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BAFTA Awards: ‘Early Man’ Snubbed, ‘Spider-Verse’ Grabs Nomination

For the first time in his legendary animation career, British filmmaker Nick Park has missed out on a BAFTA nomination.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced the nominations this morning for the 2019 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), and Park’s Early Man was noticeably absent. The BAFTA snub on Park’s homecourt is the latest awards setback for the Aardman feature, which has come up short throughout the season and struggled to make inroads with voters.

It’s a particularly notable snub because all seven of Park’s previous films — five shorts and two features — had been nominated for a BAFTA, with five of them winning (including all four Wallace & Gromit shorts). The fifth winner was the 2005 feature Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit; it competed at a time when the BAFTAs had yet to introduce a feature animation award, so it went up for Best British Film and succeeded against four live-action films.

So what were the three films nominated over Early Man for best animated feature? They are Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Fox Searchlight’s Isle of Dogs, and Disney-Pixar’s Incredibles 2.

With Spider-Verse carrying momentum from last Sunday’s Golden Globe win, it would seem like the favorite, but BAFTA voters have been known to make interesting choices in the category, with recent winners including Kubo and the Two Strings and The Lego Movie. So it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see them choose Isle of Dogs over Spider-Verse. The Wes Anderson stop-motion film was produced in the U.K., which might give it an advantage with BAFTA voters.

It should be noted that Alexandre Desplat’s score for Isle of Dogs also picked up a BAFTA nom for best original music.

The BAFTAs have two other categories of interest to us: British animation shorts and special visual effects. The three nominees in the British short category are:

I’m OK directed by Elizabeth Hobbs, and produced by Abigail Addison, Jelena Popović

Marfa directed by Greg McLeod and Myles McLeod

Roughhouse directed by Jonathan Hodgson and produced by Richard Van Den Boom

In the special visual effects category, five films were nominated:

  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  • First Man
  • Ready Player One

The 2019 BAFTA Film awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 10, at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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