oscars 2019 animated feature

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has officially announced the 25 animated films qualified to compete in this year’s Oscar race. The competing films for the Oscars 2019 animated feature category include Pixar’s superhero sequel Incredibles 2, Disney’s irreverent comedy Ralph Breaks the Internet, Sony’s eye-popping Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Wes Anderson’s quirky Isle of Dogs. But there are a handful of anime films jostling for a slot that may just earn the rare non-U.S. studio nomination.

Hollywood loves to reward its own, but this year could be the year that an anime film not from Studio Ghibli gets recognition. No anime film has earned an Oscar nomination since 2014’s When Marnie Was There, which incidentally was one of Studio Ghibli’s last films. With Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki out of the picture (though both soon to return), no prominent anime studio or filmmaker has yet to take their place, but the rise of U.S. distributor GKIDS could soon change that.

However, anime films like Mirai, Lu Over the Wall, Fireworks, MFKZ, and The Night is Short, Walk On Girl face fierce competition from heavy-hitters like Pixar and Disney, and film circuit favorites like Wes Anderson. Oh, and we know that everyone loves a superhero. All 25 films will be competing for just five slots in the best animated feature category, with Incredibles 2 and Isle of Dogs likely pushed as front-runners. As far as we can tell, it’s Incredibles 2‘s award to lose, as the critically acclaimed film also scored more than $1 billion at the global box office.

The competition has barely begun though, as Variety reports that several of the films have not yet had their Los Angeles qualifying run. All the submitted movies must comply with the qualifying theatrical run before they can even advance to be voted on. Sixteen or more films must qualify for the five slots to be voted on.

See below the list of 25 animated films competing for the Oscar.

Oscars 2019 Animated Feature Competitors

  • Ana y Bruno
  • Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
  • Early Man
  • Fireworks
  • Have a Nice Day
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
  • Incredibles 2
  • Isle of Dogs
  • The Laws of the Universe – Part I
  • Liz and the Blue Bird
  • Lu Over the Wall
  • MFKZ
  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
  • Mirai
  • The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
  • On Happiness Road
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Ruben Brandt, Collector
  • Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
  • Sherlock Gnomes
  • Smallfoot
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • Tall Tales
  • Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
  • Tito and the Birds

Yes, Sherlock Gnomes is competing for that Oscar. That’d be laughable but let’s not forget that last year, The Boss Baby was a nominee. But I’m going to beat my anime drum once again, and say that it’s director Mamoru Hosoda (who is one of the most promising anime filmmakers today) and his film Mirai that should and will break the stigma against anime films at the Oscars. My dream list also includes the always under-appreciated Nick Park, whose stellar Early Man fell by the wayside.

mirai us release

What Should Be Nominated

Incredibles 2

Mirai

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Isle of Dogs

Early Man

Alas, the Academy doesn’t understand animated films, and several voters have admitted to voting with the animated features that their kids like the best. Again, The Boss Baby was a nominee last year. So I’m going to temper my hopes that the Academy will break their anti-anime bias and predict that the category will once again be dominated by Disney, Pixar, and that yeti movie with Channing Tatum. Hey, Smallfoot got a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes — it’s the most likely possibility. The one “artsy” slot will go to Anderson, as the indie darling is finally getting Oscar recognition after years of being overlooked.

Smallfoot Trailer

What Will Be Nominated

Incredibles 2

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Isle of Dogs

Smallfoot

The 2019 Oscar nominations will be announced January 22, 2019 and the ceremony will air on ABC on February 24, 2019.

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