16 toons in feature Oscar race


Sixteen full-length animated features have qualified to compete in the animated feature film category at the 79th Annual Academy Awards.

Under Academy rules, the full house of qualifiers means that the Academy could nominate as many as five films in the category when nominees are announced Jan. 23. It is the first time since 2002 that that has been the case.

The list includes plenty of movies with talking critters: Buena Vista's "The Wild," DreamWorks Animation's "Flushed Away" and "Over the Hedge," Paramount Pictures' "Barnyard," Sony Pictures' "Open Season," Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Ant Bully" and "Happy Feet" and 20th Century Fox's "Ice Age: The Meltdown."

Other titles to make the cut in-clude Buena Vista and Pixar Animation's "Cars," Fox's "Everyone's Hero," Sony's "Monster House" and Universal's "Curious George" as well as Warner Independent Pictures' indie offering "A Scanner Darkly."

Several films from abroad also qualified: Director Luc Besson's "Arthur and the Invisibles," set for release from the Weinstein Co. and MGM; Satoshi Kon's "Paprika," from Sony Pictures Classics; and Christian Volckman's "Renaissance," from Miramax Films.