Oscar nominations were announced this week, and the nominees for Best Animated Feature Film are Frozen, The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celestine and The Wind Rises.
After my immediate reaction (yay, Frozen!) I realized that Monsters University had been left out, which is surprising considering Pixar nailed that whole prequel thing. A glaring omission, softened only by Chris Hemsworth’s golden visage as he revealed the rest of the nominees alongside Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
No one is surprised at Frozen, especially since it beat both The Croods and Despicable Me 2 to win the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film. And let’s not forget that in addition to being adapted for Broadway and releasing what is arguably the best anthem to come out of Disney ever, the kingdom of Arandelle and the Imagineers behind it are on fire.
As for Dreamworks’ cave men vs. Universal’s criminal masterminds, it’s hard to say who would win that throwdown. Both The Croods and Despicable Me 2 have well-developed storylines that tug pretty hard on the heartstrings, but when it comes to that extra chutzpah they need to come out ahead Frozen’s Anna, Elsa and even singing snowman Olaf, there aren’t enough macawnivores and minions to make it so.
But I wouldn’t be surprised to see the snowy Disney sisters frozen out by the unlikely bear-and-mouse duo that is Ernest & Celestine or the manga turned visual poetry in likable oddity The Wind Rises. The latter is to be Miyazaki’s final film before retiring as a feature director, so the Academy may throw him a well-deserved bone. Besides, it tends to favor foreign artistic expression, elevating underground cinematic masterpieces into mainstream celebrations of creativity.
Who do you think will win Best Animated Feature Film?
The 2014 Oscars will air on March 2, live from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.