logos1 logos1
Feature Film

18 Qualify for Best Animated Feature

As reported yesterday on CB Biz, 18 films have qualified as eligible to be nominated for Best Animated Film at the 2011 Academy Awards. Here’s a run down of the titles – linked to their trailers on Cartoon Brew and to reader talkback posts (for those that opened in wide in the US). Which do you think will be nominated? Which one has the best chance of winning?

Rango – (talkback)
Kung Fu Panda 2 – (talkback)
Puss in Boots – (talkback)
Rio – (talkback)
Cars 2 – (talkback)
Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil – (talkback)
Gnomeo & Juliet – (talkback)
Mars Needs Moms – (talkback)
Winnie the Pooh – (talkback)
The Smurfs – (talkback)
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Happy Feet Two
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Alois Nebel
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita

The Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 8:30am Eastern/5:30am Pacific. The Academy Awards will be presented on ABC, Sunday February 26, 2012.

  • Andrew

    Boy, what a stinker year! With Cars 2 vomiting all over itself, this one could be anyone’s game! Place your bets, folks!

  • logicalnot

    Kung Fu Panda 2
    Puss in Boots
    Cars 2

    My Winner:

    Their Winner:
    Puss In Boots

  • DonaldC

    Smurfs and the Chipmunk film count as animated features?

    Mars Needs Moms qualified?!

    • JClark

      I’m confused about The Smurfs and The Chipmunks as well. Then again, where is the line drawn? For example, did the live action footage in Walle disqualify it? If not, at what ratio is something no longer considered an animated film? Modern technology is throwing all the old definitions into question… Then again, maybe it’s not a new problem. Were Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Cool World animated movies?

      Also, I’m not sure why you’re questioning Mars Needs Moms? It might not be a great film but it’s animated, so it qualifies. These aren’t the nominees, just the potential nominees. Then again, there’s the whole debate about whether motion captured animation is really animation…

      • m(_ _)m

        “An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of more than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.”

      • Funkybat

        A lot of people would probably like to see all films that rely primarily on mo-cap disqualified for “animated feature.” I guess that debate is probably just considered a squabble between purists by most people at the Academy (if they are even aware of the distinction at all.)

        It’s sad to think that the majority of the moviegoing public is probably not even aware of when a movie is mo-capped, unless that movie went to a lot of trouble to advertise it being so. After what happened with the last few mo-cap films, I doubt Tintin’s US marketing will make any mention of it.

        As for the inclusion of primarily live-action films like The Smurfs and The Chipmunks, that to me is a flat-out NO. Avatar, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings had a lot of animated effects, characters, etc. and no one would consider those to be animated films. I consider Smurfs and Chipmunks to be VFX-heavy live action movies, period.

      • wever

        “…animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.”

        Sorry, but if the animated characters are still walking among an otherwise filmed environment, I don’t call that eligible. They certainly do NOT counter in how much of each FRAME of the film is comprised of animation.

      • Inkan1969

        But wouldn’t that disqualify “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”?

      • Jen

        No– the weak story and very spotty animation would have disqualified roger rabbit.

      • Jen, weak story? Spotty animation? Remember, a few years ago… Happy Feet won the academy award for best animated film. I think your understanding of their terms of qualification are a bit skewed…

  • Probably one of the most dissapointing years, animation feature-wise, that I can remember. I think RANGO is probably in the box-seat to win.

    • Toonio

      Up vote Eddie if you think Rango is going to win!

      Go ILM Go!

    • Abooboo

      Rabbi’s Cat and Cat in Paris were awesome, haven’t seen features as good since Persepolis and Waltz with Bashir, but yes for the more commercial side of animated features it hasn’t been so good,. Rango started off well but the plot seemed secondary to the visuals. I heard good things about but haven’t seen it yet.

  • Mat H

    Are live action films going to have 18 films in each category? It seems excessive.

    • JClark

      There aren’t 18 nominees, there are 18 potential nominees. For live action films, there are likely thousands of potential nominees.

      • Mat H

        JClark, thanks for clearing things up. Makes perfect sense now.

      • someone

        Realistically, there are less than a thousand potential nominees for the Best Picture Oscar every year, but that’s just nitpicking.

    • It’s the rules of the Academy Awards, which I find unfair and ridiculous. Do we really need 16+ films nominated to choose the top five animated films of the year? It shouldn’t be like that…but that’s the Academy Awards for ya.

  • Honestly out of that list I think the best was Winnie the Pooh.

  • Only 4 and a half are handdrawn/2D – out of 18? Skip the Oscars for me this year.

    • wever

      How is this ratio different than any other year of recent?

    • BT

      I don’t think we can blame the Oscars for there not being more 2D animation produced. This is just a list of what was eligible and submitted. Was there a 2D feature made this year that’s not on the list?

