Award Season Focus

Animation Oscar Nominations: Full Coverage

This morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its Oscar nominees for the 86th Academy Awards. Below are the four races that are relevant to the animation community.

Of note, Pixar did not receive a nomination this year in either the animated feature or short category. The last time it happened at the Oscars was in 2000, a year in which Pixar did not release a short and in which the animated feature category did not yet exist. [UPDATE: Monsters University director Dan Scanlon issued a response to not being nominated.]

On a tangentially related topic, the Tom Hanks-starring Walt Disney biopic Saving Mr. Banks was almost entirely locked out of the ceremony, earning just one nomination for Thomas Newman’s original score. Anthony Breznican explained in Entertainment Weekly:

Saving Mr. Banks got shut down hard. For a long time it was considered in the top five nominees, but week after week it began to slip. The story of Walt Disney’s battle to make Mary Poppins simply did not have the endurance it needed. And it was also knee-capped just days before voting closed in a rather brutal (and factually challenged) speech by Meryl Streep last week, accusing Disney of being an anti-semite. That could easily have made the difference.

Best Animated Feature


The Croods
Directors: Kirk DeMicco, Chris Sanders
DreamWorks Animation/Fox

Nominee Statement from Co-Director/Writer Kirk DeMicco
“Today’s Oscar nomination is without a doubt the icing on the cake of an eight-year labor of love. We set out to make a film that everyone in the family—especially fathers—can relate to: a story about the power of change. You’d think as an Oscar hopeful I’d be up at 5:30 AM glued to my television, but instead I was in the nursery of my 10 month old twins experiencing the real power of change—that of diapers. This film has taken the work of over 300 talented artists at DreamWorks Animation to produce and on behalf of our entire crew, I send a huge thank-you to the Academy and raise a baby bottle in toast to our fellow nominees!”

Nominee Statement from Co-Director/Writer Chris Sanders
“The challenge of building the world of the Croods was that our reference disappeared a few million years ago. Croods was woven from pure imagination. This nomination is an acknowledgement and reward to the hundreds of artists who worked so hard to bring this very human story to life. On behalf of the entire Croods team, we wish to thank the Academy for this incredible honor.”

Nominee Statement from Producer Kristine Belson
“Wow… WOW! I’m so thrilled and so grateful to the Academy. But mostly, I’m so very proud on behalf of our incredible team of artists who crafted this film, our amazing voice cast, and most of all of our writer/directors Chris and Kirk. They made a movie that was both hilarious and moving and I feel damn lucky to be part of this remarkable team.”


Despicable Me 2
Directors: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures

Nominee Statement from Producer Chris Meledandri
“Receiving this nomination from the Academy is an incredible honor. I could not be more proud of our directors-Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin, my fellow producer Janet Healy, our nominated songwriter Pharrell Williams and each and every member of the Illumination team in Los Angeles and Paris. It is their work that is celebrated by this recognition.”


Ernest and Celestine
Directors: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner
Les Armateurs/Maybe Movies/La Parti Production/Melusine Productions/GKIDS

Nominee Statement from Co-Director Benjamin Renner
“I was delighted to see the nomination for Ernest and Celestine. This is a wonderful recognition for our film and our team just to be nominated in the company of such other great films. It is the best achievement we could ever wish for.”


Frozen
Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Walt Disney Animation Studios/Walt Disney Pictures

Nominee Statement from Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and Producer Peter Del Vecho
Frozen’s journey has gone beyond our wildest dreams. We thank the Academy for this honor and look forward to celebrating the nominations with our crew at Disney Animation today.”


The Wind Rises
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Studio Ghibli/Walt Disney Pictures

Nominee Statement from Director Hayao Miyazaki
“I and my colleagues are deeply honored that the Academy has chosen to nominate The Wind Rises, my last film, for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. It is indeed a privilege for all of us who worked on the film to see it get this acclaim from so far away. I am, personally, very gratified to receive such an honor, and wish to express my sincere gratitude to the members of the Academy and thank everyone who has made the film such a success. I hope that many people will see the film after it opens in North American theaters soon.”

Best Animated Short Film


Feral
Director: Daniel Sousa
Producer: Dan Golden

Nominee Statement from Director Daniel Sousa
“I’m really thrilled and surprised by the nomination. It’s definitely reassuring to see that a small independent film that was produced with almost no budget and in my spare time can garner the recognition that it has. It’s proof that believing in a single vision and trusting your instincts can pay off, and hopefully the film will reach a wider audience this way. There were a lot of really amazing films this year that didn’t make it, so I have no illusions about how subjective the whole process is. But I’m enjoying the ride, and hoping that the recognition will open doors to other animators working alone in their basements.”


Get a Horse!
Director: Lauren MacMullan
Producer: Dorothy McKim

Nominee Statement from Director Lauren MacMullan and Producer Dorothy McKim
“On behalf of the small but mighty crew of hand-drawn and CG artists from Get A Horse!, we want to express our deepest gratitude to the Academy for the nomination. We hoped the short would be seen as a love letter to Mickey, to Walt and to the magic of cinema, and have been overwhelmed by the response.”


Mr. Hublot
Director: Laurent Witz
Co-Director: Alexandre Espigares

Nominee Statement from Director/Producer Laurent Witz
“It’s incredible and fabulous that our project has gone that far in international competitions. I’m at a loss for words to describe what I am going through at the moment. To be nominated among the five finalists at the Academy Awards is a consecration for myself, my co-director Alexandre Espigares, the film team, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and for all the people – like Stéphane Halleux – who took part in this adventure. Three years of intense and passionate work to make a dream come through. I am overjoyed that this film made in Luxembourg, made with the cooperation of the French region of Lorraine, has turned out as bearer of great hopes for the cinema in our greater region.”


Possessions
Director: Shuhei Morita

Nominee Statement from Director Shuhei Morita
“It is a godsend! We are so glad that Possessions has been nominated and will be seen by a lot of people. I’ve struggled for the past few years about, “What is my anime style?” But Possessions is a piece in which I realized that I was satisfied with myself to be able to honestly put my soul in it. With just a few staff, we brainstormed some ideas off each other to come up with this film. We are so glad that such a title is accepted in the world. We are a bit nervous but looking forward to the final awards ceremony come March 2nd.”

Room on the Broom
Directors: Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Nominee Statement from Directors Max Lang & Jan Lachauer
“This is incredible! We tried not to think about the possibility of getting nominated and kept telling each other, this won’t happen…and now…it really did happen! We would like to thank the Academy in the name of the whole team that worked incredibly hard on making this film. This nomination means a lot to us and we’re so happy our film made it this far.”

Best Visual Effects


Gravity
Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds


Iron Man 3
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick


The Lone Ranger
Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier


Star Trek Into Darkness
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Best Music (Original Song)

“Alone Yet Not Alone” from ALONE YET NOT ALONE
Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel

“Happy” from DESPICABLE ME 2
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams

“Let it Go” from FROZEN
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

“The Moon Song” from HER
Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze

“Ordinary Love” from MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Congratulations to all the nominees. The winners will be announced on Sunday, March 2, 2014.