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Oscar Contest: Category Highlight: Best Animated Feature

March 3rd, 2010

With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out which films are the favorites and which should just feel honored to be nominated. Today we look at Best Animated Feature Film, which is the least competitive category that we will be dealing with this year.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Coraline
Tomatometer Score: 89% Positive
Previous Major Nominations: Golden Globes and PGA
Previous Major Wins: None
Annie Nominations: Ten
Annie Wins: Three
Prediction Contest Vote Share: 8 (4th)
Notes: This is one of the least competitive Oscar categories, with Up having a better than 90% chance of winning. Unfortunately for Coraline, even if Up wasn't one of the nominated films, it would only be even money at best. It is a great movie, but it opened very early in the year and history suggests Awards Season voters have short memories. Additionally, there's another stop-motion movie that might split votes with it.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Tomatometer Score: 93% Positive
Previous Major Nominations: Golden Globes and PGA
Previous Major Wins: None
Annie Nominations: Three
Annie Wins: One
Prediction Contest Vote Share: 5 (2nd)
Notes: Like the rest of the non-Up films on this list, this one is a huge underdog. Its reviews are amazing, it was released during the heart of Awards Season, and its director does have some history of Awards Season success. This is Wes Anderson's first animated movie, but I'm not sure how this will affect the voting. Then again, I'm more than 90% sure it won't matter.

The Princess and the Frog
Tomatometer Score: 85% Positive
Previous Major Nominations: Golden Globes and PGA
Previous Major Wins: None
Annie Nominations: Eight
Annie Wins: Three
Prediction Contest Vote Share: 6 (3rd)
Notes: Disney's return to the world of 2D animation (although it is done on computers now). There is a nostalgia factor here that could help the film, but there is traditionally animated competition that will lessen the impact this will have. Given the presence of Up in the list of nominees, the question is moot.

The Secret of Kells
Tomatometer Score: 90% Positive
Previous Major Nominations: None
Previous Major Wins: None
Annie Nominations: One
Annie Wins: None
Prediction Contest Vote Share: 0 (5th)
Notes: A lot of times nominees say, "It's an honor just to be nominated." Usually it is a form of false modesty, but that's not the case here. This film has almost no chance of winning. Its inclusion on this list was one of the biggest shocks when the Oscar nominations were announced. That's not to say it's a bad movie, it's just a massive underdog. It's the smallest film in the list and it has the least studio support backing it. Additionally, this is its only major nomination, while it was shut out at the Annies.

Up
Tomatometer Score: 98% Positive
Previous Major Nominations: Golden Globes and PGA
Previous Major Wins: Golden Globes and PGA
Annie Nominations: Nine
Annie Wins: Two
Prediction Contest Vote Share: 233 (1rst)
Notes: And the Oscar goes to... This film has earned the best reviews on this list. In fact, it has earned the best reviews of any wide release for 2009. It also won the Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes, PGAs, and Annies. Additionally, Up has earned the most Oscar nominations of the five films on this list and is the only one to earn a nomination for Best Motion Picture of the Year. Finally, Pixar has won this award four times in the eight years it has been handed out. This year they make it five for nine.

Conclusion: While there are a few major categories that have one nominee as an overwhelming favorite, if Up doesn't win this award on Sunday, it will be the biggest shock of the night. It's as simple as that.


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Filed under: Up, Coraline, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog, The Secret of Kells