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18 Official Contenders in Best Animated Film

November 7, 2011 2 comments

According to the Academy’s press release, there are 18 full length films that have been submitted in the category of Best Animated Feature, this year. As some of you know, there are certain Oscars (including Visual Effects and Documentary Feature) which actually get narrowed down to a series of finalists before the big event. Here is the list of films that have a shot of being nominated in this column:

“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Alois Nebel”
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked”
“Arthur Christmas”
“Cars 2″
“A Cat in Paris”
“Chico & Rita”
“Gnomeo & Juliet”
“Happy Feet Two”
“Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil”
“Kung Fu Panda 2″
“Mars Needs Moms”
“Puss in Boots”
“Rango”
“Rio”
“The Smurfs”
“Winnie the Pooh”
“Wrinkles”

This list is pretty significant for two reasons. For one, the number of eligible films will dictate that there will be five nominees instead of just three. In order for that number to be assured, the Academy dictates that there must be at least fifteen qualifiers. Therefore, as long as all of these films meet their 2011 release dates, five of these films will be going to the Oscars. Since the award’s inception in 2001, we’ve only seen five nominees once in 2009 when “Up” took home the gold (wrongfully, in my opinion, over “Fantastic Mr. Fox”).

Another significant update this news seems to unveil is that “The Adventures of Tintin” will apparently compete as an animated film. Steven Spielberg and Paramount originally put up a fuss that the film should have it’s own category of motion capture media. In response, I like to quote Morgan Freeman from an Oscar round table in 2009 when he qualified “Avatar” and all motion capture projects as “basically cartoons.” Way to be a boss, Red. In the end, I suppose the film’s director conceded, perhaps realizing the film’s real potential at winning the Animated Feature award. It will likely be in a showdown with the year’s other major contender, the gorgeous yet creatively flawed “Rango,” if only since that seems to be the only other likely challenger that isn’t a hodgepodge sequel to a former winner or nominee.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this year’s race is that, for the first time in five years, it appears that Pixar will not be taking home the gold. To find the last time that another studio was able to take down that juggernaut, one must go all the way back to 2006 (the year “The Departed” won Best Picture, to put things in perspective) when “Happy Feet” narrowly beat out “Cars” for the Oscar. Ironically, both films have sequels competing against each other again this season. Since then, Pixar has kept knocking down the competition like bottles in a shooting gallery with films like “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E,” “Up” and “Toy Story 3.” I guess they will have to keep their seats this year and let the mantel pass to someone else.

The way this is shaping up now, I’d say our field will look like:

1. “The Adventures of Tintin”
2. “Rango”
3. “Cars 2”
4. “Puss in Boots”
5. “Happy Feet 2”

Alt 1: “Arthur Christmas”
Alt 2: “Winnie the Pooh”

In reality, the race really is down to those top two. “Cars 2” will make it in just based on the clout of it’s studio. Six months ago, “Puss in Boots” seemed like an odd choice for a contender. Yet the film is performing extremely well, barely dropping a dime in its second weekend from its opening gross. The “Happy Feet” sequel is very much up in the air right now. It will probably need to break the bank in order to stay ahead of the other dark horses.

Keep reading The Edge of the Frame for more updates to this year’s Oscar race. The finalists for Best Documentary Feature shouldn’t be too far away.

Best Original Song Contenders

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been waiting for this to show up for a while. At long last, the AMPAS have released the official list of songs that are eligible to compete for the Best Original Song Oscar. It’s nearly impossible to predict this award unless you have a list to choose from.

Here is the full list:

* “Alice” from “Alice in Wonderland”
* “Forever One Love” from “Black Tulip”
* “Freedom Song” from “Black Tulip”
* “Bound to You” from “Burlesque”
* “Welcome to Burlesque” from “Burlesque”
* “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from “Burlesque”
* “There’s a Place for Us” from “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”
* “Coming Home” from “Country Strong”
* “Me and Tennessee” from “Country Strong”
* “Despicable Me” from “Despicable Me”
* “Prettiest Girls” from “Despicable Me”
* “Dear Laughing Doubters” from “Dinner for Schmucks”
* “Better Days” from “Eat Pray Love”
* “If You Run” from “Going the Distance”
* “Darkness before the Dawn” from “Holy Rollers”
* “Sticks & Stones” from “How to Train Your Dragon”
* “Le Gris” from “Idiots and Angels”
* “Chanson Illusionist” from “The Illusionist”
* “Never Say Never” from “The Karate Kid”
* “To the Sky” from “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole”
* “What If” from “Letters to Juliet”
* “Life during Wartime” from “Life during Wartime”
* “Made in Dagenham” from “Made in Dagenham”
* “Little One” from “Mother and Child”
* “Be the One” from “The Next Three Days”
* “If I Rise” from “127 Hours”
* “When You See Forever” from “The Perfect Game”
* “I Remain” from “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”
* “Dream Big” from “Pure Country 2: The Gift”
* “How I Love You” from “Ramona and Beezus”
* “Darling I Do” from “Shrek Forever After”
* “Noka Oi” from “Six Days in Paradise”
* “This Is a Low” from “Tamara Drewe”
* “I See the Light” from “Tangled”
* “Rise” from “3 Billion and Counting”
* “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3”
* “Eclipse: All Yours” from “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
* “Nothing” from “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too”
* “A Better Life” from “Unbeaten”
* “Shine” from “Waiting for ‘Superman’”
* “The Reasons Why” from “Wretches & Jabberers”

After briefly viewing this list, I believe that my rough predictions would look something like this:

“You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from “Burlesque”
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong”
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours”
“I See the Light” from “Tangled”
“Shine” from “Waiting for ‘Superman’”

“Shine” is probably the most recognizable and publicized song on this list, so I would count it in. Plus, it has the whole cause tie-in which helped out “I Need to Wake Up” win for Guggenheim’s las big film “An Inconvenient Truth.” I would also go with “I See the Light,” as well as “If I Rise” due to the amount of pull that I’m sure Alan Menken and A.R. Rahman still have with the academy. Finally, I would pick at least one song from both “Burlesque” and “Country Strong,” because, well, they’re musicals.

Mike Fleming reports on the exact rules and regulations of how the songs are chosen at Deadline.com. Leave your thoughts or predictions, below, if you life.