“The Lego Movie” : 2015 Best Animated Feature contenders

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Today, for my weekly 2015 contender rundown, I’m moving on from the big eight categories and looking at one of the in between ones…the Best Animated Feature race.

Since there are far less contenders in this category, I’ll be doing things a little bit differently. Here now are the five particular animated films that I have cracking the unofficial lineup at this point in the year:

1. The Lego Movie – The apparent frontrunner in the category, it’s a huge hit, captured the zeitgeist for a time in the country, and is just an absolute delight. The only concern in my eyes is if it’s just a little too weird for older voters, but I don’t think that’ll be much of an issue at all. It transcends the animation genre, so it would be a perfect winner in this category. Right now, the heavy Best Animated Feature favorite is this one right here.

2. How to Train Your Dragon 2 – If theres another title besides the one in my number one slot that has a chance to upend the race, it’s this one. A high quality sequel, this should be in contention for a tech nod or two on top of this Animated Feature nom, so that could help push it over the top. It has stiff competition from its main opponent, but I’d say not to count this one out at all just yet. A nomination at the very least here is assured.

3. The Boxtrolls – The studio behind Coraline and ParaNorman continues their efforts in this category with another offbeat but likely affecting title. Based on a popular book, this is one of the dark horses that will make things interesting in Best Animated Feature. It’ll have a high bar to clear in order to win, though as long as it’s good, a nomination seems pretty likely.

4. Big Hero 6 – Much of what I just said above could apply here, except this is a Disney/Marvel effort, so if it’s high quality, the money will be there for a huge campaign. If so, it’ll be the other main challenger for the Oscar, though something tells me it might not win. Voters don’t seem to go for superheroes anywhere just yet, so even an animated type of superhero tale likely will be a tough sell. The nomination could end up being its reward, I think. I could be wrong though.

5. Book of Life – You can really just sort of a randomly pick a number five contender here, since the category is still very much developing. I opted to cite this foreign tinged player, as opposed to a studio sequel or just a straight up foreign bit of animation. This one is coming to the screen courtesy of Gulliermo del Toro, so it’ll have a unique vision. Will it get nominated? Stay tuned to find out…

Next in line I’d have these ten contenders (just sans my commentary here) for Best Animated Feature:

6. Rio 2
7. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
8. Pinocchio
9. The Penguins of Madagascar
10. Song of the Sea
11. Mr. Peabody and Sherman
12. The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
13. The Pirate Fairy
14. The 7th Dwarf
15. Canine Team

Stay tuned for another category next week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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