      • GhaleonQ

        Of course, but they didn’t meet the eligibility requirements. If only the makers who did do real artwork (hand-drawn or otherwise) showed them in Los Angeles, because this list is almost uniformly atrocious.

  • Some Guy

    Pixar is so going to lose this time…

    • Paul K.

      The only other likely scenario is if Cars 2 doesn’t even get nominated.

      I trust the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will do the right thing and only at most, recognize the technical aspects.

    • Tim Douglas

      I think it counts as a financial win. Surely they didn’t expect an oscar for that.

      Looks like (sigh) it’s Rango this year.

      Dreamworks really could have had this. They’ve shown they can do great things, but put out 2 okay things instead.

      This was not a good year for animated features.

      A Cat in Paris Looks great.

  • Tom D

    It’s anybody’s win this year, thanks to Cars 2. I’m pushing for Kung Fu Panda 2 squeaking out over Rango. I think it’s between the pair of them.

  • Will

    I hope Cat in Paris can get a look in, a wonderful film. Well with a nomination.

  • Mister Twister

    Whoever came up with the rules is a fool; how can you possibly choose just one???

  • I think nominations are all but guaranteed for Rango and Tintin, probably also Puss and Panda. Other than that? Pretty hard to tell this year. I don’t think there’s a clear frontrunner, as there hasn’t been any one truly outstanding animated feature released (so far at least).

  • Aside from seeing 2 2D animated features on the list, the rest makes me want to vomit. I sense Pixar is going to lose this year, if they win. Then YOU KNOW they bribed the awards to win.

    Also…Did they change the no motion capture rule?

    • As an Academy member, I have to tell you that there is no one to bribe.

  • What, Cars 2 and Hoodwinked Too over Arriety?

  • mat

    No Secret World of Arrietty?

    • Pablo

      No, because Disney chose as release date February 2012, and for it to qualify, it needs to be released in Los Angeles before January. They probably did it because of Cars 2.

  • I vote for

    Puss In Boots
    Winnie the Pooh

    and all of the indies. Seriously, it would be a big suprise if any of the indies won.

  • Chris

    Tintin has been getting great buzz – I’d say it’s either Rango or Tintin.

  • Good posting by logicalnot, I mostly agree with his choices.

    Here is my prediction for the nominees and the winner (And I’m sure you can Bank this!):

    Cars 2 (politics, gotta have Pixar nominated)
    Kung Fu Panda 2 (politics, gotta have DreamWorks nominated)
    Happy Feet Two

    My Choice:
    Rango (so far the best animated movie this year! Everything else (including KFP 2) has been a disappointment).

    Annies and Oscars’ Choice:
    Kung Fu Panda 2

  • Nominated:
    -Winnie the Pooh
    – Kung Fu Panda 2
    – Tintin
    I have a feeling Cars 2 won’t get nominated and I’ll be absolutely furious if Smurfs or Alvin and the Chipmunks get nominated(they’re not animated in my book.)

  • Ignominy

    If Cars 2 takes it, the Oscars are fixed.

  • wever

    What’s friggin Hoodwinked 2 doing there?

    • Joshua

      Do you think it isn’t eligible? This is an eligibility list, not a list necessarily based on the quality of the films.

  • Didn’t they declare that mo-cap no longer counts as animation? If so, that means Tintin, Mars Needs Mom, and maybe Happy Feet Two gets disqualified.
    And why the hell do they keep submitting the Chimpmunk films? They get disqualified every time because there’s not enough animation. The Smurfs might meet the same fate.
    Yep, this might be the first time a Pixar movie won’t get nominated. I think (and hope) Rango will win, Rio should get nominated, and all those good looking foreign films should be nominated as well and get a chance to shine.

    • Snagglepuss

      Where are you getting all this Alvin gets disqualified stuff from? You’re commenting on an article where its qualified.

      • Funkybat

        Perhaps the first two Chipmunk films were disqualified from consideration due to lack of animation, but this year there is enough to tip it over some magic threshold. As far as I’m concerned, they could mo-cap Dave and every other human in it along with the Chimpmunks and it still wouldn’t qualify as “animated film.”

        I think it’s probably unthinkable that Pixar wouldn’t even get a nomination, for one thing there is great animation in Cars 2, and the power of the name alone means most Academy members will go for it. I have my doubts about it actually winning, but it will be nominated for sure. If Cars 2 were ignored, and something like the Smurfs or Chipmunks won, that would be a crime.

      • Eric Graf

        Last year’s Chipmunk movie was not disqualified. Obviously it didn’t get nominated, but the Academy did officially declare it an animated feature in good standing.

