“Toy Story 3” tussles with “Tangled,” “Dragon” and more for Oscar glory – FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It’s a tough year to be an animated feature with Oscar aspirations.

Because only 15 films were submitted for consideration this year, there will be three nominations in the Animated Feature category as opposed to the five that were available last year. This isn’t unusual. In the nine-year history of the animation category, there were only two instances where the category had five nominees.

What’s unusual, however, is the quality of the 15 animated films in contention, all but guaranteeing that one or two truly fantastic animated films will be left in the lurch come nomination morning.

The qualifying films are:
“Alpha and Omega”
“Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”
“Despicable Me”
“The Dreams of Jinsha”
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“Idiots and Angels”
“The Illusionist”
“Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole”
“My Dog Tulip”
“Shrek Forever After”
“Summer Wars”
“Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue”
“Toy Story 3”

Yet two of those films have expressed interest in moving beyond the animation “ghetto” and breaking into the Best Picture race.

Early campaign materials asked Oscar voters to consider “How to Train Your Dragon” for Best Picture as well as Animation.

And Disney-Pixar even states emphatically that if this isn’t the year they can win Best Picture– with the highest-grossing film and the best-reviewed movie – then when would it ever happen?

Screeners already have arrived for “Despicable Me,” “Legend of the Guardians” and “Dragon.” Disney sent a “Toy Story 3” script with its package. Other animated films are expected to arrive within days.


And then there’s “Tangled,” which opens in theaters this weekend and is receiving a number of outstanding reviews:

“Tangled is the best animated film from Disney in the past 15 years.” — Tom Long
Detroit News

“The film has the advantage of getting surer and more heartfelt and beautiful as it goes…” — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“An old-fashioned Disney fairy tale gussied up in 3D for the holidays.” — Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

Disney has begun its Oscar push, asking voters to be sure to see it in theaters. Could they also be dreaming of a Best Picture slot?

No matter what happens in the Animated division, the competition will be tough. And more than one of the three films nominated might see themselves represented in other categories – namely Best Picture – when the nomination dust settles.


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