27 Animated Features Are In This Year’s Oscar Race, Including 6 Films From Netflix
The Academy has released its list of animated features that have qualified for this year’s Oscar race. In total, 27 films have qualified, one more than did last year and well short of the record 32 features in 2019.
Nominations will be announced on January 24, 2023, and the 95th Academy Awards will take place on March 12 at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood.
In August, we first looked ahead at the films we expected to qualify this year, and in September asked a few questions that we hoped Academy voters would consider before picking this year’s nominees.
One note on the official list below: while all have been properly submitted for competition, some haven’t yet had their qualifying release, which must happen by the end of the year.
Here is this year’s list of qualified features:
Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood
The Bad Guys
The Bob’s Burgers Movie
DC League of Super-Pets
Goodbye, Don Glees!
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Minions: The Rise of Gru
My Father’s Dragon
New Gods: Yang Jian
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Run, Tiger Run!
The Sea Beast
Wendell & Wild
Observations on this year’s qualified features:
- This year’s list is once again dominated by a few distributors. Nearly half of the films came from just three distributors/producers: Netflix (6), Disney (4), and Universal (3).
- 2022 has proved a very strong year for stop motion features with five Oscar-qualified films: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Mad God, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Oink, and Wendell & Wild.
- Netflix’s six features – Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood, Drifting Home, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, My Father’s Dragon, The Sea Beast, and Wendell & Wild – are hard to put into context given their extremely limited theatrical presence, with most unable to even crack Netflix’s own Top 10 list of English-language films. Certainly, based on reactions following festival and limited theatrical screenings, Pinocchio stands out as Netflix’s top contender this year.
- Disney has long owned the animated feature category and has qualified four films for this year’s campaign. That said, its two widest theatrical releases – Lightyear and Strange World – were box office duds and received mild reactions, by Disney standards anyway, from critics and audiences alike. Its best-reviewed film of the year, Pixar’s Turning Red, went straight-to-streaming yyet is considered by many to be the studio’s best shot at an Oscar nomination.
- Universal’s qualified films have largely over-achieved at the box office but haven’t quite moved the needle with critics. Dreamworks’ Puss in Boots: The Last Wish comes out later this month, however, and initial reactions from critics and preview audiences have been glowing. That film looks like Universal’s best bet to get a nomination.
- Five of this year’s films come from Japan and China (Run, Tiger Run!; Drifting Home; Goodbye Don Glees; Inu-Oh; New Gods: Yang Jian). This year is lighter on Asian contenders than recent years (2019, 2020, and 2021); last year, there were six titles from Japan alone.
- Contributing to that lack of representation is that Crunchyroll did not qualify any of its three major releases from this year: Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, Jujutsu Kaisen 0, and One Piece Film: Red. Those three also happened to be the highest-grossing anime releases in the U.S. this year.
- Facing outcry from filmmakers and fans alike, the Academy recently reversed a previous decision to exclude Linklater’s Apollo 10 1/2 from qualifying this year based on its use of rotoscope animation. At the same time, the Academy confirmed it would allow Canada’s Eternal Spring and the hybrid feature Marcel the Shell with Shoes On to compete in the category as well.
Pictured at top: Mad God, Turning Red, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish