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“Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders

inside out
Today, for the lately in my mostly weekly category by category contender rundown, I’m moving on from the big eight. Yes, I’ve gone beyond those categories and am now looking at one of the in between ones…namely the Best Animated Feature race. It’s one of the last ones that I’m going to do (still deciding on if the technical categories are getting their moment in the sun or not), at least before I take another look at the races towards the winter, so I hope you enjoy…

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

1. Inside Out – The heavy favorite this year is Pixar’s latest masterpiece, which could have bigger fish to fry than just the Best Animated Feature category. It’s an absolute lock for a nomination, probably has the win in the bag, and could also show up in Best Original Screenplay as well as potentially Best Picture as well (not to mention a tech category or two). It’s a special achievement and will be remembered by Oscar in some manner, so it’s just a question of to what extent that will happen. It represents the best chance at a cartoon getting into Picture since the change in how voting is done.

2. The Good Dinosaur – Right now the only threat to the throne for our number one contender is this fellow Pixar release. It’s also a high concept flick, though one closer to some of their other projects. It would be quite the achievement if this turned out better than Inside Out, but that would signal an incredible year for animation. We’ll see if that happens, but for now, this is a solid number two. It also has the potential to show up elsewhere, besides just in Animated Feature, so that’s always a plus for a big contender.

3. Shaun the Sheep Movie – If voters decide to go in a different direction, this is certainly an option. It’s the most European option, so if nothing else, it will give the Academy something else besides Disney/Pixar to look into. They’ve gone for this studio before, at least in terms of nominations, so this isn’t a long shot. At the same time though, there’s no reason to assume that a less than highly seen title like this would beat out at least one blockbuster in the category. It’s a tailor made number three or four, essentially.

4. The Peanuts Movie – A throwback nominee of sorts, at least in terms of what the fillers used to be. The classic comic strip is getting a computer generated flick that spiritually seems to be in line with what ran in the newspapers. I don’t believe that this one has a chance to win, but there’s a decent shot that it could be nominated. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens…

5. The Little Prince – Here’s one I have no idea what to make of, as it could be a prime contender or an also ran. It’s unique, which helps, but might just get lost in the shuffle with the big Pixar offerings and such. Maybe it will surprise, but that would be a bit of a shock. Mostly, it will have to be the nomination spoiler against some of the other contenders below, like Minions and such. We shall see.

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

6. Minions
7. When Marnie Was There
8. The Boy and the World
9. Kung Fu Panda 3
10. Storks
11. Home
12. Monster Trucks
13. The Prophet
14. Underdogs
15. Strange Magic

Finally, here’s five more to wind up with a top 20 for the category:

16. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
17. Maya the Bee Movie
18. Zarafa
19. Robodog
20. Hotel Transylvania 2

Stay tuned for the possibility of another category (one of the tech ones) in the next week or so!

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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