        Yogi Bear was submitted but did not qualify – because there wasn’t enough animation in it.

        I wouldn’t lose much sleep over the possibility of the Chipmunks or the Smurfs getting nominated if I were you.

      • Rob T.

        It should be noted that it’s possible that one or more of these films may be disqualified, as with Arthur and the Invisibles which was found to have not enough animation content by the Academy’s rules. It’ll be interesting to see if the live-action/animation combos or the mo-cap films stay in.

  • I’ve got a feeling that Rango has the best chance of winning. The film was incredibly well received earlier this year. I don’t know what the critical opinion of Tintin is yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if that film gave it a run for its money.

    However, it seems that one of those two might win due to a severe lack of quality (Smurfs? Hoodwinked Two? and I’m pretty sure no one will take Winnie the Pooh seriously) and Pixar making a huge misfire.

    p.s. Rango is my pick right now but that may change depending on Tintin.

    • Funkybat

      Winnie the Pooh was solid, but it was like a nice dish of comfort food, rather than something that knocks your socks off and makes you go “wow!” I am a 2D fan, but I don’t see it winning. I would hope it at least gets nominated, it was a great revival-type movie, and I think it is better than a lot of the other potential nominees.

      I see Rango, Kung Fu Panda 2, and possibly Puss in Boots as the leaders of the pack, though it would be great to see best picture go to a good indie/small studio film instead of any of the multi-million dollar powerhouses.

  • Baron Lego

    Oof- there’s a lot of duds this time around…

  • Hugo

    I wish Tangled had been released this year. It would have been an easy win, compared to the royal snub it got last year due to there having only 3 nominations and many good animated films.

    • Rob T.

      You said it. I’d say the same of Despicable Me and Summer Wars.

  • I would say RANGO and PUSS IN BOOTS got their nominations save. CARS 2 is as far as I know the worst reviewed Pixar movie ever, but just because it is Pixar, it might get nominated either. I heard TINTIN is pretty good too and because it’s a Spielberg movie, it seems to be a save bet.
    So what’s #5? It might be WINNIE THE POOH, for being well made, cute and enjoyable, but mostly for nostalgia reason. ARTHUR CHRISTMAS gets lots of positive buzz so far, so there is a good possibility. But if you ask me, they need at least one “token foreign piece of art”, so depending on which one is the biggest crowd pleaser, WRINKLE, A CAT IN PARIS, ALOIS NEBEL or CHICO & RITA.
    I give KUNG FU PANDA 2 the benefit of a doubt, but since it wasn’t as well received as part 1, I don’t think that it will be nominated. RIO was maybe a commercial success, but pretty quick forgotten by everybody, so we can count this one out too. HAPPY FEET 2? I don’t know. Something tells me, it will be ignored this time. HOODWINKED, MARS NEEDS MOMS and GNOMEO & JULIET were mostly disliked by critics, so there is no way for them. SMURFS and CHIPMUNKS might be ignored for being both live action with some animated elements in them and I can imagine in case of a nomination, the Academy will lose many members in protest.

  • I know there’s a minimum number of films that have to qualify in order to get five nominees — and last year they were one short so we had to settle for three — but is 18 enough?

    • Eric Graf

      16 is the threshold. Last year we had 15, because they couldn’t keep Yogi Bear on screen for a few more minutes. Yogi must’ve been in cahoots with Mother Gothel.

  • Mars needs moms hands down

  • Snagglepuss

    I haven’t read through the thread, but I’m going to guess 90% of it is grumps venting spleens.

    Anyway, unpopular as it may be on here, my money is on Tintin.

    • Pablo

      I just can’t fully understand the new rules. Supposedly, Tintin is NOT an animated feature, but a mo-cap one. How could it even qualify?

    • joe

      You seem to always have a negative opinion about other’s negative opinions. So you’re not much different, friend.

  • A shame Disney didn’t submit Arietty. Can’t they admit that Cars 2 has no chance and Winnie doesn’t have much more?

    • Funkybat

      Couldn’t Studio Ghibli have submitted it for consideration themselves, or would it have had to go through Disney because they are the No. American distributor?

      If it must go through Disney, there is a very good reason Disney didn’t submit it for 2011, because it will not be released here until 2012, so I would think it could be submitted next year.

      • Eric Graf

        It’s not unusual for “smaller” films to play in one theater for one week to qualify for the Oscar, in the year prior to the “official” release. That way the nomination (if any) serves as promotion for the “upcoming” film.

        It sure worked with The Secret of Kells. And they’re doing it this year with Wrinkles.

      • droosan

        I kinda wish they’d do it with A MONSTER IN PARIS .. but that’s mostly because I want to see it sooner..!

