Oscar intrigue over animation nominations
Something fishy may be afoot in the campaign for the best animated feature Oscar. Indulge us while we list the tedious regulations.
If there are fewer than 16 films eligible for the award, then just three releases get nominated. If there are more than 16, then a full five get the nod. The last time the Academy checked, there were 20 features (among them our own fine The Secret of Kells) vying for the gong, so it begins to look as if we may see, yes, five cartoons in the shortlist.
This has happened only once before in the short history of the award. Seven years ago, Hayao Miyazaki’s great Spirited Away nipped past four lesser American flicks to take the prize.
So, what’s the problem with this year’s line-up? Well, a number of suspicious commentators have noted that some of the animated features being rushed briefly into LA cinemas (the requirement for inclusion) look like the sort of flicks that would normally go straight to DVD. Are some prominent studios flinging second-rate material into cinemas as a way of boosting their prestige releases’ chances of getting an Oscar nod? As Glenn Beck might say, we’re just asking the question.
At any rate, there are really only two films in the race for the statuette. Up is, of course, a huge runaway favourite, but, if the voting animators decide to big-up a master again, Miyazaki’s Ponyo might sneak through on the rails.
Could Ponyo (above) upend Up for animated Oscar?