Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Oscars: Will Hayao Miyazaki Win Best Animated Feature For 'The Wind Rises'?

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist November 12, 2013 at 2:19PM

The last week or so has seen the animation branch of the Academy start to crystallize their contenders: a list of 19 features have been announced as the submitted films for the Best Animated Feature category, along with a list of 10 shorts. This year sees a fairly major change in the category, with voters on the nominating committee now able to watch the films on screeners, rather than attending special in-theater screenings. They also only have to watch two-thirds of the eligible films (twelve and a half, which we're assuming rounds up to thirteen), rather than the 80% which was the case in previous years.
4
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

So those are the outliers. But what about the studio contenders that are more plausible than the likes of "The Smurfs 2?" We're left with six: two from Disney and/or Pixar, one from DreamWorks, one from Fox, one from Universal and one from Sony. Sony and Universal's films are both sequels, in 'Cloudy With Chance Of Meatballs 2" and "Despicable Me 2." The former is more attention grabbing with its inventive character designs, the latter was a bigger hit (one of the biggest in the genre, as it happens), but neither franchise got a nod the first time around, and it's unlikely to change here.

Fox's "Epic," while mildly disappointing at the box office, at least looked fairly striking. But Blue Sky Studios have never fared especially well with the category (they have a sole nomination, for "Ice Age" in 2003), and the broad action-adventure tone of the film may not make it a favorite with voters. A much better bet is DreamWorks' "The Croods." While not the studio's finest hour, there was enough impressive animation in the film (and of course, likely campaigning power from the company) that we should seem them bouncing back after missing out on a nomination last year.

Frozen

And then there's Disney. Pixar's "Monster University" might have been mildly disappointing by their standards, but they've traditionally dominated the category. That "Cars 2" is their sole movie since the inception of the category to miss out might give some pause, but this was certainly better regarded than that was, so barring a real shock it should be a nominee. But the Mouse House's best chance at a win comes from "Frozen," which hits theaters in a couple of weeks. Though it looked on the surface like an ice-themed level from a "Tangled" video game, the early reviews have been stellar (read ours here), and given that it'll be the last major film to hit release, it'll be fresh in the memory. Remarkably, Disney have never won for an in-house film (Pixar or Studio Ghibli imports having dominated), but "Frozen" might be their best bet yet. That said, "Tangled" missed out on a nomination in 2011 despite good reviews and monster box office, so maybe it's not the home run we think it is?

The Wind Rises

And "Frozen" doesn't have a free route to the prize, because Disney also have a movie by an absolute master of the form. And in fact, "The Wind Rises" is said to be the last film by Studio Ghibli mastermind Hayao Miyazaki, making it an immediate milestone. We found the film to be an extraordinary achievement in Venice, and the reviews are mostly stellar, so this would likely figure in even if its director wasn't retiring. But the idea of honoring Miyazaki one last time seems almost too good to pass up.

There are some roadblocks. The film is quite different from the director's other work, less fantasy based, and more grown-up. And there's been some controversy at home about the politics of the film (mostly misjudged, we'd argue). But perhaps most important is that Disney are distributing. Will the benefits of being able to put "Academy Award winner" in the ads when the film is released outweigh the desire to get "Frozen" the statue? It's likely to be between the two movies, and there'll be plenty of back and forth over the next few months.

Best Animated Feature Predictions - Tuesday November 12th

"The Croods"

"Ernest & Celestine" 

"Frozen"

"Monsters University"

"The Wind Rises"

Best Animated Short Longlist

"Feral" (dir. Daniel Sousa)

"Get A Horse!" (dir. Lauren MacMullan) - Disney

"Gloria Victoria" (dir. Theodore Ushev)

"Hollow Land" (dir. Uri Kranot and Michelle Kranot)

"The Missing Scarf" (dir. Eoin Duffy)

"Mr. Hublot" (dir. Lauren Witz & Alexandre Espigares)

"Possessions" (dir. Shuhei Morita)

"Requiem For Romance" (dir. Jonathan Ng)

"Room On The Broom" (dir. Max Lang & Jan Lachauer)

"Subconscious Password" (dir. Chris Landreth)


This article is related to: Awards, Academy Awards, Oscars, The Wind Rises, Frozen, Monsters University , The Croods, Ernest et Celestine, Awards Season Roundup, Features, Feature


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates