kells”?) and one or two late releases that might not be anywhere near as good as you’re expecting (“Rise of the Guardians”, and yes, I saw a test screening. Barring wholesale changes, it’s not a contender.)

    Also, attempts to “psych out” the nominees based on theories like “the Disney slot” or “the foreign slot” show an ignorance of how the nominees are chosen. It just don’t work like that. Go to the Oscars website if you’re interested.

    For what it’s worth, out of the ones I’ve seen, I’d give the Oscar to Wreck-It Ralph, the strongest movie in a so-so year. And I don’t understand why you wouldn’t expect “The Pirates: Band of Misfits” to be in contention. It was BY FAR the best stop-motion movie this year, says me.

    I’m DYING to see “The Mystical Laws”. Anybody who was at the infamous Fox lot screening of “The Laws of Eternity” a few years ago should be dying to see “The Mystical Laws”. Yeah. It’s THOSE guys.