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Monsters University‘s failure to earn an Academy Award nomination for best animated feature marks only the second time a movie from Pixar Animation Studios hasn’t earned a nom since the category was introduced in 2002. Cars 2 was passed over in 2011. While Monsters University did not receive the sort of critical praise that is often lavished on Pixar movies, it proved popular at the box office, where it has taken in $744 million worldwide.
Pixar has a remarkably successful track record in this category, having won seven times, for Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3 and Brave. Monsters University was a sequel to Monsters, Inc., which was nominated in 2002. (DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek won the Oscar that year.)
Monsters University‘s omission also means that for the first time, Pixar will now go two straight years without a nomination in the category. That is because its upcoming The Good Dinosaur has been pushed from a summer 2014 release to Nov. 25, 2015, leaving the studio without a 2014 pic. Dinosaur‘s originally announced director, Bob Peterson, is no longer with the project.
However, Pixar’s sister company, Walt Disney Feature Animation, remains in the Oscar race, having earned a nomination for Frozen.
It is joined in this year’s competition by DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods; Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2; and two foreign films. They are The Wind Rises, respected Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film; and Ernest and Celestine, a well-regarded French-Belgian movie that previously won several honors, including the Cristal Award for best picture at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and France’s Cesar Award for best animated film. Disney is distributing Wind in the U.S., while Ernest is being released by GKids Films.
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