This one feels almost like a lock. I think the top 4 nominees here are going to be pretty hard to knock out. Everyone else is competing for that final spot.
Guillermo Del Toro’s newest masterpiece has all the praise behind it, plus it really did pave its own way. Robert Zemeckis should have taken note as to how to make an original Pinocchio film. It’s not a total lock to win, as some might think. However, if this managed to crack the Best Picture race, I’d call it a lock. Right now, there’s one little pesky film with a great chance of upsetting Pinocchio.
2) Marcel The Shell With Shoes On
This A24 release has been picking up several precursor awards, as critics try really hard to even the playing field. Having seen both films, they’re both terrific and we’d be lucky to have either. It’s funny how big of a presence stop-motion will have this year.
3) Turning Red
Yes, this Pixar film from earlier this year is very much going to get a nomination. Based on the reception for Strange World, it might just be the only nomination. Strange World’s box office failure really does open up that fifth spot. But, this cultural explosion will certainly get Disney at least one nomination.
4) Wendell and Wild
With Henry Selick directing, Jordan Peele producing, and Netflix running the campaign, I just don’t see how this stop-motion film doesn’t get a nomination. The reviews are good, the concept is strong. Without Pinocchio, Netflix would likely throw even more money at it. The only challenge is getting two nominations.
5) Puss in Boots: The The Last Wish
Having not yet opened is a benefit, as minds have not been made up. With Dreamworks behind it, this sequel could surprise. It’s unlikely, but really any of these films could take that fifth spot. This one just has the benefit of still being able to make a splash.
6) Strange World
Once considered a lock, we seemed to overestimate the public’s interest in this film. I can’t imagine there’s a lot of clamoring around still nominating this, but stranger things have happened.
7) The Sea Beast
Having seen most of these nominees, I absolutely refuse to put My Father’s Dragon above The Sea Beast, I don’t care where it came from. The Sea Beast is actually one of the best animated features of the year, and if Netflix pulls a hat trick, it should be for something good… not whatever that Irish animated factory churned out.
8) The Bad Guys
Dreamworks does have more skin in the game. There’s still a shot that this charming spring hit makes it into the final five. Like i said, that fifth spot is wide open.
9) My Father’s Dragon
I hate acknowledging this being as close as this. I did not like this, and I think the only reason its in consideration is because the same studio has been nominated before. But not everything a studio makes is gold. Pixar made Cars 2 for crying out loud.
It’s the only thing for Apple to campaign in this category. Plus, it does have John Lasseter involved, so that could either be a good or bad thing.
11) minions: The Rise Of GRU
This Despicable me shoot off would be pushed by Illumination, which has no other skin in the game. It did well at the box office, if that ends up being a factor.
12) DC League of Superpets
Another sleeper summer animated hit. This one would be a surprise, and likely field By the strength of Keanu Reeves’s vocal performance.
13) Paws Of Fury
With Mel brook’s involvement, this Blazing Saddles for kids could end up being a surprise. I doubt it, but it’s worth mentioning.
The only reason I’m including this is because it is Pixar, and I think this would be the first Toy Story film with zero Oscar nominations.
15) Eternal Spring
Sometimes, a random animated title ends up with an Oscar nomination. Well, I choose this one out of the available titles. It’s the only one I’ve heard of. And even with that, I’m not sure why. I picked it over Apollo 10 1/2, because that is basically rotoscope, and it’s this semi-obscure film from the spring I can’t see getting nominated.