  • Mike

    Between the ones I’ve seen and the ones yet to come out, I think Rango is head-and-shoulders more interesting and well-done than the rest of the mainstream fare. Go Rango!

  • akira

    out of those i’ve seen the clear winner is: Rango!

  • Cardo

    If you check the Academy’s press release from Friday: http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2011/20111104a.html
    it says that 18 features were submitted for consideration.

    It clearly states that they need to meet all of the category’s qualifying rules before they can advance in the voting process.

    They haven’t qualified yet.

    I’m curious to see if with rules changes regaqarding MoCap, Tintin and Mars need Moms wont’ be disqualified.

  • what_in_the_cel

    Holy crap what didn’t get nominated? A good friend of mine is an editor and he told me recently a producer he’s working for is close friends with a guy at the academy and he’s guaranteed a slot if he wants it, and they just starting production. This is why award shows are bullshit. I also feel major production houses shouldn’t be allowed to compete for best animated short, but that’s something else entirely.

    • Captain Hollywood

      I don’t think there’s anything too political about it. I believe It just has to run for a week in New York or Los Angeles. So if you can get a theater to play it, it can qualify.

      • Eric Graf

        Correct, except that it’s a theater in Los Angeles County. So New York City doesn’t count. But Artesia does.

        This list is the submissions, not the eligible/qualified and not the nominees. ANYBODY can submit their movie if they send a form, print, and check. The Academy then determines if it really is a card-carrying animated feature according to the rules, which are pretty doggone specific.

        So w_i_t_c’s friend’s producer IS guaranteed that the movie will be accepted if he follows the rules, gets the qualifying run and submits the movie, but he’s not guaranteed a nomination, no matter what he thinks. Steve Segal describes the nomination procedure below.

      • You are correct that these are the submitted films – but I stand by my statement “qualified as eligible to be nominated for Best Animated Film”. I happen to know that these are the 18 films (no more, no less) that will be screened for the Animation Branch. If one of the few films that hasn’t played LA yet doesn’t open in time, that film will be disqualified. But all of the above have theatrical playdates set between now and December 25th. This is the list the branch will select its nominees from.

      • Eric Graf

        Well, you should certainly know. So The Adventures of Tintin is in? MoCap and all?

    • These were not the nominees, only the ones eligible to be nominated. I’m in the Academy and I can tell you that producer (or the editor) is full of crap. The nominees are selected by the members of each branch and they vote by ballot, there are no secret meetings or guaranteed nominees. Lots of independent animators have won the Oscar over studio productions, especially in the last few decades. And if the studios were excluded, the winning film would not necessarily be the best (which, as always, is extremely subjective).

      • Bud

        “These were not the nominees, only the ones eligible to be nominated”

        believe these are only ones that were “submitted.” That doesn’t mean they’re eligible to be nominated.

    • andreas Wessel-Therhorn

      these are the films eligible for consideration, they are not all nominees, funny that people who are not in the academy always seem to know exactly how it works

  • Jen

    rango is just awful. Certainly worse than Cars 2, and just as juvenile.

    And tin tin won’t seriously be considered because the Academy doesn’t consider it “animation.”

    Seems ripe that a film like My Dog Tulip or Chico & Rita should win this year, since none of the others–least of all rango–attempts to push very far, or are even particularly interesting.

    • Mike

      Instead of just slamming Rango, I’d really like to hear what it was you disliked about it. As someone who sees a lot of animated films, I found it to be both very well-made and entertaining, and I know many others feel this way as well. Elaborate please?

  • It really was a lackluster year in animation.

    However I the most surprisingly entertaining animated film I saw all year (I confess”dissing” it before even seeing it) was Winnie the Pooh. Watched the darn thing 3 times already. SO well made. It was so fun watching it. Those guys deserve an award for something.

    Instincts tell me it’s gonna be Kung Fu Panda 2.

    Also if Tintin wins OR is even nominated I think this is going to open a BIG can of worms in the future. Because if that is the case then films like Avatar will be eligible in the future.

  • The best movies in my opinion were Kung Fu Panda 2 & Puss in Boots, but they are both based on previous material. Same with Happy Feet 2. Winnie the Pooh was charming but not as good as the original shorts. Rango has a lot of support, but I didn’t care for the story or animation, the look was amazing. Advance word has been good for The Adventures of Tintin and Arthur Christmas. The trailer for A Cat in Paris looks interesting and we need to support hand drawn animation. So my nominees (based on only seeing about half of the films):

    Rango (only because I don’t think we’ll get two Dreamworks nominees)
    Puss in Boots
    Adventures of Tintin
    Arthur Christmas
    A Cat in Paris

    The winner: Brad Bird, because we desperately need him to come back and show everyone how to make a great animated feature.

