When it comes to the nominations for Best Animated Feature Film, I’ll get the easy part out of the way quickly. “Toy Story 3” is going to win because it is the best movie. If it doesn’t win, the Academy will look stupid for having nominated it for best Feature Film. “How to Train Your Dragon” was fun, but a little shticky. “The Illusionist” was the one I wanted to be able to vote for, but as good and enchanting as it was, it fell a little more flat than the Pixar “Return of the King.”
That being said – why are there only three nominations for Best Animated Feature Film? The field was certainly large enough this year. Screw the Academy shortlist and how many were eligible. We should see five choices here and the caliber of releases would make it a good race.
Let me explain. The number of nominations for Animated Feature Film is based solely on how many features were put on the Academy shortlist – the list of movies being considered. That number is used to determine how many nominations are given out.
That completely absurd rule leaves the field bare of some great work that deserves the attention coming off of an Academy nomination. “Idiots and Angels” and “My Dog Tulip” are both great films in their own right. I didn’t enjoy the former, but a lot of people would if they were aware of its existence. The latter was the kind of film I dig and it could use the exposure an Oscar nod would generate. That’s saying nothing of films like “Tangled,” “Despicable Me” and “Megamind,” all excellent films as well.
“Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue” made the shortlist. If it would have received a nomination, direct-to-DVD movies would have gotten some much needed legitimization. A large amount of our yearly animation is delivered this way and it’s time we recognized it as a legitimate distribution model – especially when it produces so much income.
“Toy Story 3” will deservedly walk away with the Oscar, but it will walk away disappointed by a weak race. Animation deserves more than this.