‘Mitchells Vs. The Machines,’ ‘Flee’ Nab New York Film Critics Circle Honors
The Mitchells vs. The Machines, the Sony Pictures Animation feature released by Netflix, has been named the year’s best animated film by the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC).
The NYFCC is an excellent indicator of whether an animated feature will be nominated for an Academy Award, if not necessarily an indicator that the film will win. In the last 20 years of the NYFCC’s animated feature award, the winner has gone on to be nominated for an Oscar 19 times. The only exception was NYFCC’s 2014 winner, The Lego Movie, which missed out on an Oscar nomination.
With this win, it’s safe to say that the Michael Rianda-directed Mitchells is emerging as the key non-Disney major studio contender. Mitchells also picked up a nomination yesterday from the Hollywood Critics Association, alongside three Disney films (Encanto, Luca, Raya and the Last Dragon) and the European co-pro Flee.
Speaking of Flee, the Jonas Poher Rasmussen-directed doc also won an award from the NYCFF for best non-fiction film.
Flee is a tough one to place in this year’s race because the film is also eligible to compete in foreign and documentary categories. So far, distributor Neon has been doing minimal outreach to the animation community and seems to be placing its bets on non-animation categories where voters ironically tend to be more receptive to mature animation.
Recent animation winners of the NYCFF award include The Wolfwalkers (2020), I Lost My Body (2019), and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).
Founded in 1935, the NYFCC has over 30 members representing New York-based daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, and online publications. The NYFCC’s gala awards dinner will be held January 10 at Tao Downtown in Manhattan.