The Academy Changed Their Minds About Richard Linklater's Apollo 10 1/2, Now Qualifies For Animation Oscar

It looks like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided that rotoscoping is, in fact, a legitimate animation process. According to IndieWire, the organization has officially declared that Richard Linklater's "Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood" will be eligible to campaign for the Best Animated Feature category. It was one of three movies mentioned in a statement on movies that seemingly challenged the animation boards, standing alongside the stop-motion "Marcel the Shell With Shoes On" and the hybrid documentary "Eternal Spring." The decision came after all three movies had to submit background materials that proved their determined worth as animated films.

"The Academy is committed to recognizing the innovations within our industry," the Academy wrote in their exclusive statement to IndieWire.

This might be a bit ironic to those who remember why "Apollo 10 ½" was originally disqualified in the first place. According to the Academy's original decision, Linklater's semi-autobiographical film on the space race allegedly used too much live-action footage to qualify for the category. However, this was disputed by both Linklater and animation director Tommy Pallotta, as brief instances of live-action footage were only used to outline characters. Thankfully, it sounds like they submitted the materials to prove this, even though it didn't need to be proven in the first place.

Where to watch these films

Perhaps the best way to learn more about the possibilities that animation can bring is to watch more animated movies. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a genre, but rather a medium that is constantly evolving and changing. While rotoscoping is not a brand-new method of animation (Linklater used it for 2001's "Waking Life" and 2006's "A Scanner Darkly"), actually watching a rotoscoped program can really help you understand how magical the medium is. The same goes for other animation techniques like stop-motion, 3D, and motion graphics.

So, where can you find "Apollo 10 ½" and the other two films reinstated for animation eligibility by the Academy? "Apollo 10 ½" is available to stream on Netflix, having premiered at the SXSW Film and TV Festival earlier this year. "Marcel the Shell With Shoes On," a stop-motion family film starring an adventurous but lonely shell, is available to rent or stream on various digital platforms such as iTunes. Finally, "Eternal Spring," a documentary on the 2002 Changchun broadcasting hijacks, is currently screening in five U.S. states and eight countries around the world with no current plans for home distribution.