Sunday, January 4, 2015

Oscars Shortlist Predictions

The shortlists for Best Animated Feature and Best Animated Short in the 2015 Academy Awards are here, and it's looking like they'll be enough contenders for a full 5 nominations in the Best Animated Film category. Sweeeeet.

I'll be honest: I'm always embarrassingly behind when it comes to the Animated Shorts category, but I was astounded by Feast, the Disney short which played before Big Hero 6 earlier this year. If it doesn't take the Oscar, whatever does had better be astounding.

What I have kept up with fairly well this year is feature films. And the (predicted) nominees are...

The LEGO Movie - This is my top pick for nominee and winner. The LEGO Movie surprised critics and audiences alike by not being a horrible product placement film. It was funny, charming, and had an overall feel that felt like a semi-parody of Toy Story in ways. My one concern is, a great film or not, the Academy has always been biased against licenced works and sequels. If the Academy decides they see The LEGO Movie as more of a 1.5 hour commercial than a film, my next pick to win would be...

Big Hero 6 - Disney's Big Hero 6 was a wonderful film and - while it is technically based on a pre-existing property - the connection is so small I can't see the Academy docking it points for it. Baymax is easily the most lovable character of the year, and everyone is still swooning over Disney after Frozen last year. BH6 may give TLM a run for its money.

The Boxtrolls - Speaking of love affairs with studios, the film community's adorable of Laika is honestly the only reason I'm putting The Boxtrolls down as a probable nominee. Reviews for the film were lukewarm at best, but Laika is nothing if not unique and the more traditional claymation in a sea of CGI will likely make the Academy want to give this film a nod.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 - This is probably the biggest risk prediction on the list, because it's a sequel, but HTTYD had a magnificent screenplay and was notable for being one of the most "adult" entries on the list. Since no other original films were extremely notable, I think the Academy will give Hiccup and Toothless another go.

Some Foreign Film (or The Book of Life) - The last slot in a 5-nominee year is almost always taken by some foreign animated film that hasn't even premiered in the states for anyone who isn't in the Academy yet, making it hard for a lowly nerd like me to predict anything specific. There is, however, also a chance the 5th spot could go to The Book of Life this year. While not technically a foreign film, it shows a unique culture. Not to mention, it was visually gorgeous.

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