Oscars 2017 Category Breakdown: Best Animated Feature
Every year, as we lead up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with the category; what the trends are, how the guilds and stuff help (or don’t), etc. I also do it as a precursor to my giant Oscar ballot. I get most of the heavy lifting out of the way here, so that way when I get to the article, I’m just kind of riffing on how I think it’ll turn out and talking myself into all the bad decisions. It’s like college. And this is the pregame.
How these articles work is — I give you all the previous winners and nominees of each of the categories, then tell you how accurate each of the respective guilds and precursors are in what they vote for versus what wins the Oscar, tell you how each of them voted this year, then give you this year’s category, along with a quick rundown of how we ended up with that category (what was a surprise, etc). After that, I rank each of this year’s nominees in terms of how I see them right now in terms of their likelihood to win. Which is nothing more than my perception (notice that underline, even though you won’t) of how the category seems at the moment based on everything I know and have seen. Which will give you a general sense of the favorites.
Today is Best Animated Feature. You know… that minefield.
|Year||Best Animated Feature Winners||Other Nominees|
|2001||Shrek||Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
|2002||Spirited Away||Ice Age
Lilo & Stitch
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
|2003||Finding Nemo||Brother Bear
The Triplets of Belleville
|2004||The Incredibles||Shark Tale
|2005||Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit||Corpse Bride
Howl’s Moving Castle
Kung Fu Panda
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
|2010||Toy Story 3||How to Train Your Dragon
|2011||Rango||A Cat in Paris
Chico and Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine
The Wind Rises
|2014||Big Hero 6||The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Boy and the World
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There
|2016||Zootopia||Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Technically the Annie Awards are a precursor, and all the other big shows hand out Animation Awards, but I think all you need to know in the way of picking this category is right here:
Best Animated Feature
The Boss Baby
The big three (Coco, Breadwinner and Loving Vincent) were locked all the way through. The only question was how the final two were gonna go. And since the new voting system rewards mainstream movies over the more arty choices the guild had been picking, we were left with Ferdinand, which is forgettable drivel, over something really awesome like The Girl Without Hands or Mary and the Witch’s Flower, and ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE THE BOSS BABY.
As much as I wanna be upset that Ferdinand got on… The Boss Baby got on too. So I guess I have to hold in my anger at this new system until they screw it up again next year.
5. Ferdinand — Not a chance in hell this wins. Technically it should be fourth choice, since at least it got good reviews. There’s that stat (which I discovered, mind you) where only three times ever has a film been labeled “Rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes and gone on to be nominated in this category. Even further, only five times ever has a film been nominated below 70%. And the two “Fresh” films below 70% were at 69%. So yeah. That means that, in the end, The Boss Baby is likely the fifth choice based on precedent. But we all know what’s winning this category and what isn’t, so it really doesn’t matter, does it?
4. The Boss Baby — Academy Award nominee The Boss Baby. That’s really all I need. We know it’ll never win. But man, will I down a fifth of bourbon if it does.
3. Loving Vincent — The entire film is comprised of hand-drawn oil paintings. It’s hands down the greatest animated achievement of the year. Still won’t win because not enough people even saw it. And even those who did, such as myself, will admit that the story really isn’t all that great. It’s more of a technical achievement than anything else. The nomination is what it should have gotten. I’m one of the biggest champions of this film that’s out there and even I wouldn’t vote for it.
2. The Breadwinner — Lovely film. Will get some votes. But in the end, not enough people will have seen it and not enough people will be voting for it over Pixar. Probably the second choice by default, purely because of its message and all that. But still… ain’t happening.
1. Coco — It’s Pixar. That aside, everyone loved the movie. The only negative things I heard about it were about the stupid Olaf short beforehand. The one that never ended and sucked. I don’t need to explain this at all. I think this, along with Gary Oldman, is one of the three biggest locks of the night. And even if you think it could lose, you’re not stupid enough to not label this the favorite going in. But hey, you need some sort of empirical data to back it up? How about this? Aside from sweeping the Annies (literally won every category in which it was nominated), and the Globe, and the BFCA, and a bunch of other awards like PGA and DGA and such — since this category started, Pixar has only lost twice for an original animated film. One was the first Animated Feature category, where Monsters Inc lost to Shrek. The other? Cars. Lost to Happy Feet. Every other original Pixar idea since then has won this award. Even Brave, which beat Wreck-It Ralph. And nobody even really liked Brave. Trust me, this is winning.
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