best animated feature

A list of twenty-six feature films have been submitted in the hopes of being nominated and ultimately winning Best Animated Feature at the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony. And yes, in case you were wondering, The Emoji Movie and The Boss Baby are among them. Is this one of the worst batches of potential nominees in the category’s history?

The Hollywood Reporter has the full list, which includes the following films:

The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales
Birdboy: The Forgotten Children
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie
Cars 3
Cinderella the Cat
Coco
Despicable Me 3
The Emoji Movie
Ethel & Ernest
Ferdinand
The Girl without Hands
In This Corner of the World
The Lego Batman Movie
The Lego Ninjago Movie
Loving Vincent
Mary and the Witch’s Flower
Moomins and the Winter Wonderland”
My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea
Napping Princess
A Silent Voice
Smurfs: The Lost Village
The Star
Sword Art Online: The Movie – Ordinal Scale
Window Horses The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming

There aren’t too many positive things to say about the mainstream Hollywood films in this bunch. The LEGO Batman Movie was enjoyable, but I can’t imagine a movie that’s so manic taking home the trophy. I’ve heard Cars 3 is better than its reputation indicates. And we haven’t seen Ferdinand yet, so there’s a chance that could be a nice surprise. But The Boss Baby? The Emoji MovieDespicable Me 3? The LEGO Ninjago Movie? Smurfs: The Lost Village? Captain Underpants? That’s quite the collection.

(To be completely fair, I haven’t seen very many of the other movies on this list. But I do want to give a shout-out to My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, which is a cool outlier in this conversation.)

Last year, we saw a record 27 movies up for consideration, and while that batch had a few stinkers of its own (Trolls, The Secret Life of Pets), it also included some truly excellent examples of what the medium can be, like Moana, Your Name, Zootopia, and Kubo and the Two Strings.

The year before that, we saw Minions and Hotel Transylvania 2 enter the fray, but they were offset by Anomalisa, Shaun the Sheep Movie, and Inside Out.

In 2014, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return and Planes: Fire & Rescue attempted to break through, but so did Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, The LEGO Movie, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.

I’m not sure if this year’s submissions are the worst in the category’s relatively short history (Best Animated Feature has only been awarded since 2001), but it definitely seems like the worst since 2013, where Frozen and The Wind Rises were surrounded by films like Turbo, The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Epic, Free Birds, Planes, and The Smurfs 2.

Of this year’s contenders, which do you think will end up taking home the top prize? Seems like Coco pretty much has it in the bag, doesn’t it?

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