The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) has spoken, and according to them, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is the best animated film of 2022.
Dean Fleischer-Camp’s Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, the recent winner of the New York Film Critic Circle’s animated feature of the year, was picked as runner-up by the LAFCA.
L.A.’s most important critical award, an endorsement from the Association often telegraphs an eventual Oscar nomination.
Two of the favorites heading into the 2023 best animated feature Oscar race, Pinocchio and Marcel also both picked up Golden Globe nods on Monday, bolstering their awards-season credentials. Although there was a time when it looked like Marcel may not even qualify, the Academy recently clarified that the stop-motion/live-action hybrid does meet its criteria to qualify for the category.
Netflix has done well to notch several animated feature nods in the past (Klaus, Over the Moon, The Mitchells vs. the Machines), but has yet to win the prize. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio looks like the streamer’s best chance yet. Critics are nearly universal in their praise for the film, and it’s topped Netflix’s most-watched lists in numerous countries since launching last week. The film’s cultural impact has been immense too, including a Museum of Modern Art exhibit launched last week.
Marcel is A24’s first shot at an animated feature Oscar, although the distributor has seen plenty of action at the Academy Awards with its live-action fare such as Ex Machina, Room, and Moonlight.
It’s been a heck of a year for stop-motion animation. In addition to Pinocchio and Marcel, three other stop-motion features are qualified for the upcoming 2023 Oscars: Henry Selick’s Wendell & Wild, Phil Tippett’s Mad God, and Mascha Halberstad’s Netherlands-Belgium co-production Oink.
Pictured at top: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On