  • Mike

    I’m going with the old school movie for the winner:
    Winnie the Pooh.

    C’mon, the bear’s got ‘WIN’ in his name!

    • Jorge Garrido

      He also has “poo.”

  • Chico y Rica came out in 2010 didn’t even get a general release in the US. Still, the theme seems likely to appeal to the voting academy members although I think Tintin will get the statue.

  • I remember the Ang Lee comments in a making of, about animation, when he “animated” the creature in Hulk
    “Anytime things were overly clean, He’d say (Ang Lee) “”No, that looks like a cartoon”” So the goal here is to not make it look like animation”

    Somehow I sadly laugh at the irony of this. No matter how people insist, 3D NOW is not animation. The characters are “animated” in animation, not “moved” like Hulk or whatever with mocap. Hulk had a need to be moved with mo-cap.
    These guys from Smurfs, Mars needs Moms, or Happy Feet, have no NEED whatsoever to move them with PCs. Iron Giant had a need or even Treasure Planet had a need because it’s a machine moving a machine… EVEN Toy Story! They had a need that REAL toys coming to LIFE (Who would not LOVE that?)… but now… the message of 3D is just scrambled eggs.This reminds me something I read on Facebook

    “People were created to be loved,
    Things were created to be used,
    The reason why the world is in CHAOS,
    Is because things are being loved,
    And people are being used”

    • snip2354

      What happens when a studio lays you off, and promotes the hell out of the show you worked on instead, thereby having the “thing” loved by people for the end of time? They seriously cannot expect you to live off of a brief job you had in the past right? They expect you not to eat, live in an adequate space, or make a living known only by one thing?! They must think we should cremate ourselves!

      People are not loved, but are used. As opposed to a “thing” (a show or movie) that only develops for a few years, people need to develop for decades!

  • CharlieC

    Well we all know who’s not gonna win….. sorry, Mars Needs Mom’s.

  • joe

    I say it’s between Rango and Tintin.

  • someone

    I actually don’t think any film on the list is a lock for a nomination. This as wide open a field as we’re ever going to see.

    However, my prediction:


    Kung Fu Panda 2
    Puss in Boots
    Winnie the Pooh


    Kung Fu Panda 2

  • Wouter

    No Monstre a Paris or Ghibli? That’s a shame.

  • Billy Batz

    Ugh, seeing all those mundane title cards makes me realize all those kiddie films are just sugar cereal for the brain.No art being made here, move along,

  • JMatte

    Aww, was looking forward to maybe have “The Rabbi’s Cat” in there. Guess there were no distribution. Same for “Monster in Paris”. Maybe next year?

    At this moment, my heart goes to Rango. TinTin may be in the running too, but…we’ll see.

    Still need to see what Arthur Christmas and Happy Feet 2 are like. I unfortunately haven’t had the chance to see the smaller studio release, but do wish them good luck to make it to the short list.

  • Lib

    So are these just a selection of all animated films released in the US in 2011 or does it actually take some artistic effort to make it to this stage? I mean, do they vote for this stuff or that doesn’t start until the nominations? Because having names like Hoodwinked Too and The Smurfs in a conversation about Oscar contenders sounds silly.

    • Eric Graf

      As noted in some of the comments above, the article here has it wrong. These are not the eligible movies, they are merely the SUBMISSIONS – IE the movies that mailed their application form, check, and print to the Academy by the deadline. They have not yet been declared eligible.

      In this category it’s considered something of a slap in the face to your own filmmakers if you don’t submit their movie, no matter how wretched it is. I guess the makers of The Lion of Judah can consider themselves slapped, and rightfully so.

      Also, because of the Academy’s wacky 15/16 rule, in which the number of nominees is determined by the number of eligible films, some dreck gets submitted by the major studios in an attempt to get to the magic number 16.

      • Rob T.

        The Lion of Judah was so bad that if it was submitted to the Academy, it should have counted as minus three (-3) films for the purpose of determining whether there were enough movies to merit more than three nominations!

  • wgan

    I remember when CARS came out that year and it lost to Happy Feet; now his twin has well proven that they both truly come from the same stinker family.

  • Ethan

    Wow, I have seen only half the films in that list! There are many late releases and limited releases. The films I haven’t heard of are often my most pleasant surprises of the year. I can’t wait.

    Should Win : Panda-2
    Possible : Rango, Puss, Rio, Tintin, Pooh
    Potent Wildcards : Happy Feet Two, Arthur Christmas, Cat in Paris
    I Don’t Know : Chico and Rita, Wrinkles, Alois Nebel
    Improbable : Gnomeo&Juliet, Smurfs, Chipmunks
    Inconceivable : Cars-2, Hoodwinked-2, Mars-Need-Moms

  • eeteed

    why wasn’t “the illusionist” up for consideration?

