At Least 13 Films Are Vying For Animated Feature Oscar This Year

We’re getting close to that time of year again when the animation industry enjoys a little mainstream credit and prestige for all its hard work: awards season. Our Animation Oscar Tracker has been updated with a list of films that we understand will be submitted for the Best Animated Feature category of the Academy Awards. The current total stands at 13 films:

  1. Escape from Planet Earth (Weinstein Co.) 2/15/13
  2. The Croods (DreamWorks Animation) 3/22/13
  3. Epic (Blue Sky) 5/24/13
  4. Monsters University (Disney-Pixar) 6/21/13
  5. Despicable Me 2 (Illumination) 7/3/13
  6. Turbo (DreamWorks Animation) 7/17/13
  7. Planes (Disney) 8/9/13
  8. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony Pictures Animation) 9/27/13
  9. Ernest and Celestine (GKIDS) Fall 2013
  10. A Letter to Momo (GKIDS) Fall 2013
  11. Free Birds (Reel FX/Relativity Media) 11/1/13
  12. The Wind Rises (Studio Ghibli/Touchstone Pictures) 11/8/13
  13. Frozen (Disney) 11/27/13

To be clear, we can’t guarantee that these films will qualify for the category, and can only say that they are being submitted for consideration to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. For there to be a maximum of five nominees, a total of 16 animated features must qualify for the category. If between 13 to 15 films qualify for the category, then there can be a maximum of four nominees.

The good news is that there will very likely be more films submitted for the category besides the ones listed above. For example, I expect that the South African studio Triggerfish will qualify their latest effort Khumba, especially since last year they qualified their first feature Adventures in Zambezia. If your studio is planning to qualify a feature film, please drop Cartoon Brew a line and let us know.


  • Brittany P

    I’m rooting for The Croods!! It was about humanity! Tradition VS Innovation sparked by Curiosity and united with love! Not to mention the very refreshing creature designs and self-aware humor.

  • Kris Kail

    Free Birds for the win mo*****rs.

  • Mister Man

    From that list, I’m going to go ahead and say that the four nominees will be:

    1) The Wind Rises
    2) Frozen
    3) Monsters University
    4) Ernest and Celestine

    If Ernest and Celestine misses out on a nomination, I will be utterly appalled. Easily the most genuine and beautifully animated film of the year.

    • Animator606432

      I still have to see that film. Is it available on DVD?

  • Joris

    I agree with Mister Man, Ernest and Celestine should *at least* be nominated!

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I predict the following four nominees:
    1.The Wind Rises
    2.The Croods
    3.Frozen
    4.Ernest & Celestine.

  • Inkan1969

    What about “Silver Circle” and “The Last Flight of the Champions”?

    • Eric Graf

      “Silver Circle”, yes. Should be eligible.

      “Last Flight” has not run in LA County yet (Ontario Mills Mall is not in LA County), and I don’t believe there are any plans to do so, so not eligible.

  • Parlitto

    Keep also in mind the Argentinian surprise ‘Metegol / Futbolín / Foosball” movie directed by the Oscar winner Juan José Campanella. I think it all depends on the date of the (still in negotiation) future premiere in USA (because that is a condition for a possible Oscar nomination, right? or maybe not?). It was widely acclaimed by the public (it was just premiered in Argentina at this moment, the worldwide premiere season starts on next November), and it has a very good rating at imdb (voted by more than 900 viewers, I mean not just the team that worked on it :P ). Even better, it was chosen to open the ‘San Sebastián’ festival tomorrow, wich is a rare privilege for an animated movie!!. I hope it’ll have a chance on the Oscars because it really is one of the nicest (and not just talking about ‘animated’) movies of this year.

  • Ken Alexander

    It’s nice to see two Japanese Anime titles, but where is Wolf Children?

    • Fruoit

      If Wolf Children isn’t there it’s not because the Academy didn’t want to but because Hosoda-San didn’t want to. Just like it happened with TGWLTT and Summer Wars, I don’t really get why, those are masterpieces.

  • Jason

    Here’s what I think will be nominated.

