More Eligible Animated Films in 2011 Means More Oscar Nominees

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Last year, only 15 animated films were eligible for the Academy Award for Best Animated Film, so there were only three nominees (winner Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Illusionist). But this year, there are 18 films eligible (full list after the jump), so there could be as many as five nominees. Some of them haven’t even come out yet (Happy Holidays, Tintin!), but it’s never too early to guess who’s a shoo-in and who might be snubbed!

Generally, Pixar has at least one sure bet a year. But this year, their big release was Cars 2, and as you might recall, not too many people were very thrilled with that one. Indeed, it was Pixar’s worst reviewed movie since they first started making movies. But that had little, if any, effect on the box office numbers. The possibility of Pixar still filling one of the nominee slots is still pretty good, but would we be surprised if Pixar was passed over? Probably not. (But they won’t be.)

Of course, Pixar is not the only game in town. Rango (Paramount) was a quirky release that even featured its live-action inspiration in the commercials (and who would be turned off by Johnny Depp in a commercial?), and that might be a very good contender as a nominee. Shrek spin-off Puss In Boots (DreamWorks) is also eligible, and it was number one at the box office this weekend, getting good reviews from critics and moviegoers alike. Other eligible films include Kung Fu Panda 2, The Smurfs, Mars Needs Moms, Rio, Winnie the Pooh, Happy Feet 2, and four foreign films, Alois Nebel, A Cat in Paris, Chico and Rita, and Wrinkles.

But then there is the big one we’re really waiting for this year, Steven Spielberg‘s The Adventures of Tintin. There were some questions being raised about whether or not the film would be eligible as an animated film because of its use of motion capture technology, but now it seems like it’s in. We’d like to assume that this is a no-brainer, but there might be some animation purists who don’t find it fitting for the same category as something traditionally animated like Winnie the Pooh. Of course, they had the same questions about computer animation, so maybe everyone is prepared to let that go.

Here is the complete list of eligible films:

Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Cars 2
Hoodwinked Two! Hood Vs. Evil
Gnomeo & Juliet
Mars Needs Moms
Winnie the Pooh
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Happy Feet Too
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
The Smurfs
Alois Nebel
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita

Academy members have a lot of choices this year. Let’s hope that nothing truly great ends up snubbed and that we’re not looking at the list thinking, “Really? … Really?” We’ll find out who will make the final five on January 24, when all the nominees are announced.

(via /Film)

Previously in Animation

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