    • ajnrules

      Because The Illusionist was already nominated last year…or this year if you want to get technical. It lost to Toy Story 3.

      • eeteed

        pity, that.

        had it been nominated this year it looks like it would have had a better chance of winning.

    • Trevor

      Because it was up for consideration last year.

    • The illusionist was nominated last year.

    • The Illusionist was nominated last year.

    • Ergo

      That’s what I’d like to know.

    • Mike

      Wrong year mate; The Illusionist got an Oscar nomination for the 2010 Oscars but lost to Toy Story 3!

    • Eric Graf

      Because it was submitted **and nominated** last year.

      It got beat by Toy Story 3.

  • Jeffers

    Somebody actually filled out the forms to have Hoodwinked 2 considered for an award? Where is Hop in all of this? Also isn’t puppetry technically a kind of animation? Nightmare Before Christmas was done with puppets and everyone considers it animated. Do the puppets have to be stop motion in order for it to count?

    • Mike

      What? Nightmare Before Christmas was stop-motion!

    • Eric Graf

      Puppetry is not a “frame by frame technique”. Stop motion is.

      That being said, Cats and Dogs II got in last year, and I’m skeptical that a full 75% of that one was animation and not puppets. Moot point, obviously, but y’know.

  • Slinky Dog

    “Winnie the Pooh” deserves to win. It’s not just good compared to other animated movies this year – it’s a really, really great movie. Now, realistically speaking, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that “Rango” probably has a better shot at the award, but it wouldn’t bother me if it won because I liked that movie, too. I’m sure “Pooh” will get a nomination, and I haven’t counted out as a possible winner just yet. The critics liked it (91% on Rotten Tomatoes – as of now, only “Rango” has scored higher), and audiences seem to enjoy it as well. I hope Disney puts together a nice campaign to try to get it the win it deserves.

    I don’t think any of the indie films will be nominated. My predictions for the other three are: “Tintin”, “Kung Fu Panda 2”, and a toss-up between “Rio” and “Puss in Boots”.

  • Slinky Dog

    “Winnie the Pooh” deserves to win, and not just because it’s good compared to other movies on the list. It’s a really, really great movie. Now, realistically speaking, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that “Rango” probably has the best shot at the award, but it wouldn’t bother me too much if it won because I liked that movie, too. But I’m sure “Pooh” will get a nomination, and I haven’t counted it out as a winner just yet. The critics liked it (91% on Rotten Tomatoes – only “Rango” has scored higher), and audiences seem to enjoy it as well. I hope Disney puts together a nice campaign to try to get it the win it deserves.

    I don’t think any of the indie films will get a nomination. My predictions for the other three nominees are “Tintin”, “Kung Fu Panda 2”, and a toss-up between “Rio” and “Puss in Boots”.

  • FigmentJedi

    Huh. And I was expecting A Monster in Paris to be among the submitted films.
    Calling it now that Rango will win then.

  • As always, the Best Animated Feature category will come down to the following: Pixar Movie, Disney Movie, Dreamworks Movie. This year, there could be two more slots, which will be ignored by the people who make the important decisions. Maybe Rango gets a nod…maybe.

    Normally, the Pixar Movie is an automatic lock, but Cars 2 took a serious beating by critics. So that’s going to make things interesting. My guess is that Dreamworks Movie wins this round. Whatever. This category sucks.

    • Eric Graf

      The one you’ve described sure does. So perhaps you’ll like the *actual* nominees and winners a bit better.

    • snip2354

      There’s gonna be furious online users if Cars 2 just gets NOMINATED!

      • Rob T.

        I actually wouldn’t mind if Cars 2 was nominated, unless it turns out that there are at least two all-time classic movies among the ones I haven’t yet seen on the Academy’s list. It’s not Pixar firing all cylinders (so to speak), but it’s a clever, fast-paced, frequently witty riff on the international spy genre (though the suspense could have been pumped up in spots). If I’d rank Cars 2 just under several other worthwhile animated entertainments (Kung Fu Panda 2, Rio and Rango), it’s because I know Pixar can do much better. In the end, the only thing really wrong with Cars 2 is that it’s not going to get an Oscar nomination for the screenplay.

  • tredlow

    Is it just me, or does “Best Animated Feature” just mean “Animated Features that came out this year.”

    • Eric Graf

      Of course not. As with all Oscar categories, they generally only give the award to one movie per year.

  • Rob T.

    This has to be the most dispiriting year for animation at the movies in the short history of the animated features Oscar. I try to see as many of the qualifying films as I can, but of the seven I’ve seen so far none strikes me as more than top-grade entertainment. It doesn’t help that no fewer than seven of these 18 films, all major-studio releases, are either sequels or spin-offs of some sort, and two others are re-visioned versions of beloved comics properties (the Smurfs and Tintin movies) with the potential of alienating fans in a big way.

