NEW RULES: Academy tweaks qualification for number of Animated Feature nominees

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today several changes to the Oscar nomination process, with modifications to certain category rules.

For Best Animated Feature, the rules were tweaked as follows (my analysis in parentheses):

1. The need for the Board to vote to “activate” the category each year was eliminated, though a minimum number of eligible releases — eight — is still required for a competitive category (in other words, if I understand this correctly, the Animated Feature category is now permanent with no need for the Board to vote on its existence year after year.)
2. If there are eight-to-twelve features that year “two or three of them may be nominated” (previously, a minimum of 3 films would be nominated. This new rule allows the possibility of only 2 films to run against each other – in theory a third, “lesser film”, could be dropped).
3. If 13 to 15 films qualify, a maximum of four films can be nominated (this is a good new tweak, allowing for more than three films to be nominated if less than 16 animated features are released).
4. If 16 animated features are released and qualify, a maximum of five may be nominated (the tweak here allows the committee to nominate less than five films, if they so decide).

The optimist in me feels that these new tweaks won’t change the potential nominees much. To sum up: If 8-12 films qualify, three will be nominated. If 13-15 films qualify, four will be nominated. And if over 16 films qualify, five will be nominated. Read more about the new rule changes in the Academy press release here.


  • http://www.totald.blogspot.com Darlie Brewster

    They should be allowed in the best picture category period. There shouldn’t be an animated feature ghetto.

  • CC

    I didn’t realize they had to vote on the existence of this category every year. That’s ridiculous, I’m glad it’s now here to stay.
    In response to Darlie above, I think there should be a ‘best picture’ and a ‘best live action’ (and not only should animation be included in this best picture category, but documentary as well).

  • Tim Hodge

    Still, by sheer percentages alone, animators have a much better chance of working on an Oscar nominated film than a live action crew. We’re only competing against maybe a dozen other films instead of dozens of other films.

  • http://asteriskpix.blogspot.com Richard O’Connor

    Also important is the changing the minimum length of an animated feature to 40 minutes (same as live action).

    In my opinion, this will open the eligibility to more independent and small studio productions.

  • Vzk

    How fitting, since there may be only two or three animated films this year that aren’t terrible or forgettable. Too bad they didn’t come up with that rule last year, or we might have seen Summer Wars, My Dog Tulip, or Idiots and Angels nominated.

  • http://www.infurnation.com Rodso64

    It still strikes me — always has, since they created the “Animated Feature” category — that the requirement of 16 ‘quality’ films in order to have a proper Academy 5 nominees is ridiculous and biased. Hell, if there are SIX good films in a year, nominate five of them!

  • http://www.joestrike.com Joe Strike

    I won’t be happy until they re-allow rotoscoped films to be nominated. (Like the technique’s MORE dependent on live action than mocapped animation?)