Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Animated Feature
So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.
This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.
Today is Best Animated Feature. Which we don’t really need any precursors for, but I guess they help a little bit. Still, we know where this one is at. We can talk about it now.
|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
|2017||Coco||The Boss Baby
Put it this way — Disney or Pixar wins most of these years. You know how many times they’ve not won? Five times. You know how many times they were nominated in those five? Three. One was the first category, where Shrek beat Monsters Inc. One was the second category, where Spirited Away beat both Treasure Planet and Lilo & Stitch. And the third was 2006, where Happy Feet beat Cars. The other two categories, Wallace and Gromit won and Rango won. Disney/Pixar weren’t nominated those years.
This year poses an interesting situation, since the likely winner is neither Disney nor Pixar, and both Disney and Pixar are nominated, but not with their strongest of efforts.
Best Animated Feature
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
This one felt pretty open, but limited all the way through. The thing that threw me was the fact that they opened up voting to the entire category. They had to watch a minimum number of films, including a certain section that were on their specific list. They basically gave you either category one or category two, and you had to see those at minimum. But it was easy to cheat for those who just wanted to vote for their one choice. And last year, Ferdinand and The Boss Baby got on. So I wasn’t sure what that meant.
This year, you could pretty much narrow the field down to about eight choices. These five, plus Early Man, Smallfoot and The Grinch. Smallfoot got no traction, so you didn’t think that would happen. Early Man is Aardman, and they’re always in contention. And the Grinch made a shit ton of money, which could have gotten it on. But it didn’t. We got arguably the “best” category of the major contenders. Sure, it means two lesser Disney/Pixar films, but a foreign film that’s not from Studio Ghibli made it for the first time ever and we got a cool stop-motion movie and arguably the most interesting non-Disney/Pixar studio animated film in a decade. So I think we did okay, all things considered. And, just saying… I did have this category on my ballot. I’m kind of a big deal. You know.
Currently, we only have two precursors in so far, BFCA and the Globes. And they both went to Into the Spider-Verse. The Annies are tomorrow night, and they generally won’t mean a whole lot, but we’ll listen to them. And then BAFTA will be interesting, to see what they do. But again, we don’t need them to tell where this one is situated leading into the ceremony.
5. Mirai — It’s the only foreign nominee on here, and the least amount of people will have seen it. It’s not getting any votes. Maybe it’ll sneak enough to get fourth, but we’re splitting hairs at that point. No one thinks it’s gonna win and if you had to guess what chances all of the five had at winning, you’d have this fifth. The nomination is the reward with this one.
4. Ralph Breaks the Internet — The fact that it’s Disney will get them votes. Namely from Disney employees. Otherwise, this stands no shot at at win. Of all the precursor categories, only three films made them all. And this is not one of those three. This couldn’t even win the first time, losing to Brave, a lesser Pixar effort. What chance does it have here?
3. Isle of Dogs — Credit to Wes Anderson that he’s at least a third choice this time. Well, that’s probably what he was the last time, too. Still had no shot at winning, which is a shame. This movie is great, and is might be the best film in the category. But it’s not gonna win. It’s got no chance. No one’s gonna vote for this. It only makes a third choice because the other two really have no chance. Some die hards will take this, but it’s not gonna sniff top two.
2. Incredibles 2 — Right now, this is the second choice. Because it has no precursors and Spider-Verse has two. However, BAFTA still has to rule. And if this wins BAFTA, that door is still open. I go back to 2012, when Wreck-It Ralph was a popular choice to win it, and Brave still took down the category. Admittedly, Brave did have BAFTA and the Globe, so there’s that. What about 2014? When Lego Movie was left off and people thought How to Train Your Dragon was gonna win? My point is — if left to their own devices, the older contingent who doesn’t watch these movies might just vote for Pixar on impulse. That’s all I’m saying. This is not out of the question for a win. It’s just not. Even if Spider-Verse wins BAFTA, this still could win. Don’t think it will, which is why it’ll remain in second position even if it wins BAFTA, but this is in it until the very end. Pixar is at the point where they will just get votes because they are assumed to be the best. Why do you think Meryl gets nominated every year? This has a chance
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — It’s the number one, and the favorite to win. I’m not gonna believe that it will until it wins BAFTA too. Then I’ll feel confident taking it. But until then, I’m considering this a 50/50 between this and Incredibles. I’m telling you, I know this Academy pretty well. This is not a lock yet. If it wins all the precursors, then it’ll be 80%. It’ll never be 100 until they announce it as the winner. That’s just how this category goes. But right now, this is your favorite, and it should continue being that until Oscar night. It should win pretty easily. My only caution is not to view it as automatic. Because I don’t trust them to not just take Pixar on reflex. And neither should you.
– – – – – – – – – –