    1) The Croods
    2) Monsters University
    3) Despicable Me 2 (wishful thinking)
    4) The Wind Rises
    5) Frozen

    • Jason

      Forgot about “Ernest and Celestine”. I haven’t seen it, but it has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I guess it would get a nomination.

  • Ccs

    A Letter to Momo should definitely win. That film is amazing and Hiroyuki Okiura is one of the best animation directors in the world.

  • ajnrules

    No My Little Pony: Equestria Girls? I assume its premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival before any DVD or television release would qualify it for Oscar consideration.

    • George Comerci

      No, because it got a limited release and it was based off a TV show, so I don’t think it’ll be in the running. A shame, it was a good movie.

    • SarahJesness

      Equestria Girls wasn’t given a wide release. Besides, it wasn’t really that great. Don’t get me wrong, I actually kind of enjoyed it, but it was very flawed and can’t really stand up with the top animated films of the year.

    • AmidAmidi

      The qualification rules are spelled out clearly: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/rules/86/rule02.html
      It has nothing to do with premiering at a film festival, the size of the theatrical release, being based on a TV show or any of the other nonsensical theories being posted here. The rules are clearly stated online and available to all.

      For the record, we don’t know whether MLP: Equestria Girls went through the qualification procedure before its dvd release. My guess is that they didn’t, but a lot of the qualifications happen on the down-low and aren’t revealed until December.

      • Eric Graf

        I was keeping a close eye on it, and can state with about 92% certainty that it didn’t run for seven consecutive days in LA County. So, not eligible.

  • Brill 93

    I personally think either Frozen or Ernest will win I could be wrong but that’s my guest.

  • George Comerci

    My predictions for the four nominees:

    1) Epic
    2) Monsters University
    3) A Letter to Momo
    4) Frozen

  • ed

    What about Santos vs La Tetona Mendoza? Did that ever get released in the states?

  • Ben

    Monsters University will win, Pixar pretty much always wins. To the point where I doubt the oscar judges actually watch half the movies and just vote for whatever Pixar did this year.

    • Mark

      Thats actually pretty close to how the Academy works. It’s rarely ever a fair playing field; theres always politics, bias, and just plain throwaway votes from academy members that don’t bother to watch/listen to all nominees in a category and aren’t qualified to judge that category anyway. Case in point: Brave.

    • TheDisbeliever

      I actually don’t think it will – and I say this despite feeling Pixar wins simply because of the name, time and time again. However, I think that the theme of MU will be it’s weakness. The Academy will balk at giving it to a movie that just re-hashes old college movies. Same reason Ralph was doomed last year. Can’t vote for a video game movie! Even though it was better that Brave.

  • Matt

    Well, if there are only four, my money is on:
    1 The Wind Rises
    2 The Croods
    3 Frozen
    4 Ernest and Celestine
    and if there are five…
    5 Despicable Me 2.

  • Trl

    I just realized that every animated movie nominated for an Oscar is either a mainstream family film or an artsy/indy foreign piece. Why can’t they produce more hardcore, escapist animated movies for adults like Heavy Metal or the Ralph Bakshi stuff?

    • Eduardo M.

      In 5 or 10 years, Otomo might make a film similar to Akira.

  • goliad

    It being Miyazaki’s last film greatly increases the odds that Wind Rises will win, the academy digs things like that. Monsters U will be nominated, and likely Ernest too. If there’s a fourth film, it will be a toss-up… I’d like to see Wolf Children qualify.

    • Andrew Kieswetter

      I’d like to see Wolf Children qualify too. That was truly a delightful movie.

  • Eric Graf

    Looks like Khumba’s in.

    http://laemmle.com/films/37542

  • Lord Sk8er

    Ernest and Celestine is being released in the US??? I had no idea.

  • anonymous

    What about Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury?

  • Peter McKennon

    I choose Turbo, Monsters U, The Croods, and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (I’m gonna see it next paycheck).

  • Vencys lao

    Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury Directed by Luiz Bolognesi won the Annecy!

  • Fruoit

    The Wind Rises (Must Win)
    Monster U
    Ernest and Celestine
    The Croods (or Frozen if it beats them)