    Of the remaining yet-to-be-released films only Arthur Christmas stands a chance of competing with early-year releases Rango and Rio as a worthy big-studio original movie. It’s also disheartening to see so few indie/import movies in contention this time (and that none of the ones submitted have aroused as much buzz as Persepolis or The Illusionist or even The Secret of Kells).

    Predicting the nominees is tricky this time because so much depends on what the nominators put at the top of their ballots. I could imagine something like Cars 2 placing number 2 or 3 on a number of nominating ballots, but I can’t imagine many nominators claiming it as their very favorite animated film of the year. At this point, I’d guess the following as nominees:

    The Adventures of Tintin
    Cars 2
    (despite my comment above)
    Kung Fu Panda 2
    Puss in Boots

    Holding off on guessing the winner till I’ve seen more of the eligible films. I’m hoping for good things from Puss in Boots, Happy Feet 2 and Arthur Christmas, and am curious about the positive buzz on the Tintin movie from some quarters. I’m also hoping for at least one worthwhile hidden treasure from indie/import movies Alois Nebel, A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita and Wrinkles. Nonetheless, I’m sure I’m far from the only Brew reader to be more honestly excited about the upcoming Muppet movie than any of the upcoming releases from the Academy’s list.

  • k

    My guess is that the winner’s going to receive a huge amount of uproar…


    I’ll go with Rio just because Blu reminds me of my pet bird.

  • Bob

    Does insider info suggest Arthur Christmas is a stinker? (I’m seriously asking. Not many people here are talking about the film, despite it being from Aardman.)

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    It will be one of these three:

    Kung Fu Panda 2



    I’m disappointed that Arrietty isn’t nominated.

    • Eric Graf

      Arrietty will be eligible for next year.

  • This will be lost in the 102 comments posted here BUT I LOVE the look of “A Cat In Paris” so nice to see art and beautiful color in an animation–and NOT computer polishness–let me see the brush strokes–and it is not rota-scoped. I only saw the trailer so I do not know who will win.

  • No contemporary songs to cross sell on pop radio, just songs that fit the style and story needs.

    No oversized celebrity voices cast largely (not totally) for marketability but not necessarily for suitability.

    No spectacular climactic battle, chase or triumphant win set to swelling orchestral accompaniment.

    No cutting edge technology to vow or impress, just solid character animation and effects when needed.

    No pop culture references or spicy innuendo but still very funny in its own right.

    “Winnie the Pooh,” in its quiet, unpretentious way, may stand out.

    • Slinky Dog

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • MarieMJS

    So I don’t see anyone complaining about the mo-cap and performance captures in that category, am I the only one who thinks it’s a disgrace and that a separate category should be created for these medias? I’m sorry but how can Winnie be possibly nominated in the same category as Tintin?
    This is ridiculous, animated now means “things that are not real and moved 30/25 frames second no matter how it’s done”, and it completely ignores the technics and process.
    I don’t understand, and it even goes against the rules of the animated feature category. Also, mo cap and perf cap are the work of a team, that also includes the actor (Andy Serkis comes to mind), then why not MAKING a difference?
    Make a new category for perf-cap, drop Tintin, Apes, Avatar, and all this stuff in there, but a line needs to be created and fast. Happy Feet winning was already a disgrace, now this is getting out of control. It doesn’t help that most people have no fuckin idea what the difference is and Spielberg keeps on calling Tintin an “animated” film. We might have a vocabulary issue here.

    • Ethan

      Do you know how many animators worked on Happy Feet? That should give you a hint. There’s a very real and very hard limit to what mocap can bring to an animated film, and ALL the rest of the work is from animators. Those who tried using mostly mocap failed miserably, I think it will remain that way in the foreseeable future.

      Your issue is about purity, and that’s a little scary. I disagree with your attempt to rile up people into this crusade against using mocap in an animated film. It exposes the sad purist corners of the industry, trying to convince the world that animation is what THEY decided, and there are no other techniques allowed in their voluntarily segregated corner, it must remain “pure”. This is reminiscent of the pointless battle against CG films in the 90’s. They use computers! It’s not allowed! Should have their own category! No wait, our company just started using computers, it’s allowed now, nevermind. The difference is that economic factors made CG a genuine threat to traditional animation, in a way, and some feared for their jobs, I can understand that. But in the case of mocap, I don’t understand the “fear” aspect of it all. I simply see no threat.

      It’s just a tool, with advantages and limitations. There will certainly be an overlaps of all these tools. I think a crusade against a tool, for the sake of purity of an oscar category, is irrational.

