In recent years, there have barely been enough entrants into the Animated Feature Film category to select the full five nominees. This year's run for Oscar, with 16 contenders for the 2006 Animated Feature Academy Award, could be a cheery-toed, prehistoric, commode-swishing, addiction-inducing, monkey-flailing race to the Nomination Ceremony to be held on January 23, 2007.
Astute readers will have gleaned my picks for nomination from the opening paragraph. In no particular order, they include A Scanner Darkly, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Happy Feet, Curious George and Flushed Away.
While I have not seen either A Scanner Darkly or Happy Feet, Richard Linklater and penguins seem to have a certain appeal for the Academy as of late. Curious George has a lasting generational connection and will probably bode well with Academy members. Since “claymation”, a form of stop-action animation, found its home by literally creating an Animated Feature Film category, it hasn’t failed to garner a nomination. Flushed Away is sure to follow this trend.
The only film left is Ice Age: The Meltdown, and quite honestly it could easily be interchanged with either Over the Hedge or Open Season. All three involve animals that talk, have a sense of humor and wrap it up in 100 minutes or less in a cute little package that entertains the kiddies and parents alike. It’s a toss up.
Exceptionally astute readers will have noticed that I have left Cars (gasp) off my nomination list. The last offspring resulting from the Disney/Pixar coupling, Cars is a visually stunning animated feature. However, it disappoints with its lackluster characters and weak story line, ultimately precluding it from receiving my nomination.
A few films won’t make it to the starting gate if they don’t release soon. According to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules, a film must open before December 31, 2006 to be considered as a qualifying run. Happy Feet is due to release in the U.S. on November 17 and Arthur and the Invisibles (a.k.a. Arthur and the Minimoys) releases on a limited basis on December 15. It appears they will both meet the deadline with time to spare.
Unfortunately, IMDb indicates Paprika, a Japanese animé film, is slated for release in the U.S. in March 2007, well after the deadline and the Academy Awards presentation itself. Perhaps the Japanese have a contingency plan for an earlier U.S. release; they have surprised us in the past.
Other nomination hopefuls not previously mentioned include:Powered by Sidelines