There will be no more than three animated movies nominated in the best animated feature category at this year’s Oscars since only 15 films have been accepted for consideration.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released its list of qualifying films Monday: They include Pixar’s Toy Story 3, DreamWorks Animations’ How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek Forever After and Megamind, Disney’s Tangled and Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, Warners’ Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, Universal’s Despicable Me, Lionsgate’s Alpha and Omega, New Yorker Films’ My Dog Tulip and Sony Pictures Classics’ The Illusionist.
The list also includes director Bill Plympton’s indie-produced Idiots and Angels, the Chinese-produced The Dreams of Jinshaand the Japanese-produced Summer Wars.
Under the rules for the category, in any year in which eight to 15 animated features are released in Los Angeles County, a maximum of three motion pictures may be nominated. In order to trigger a potential five nominees, 16 films would have had to have qualified.
Last year, by contrast, 20 films qualified, and so five movies were nominated. The category, created in 2001, had expanded to five nominees only once before that — for the films of 2002.
Facing the fact that there will be three, rather than five, eventual nominees will be a blow for some of the contenders. While Toy Story is widely considered the favorite in the race, and it is assumed by many that both it and Dragonare likely to secure nominations, a five-nominee field would have allowed several other movies to bask in the limelight of a nomination. Instead, they’re likely to find themselves scrambling for one of the three available slots.
While the current list of qualifiers have met the submission requirements, and after review were also found to have met the technical requirements, four of the movies — Jinsha, Illusionist, Summer and Tangled — must still play one-week qualifying runs in Los Angeles County by the end of the year.
Nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 25.