    • droosan

      Yeah .. having worked within both ‘hand-keyed CG’ and ‘mo-cap assisted CG’ pipelines, I’ve observed that there is precious little difference between them .. in fact, the process of modeling, shading and rigging is the -exact- same in both.

      .. and, newsflash: ALL feature animation (even traditional hand-drawn) is a ‘team’ effort.

  • Cath

    I think next year will be a whole lot better:

    Pixar’s “Brave”
    Laika’s “Paranorman”
    Aardman’s “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
    Studio Ghibli’s “The Secret World of Arrietty”

    I’m sure I’m missing a few more that are worthy to be on this list, but I’m especially excited for these four upcoming films.

    • Andrew KIeswetter

      Possibly Studio Ghibli’s ‘From Up On Poppy Hill’ as well.If it gets a US release next year that is.

    • Optimist

      Also Dreamworks’ “Guardians”, set for Nov 2012.

  • I was shocked at how good “Winnie the Pooh” was this year. It was a really, genuinely entertaining film and I’d love for it to be nominated this year.

    My heart belongs to “Rango” though. At the very least it’s the strangest animated movie of the year, and in this world of formulaic entertainment, that means something.

  • Kyle Maloney

    Wow, half of those don’t even deserve the nom.

    • Eric Graf

      And 72% of them won’t get it.

  • Jorgen Klubien

    RIO is a gem!

  • Jason H

    Can I nominate that Goon Trailer?

  • Adam M


    Kung Fu Panda 2
    Puss in Boots
    Winnie the Pooh


  • wever

    My distaste isn’t so much about the quality of these selections. It’s more that so many of them are adaptations in some way. That’s one other reason why so many people think Rango will win!

    • Ethan

      Rango is a genre parody, I don’t see how it’s any more original than either an adaptation, a sequel, or a franchise milking. I have seen too many films and read too many books to even consider the word “original” a quality or not.

      “All novels are sequels; influence is bliss.”
      Michael Chabon

  • Steven M.

    Over half of these are the exact opposite of “Quality.”

  • E. Nygma

    I hope Winnie or Rango take the cake! I am glad so many people are on board for Rango…I think it is the clear winner! If there was some great stuff out this year it might has gotten outshines, but it was better than most of this crap. Kung Fu Panda 2 would be fine too.

    I don’t want to see Rio or Puss. They are just such typical animated films that don’t take any risks. Cars 2 was crap but at least the idea is somewhat atypical, but I don’t want that to win either.

    It’s not going to take much for 2012 to be better than 2011 for animated films. Brave alone might do it!

  • 4eyes

    I cant decide between:
    Cars 2
    Puss in Boots
    Winnie the Pooh
    and I feel like Happy Feet 2 will be pretty amazing as well

  • A typo or mistake in a title may need our attention.
    Since the so-called “Happy Feet Two” was clearly shot on location in the Republic of Iceland ( isn’t it obvious?!)
    the only sensible explanation for the mistake in the title would be that it was lost in translation from the original Icelandic: “Ecstatic Penguins Singing and Dancing Their Brains Out” ( very rough translation), such that the ONLY possible correct title would have to be: “Two Happy Feet”

  • Ethan

    Something surprising is happening with the box office of Puss in Boots. Second weekend didn’t drop at all, third weekend will possibly even rise instead of drop.

    If we follow the logic of this “journalism” article, and add Puss to the meticulous list:

    He said “perspective” so let’s use the same perspective: By this logic, Puss is the strongest film in the history of animation. Strong versus weak, the drop is the primary factor. You have to stand by your twisted logic, don’t you? Here’s another perspective, Panda 2 made 663M. The highest DW box office ever after the shrek sequels. Somehow the drop is REALLY important, until it isn’t. That’s called manipulation of the public opinion. Intuitively people don’t like to vote for films perceived as losers. I don’t think this technique works on any of us voters (I guess it works more on MTV awards or people’s choice), but it did work in the past, so you never know.

  • The Smurfs and The Chipmunks shouldn’t even be on the list, they are both live action films. It’s kinda like adding Jurassic Park to the category and saying it’s an animated classic.

    If anything my votes are on Rango, Tintin, and Winnie the Pooh

    • Ethan

      Let’s be fair, Jurassic Park had 20 seconds of one character in CG.

      Smurf and Chipmunks have almost all of the running time with the MAIN characters in CG. Not going to judge to quality of either film, but it’s definitely eligible.



  • Eric Graf

    Boy did this not get any press! The Smurfs have been found ineligible by the Academy pooh-bahs. Specific reason not given.


    Everything else, including The Chipmunks and the Mo-Cap stuff, is in.