May 28, 2017

DreamWorks’ “Dragon” would like Best Picture consideration

By Sean O’Connell Was “How to Train Your Dragon” one of the best movies you saw this year? Do you think it has a chance at a Best Picture nomination?

DreamWorks certainly thinks so. The studio expressed its confidence recently by inviting key industry folks in select markets to screenings allowing them to see “Dragon” once again in 3-D. HitFix has decent scans of the invites (though they wisely left the locations off, so as to prevent crowds).

On the invite, DreamWorks asks attendees to consider “Dragon” for Best Animated Feature (or course), as well as Best Picture of the Year.

And why not? It’s still very, very early in the Oscar race, and a studio shouldn’t be faulted for putting a little support behind a beloved title. You never know what kind of traction it might generate.

“Dragon” also has a few important facts in its favor. It was critically praised, with a 98-percent “Fresh” grade on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s only one percentage point behind “Toy Story 3,” which many experts have labeled a definite for a slot in the 10 Best Picture nominations. And it was commercially successful, earning $217 million at the domestic box office earlier this year.

Now, will the Academy see it fit to put two animated features in the Best Picture race (assuming “Toy Story 3” gets in, as well), particularly with a separate category reserved for animation? That’s unlikely. But DreamWorks might be successful in tipping the scales away from Pixar, and this might be the first step in that process.

More on “Dragon” and the annual “For Your Consideration” campaigns as they develop!

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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