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Feature Film

Five Nominees for Best Animated Feature?

Oscar contenders
The potential gamechangers in the Oscar race (clockwise from upper left): The Missing Lynx, A Town Called Panic, The Secret of Kells, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure

As Jerry pointed out a few weeks ago, the big question for the animated feature Oscar category this year is whether they’ll reach the magic number of sixteen qualifying features, which triggers the five-nominee playing field. Fifteen qualifying features or less results in only three nominees. It will be close. One of the films that entered, Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone was recently disqualified on a technicality, and it’s unclear whether all of the other films that have been released this year have entered for qualification. The rules are confusing and just because a film is released theatrically in LA doesn’t automatically qualify it; last year, films like Space Chimps and Star Wars: The Clone Wars didn’t bother to enter, thus limiting the category to three nominees.

A five-nominee field is beginning to look like a real possibility. Director Raul Garcia is currently in the process of qualifying his feature, The Missing Lynx: Paws on the Run, while Disney gave Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure a one-week LA run before its dvd release. Jerry reported yesterday that the French-Belgian co-production A Town Called Panic is moving through the qualification process, and Tomm Moore, director of The Secret of Kells, mentioned on his blog the other day that they’re trying to get the film qualified.

In the eight-year history of the animated feature Oscar, there have been five nominees only once. There’s a good chance that 2009 could be the second time.