The continually growing world of animated film, 2010 has been a quieter year than 2009 with only 15 films having their submissions accepted for Best Animated Feature. This number is one short of the amount required for the category to have 5 nominees, which means that there will be only 3 nominations this year.
In my opinion, the three frontrunning films have been pretty clear since the beginning of the year. My Oscar predictions for Best Animated Feature have not been updated since August, but there is not a thing I would change at this point in the year. Toy Story 3 seems poised to retain Pixar’s stronghold on the category and How to Train Your Dragon has its legion of loyal fans as well. The Illusionist could pull out a surprise win, especially if Toy Story and Dragon split votes, but that is unlikely. Other than that the only thing that could shake up this category would be a Secret of Kells style sleeper surprise.
The fifteen films that are now in the running are:
Alpha and Omega
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
The Dreams of Jinsha
How to Train Your Dragon
Idiots and Angels
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Gaâ€™Hoole
My Dog Tulip
Shrek Forever After
Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue
Toy Story 3
The only film that is noticeably absent is Yogi Bear, which was rejected because it did not contain enough animation. That rejection is what will prevent the film from reaching 5 nominees. Since the category’s inception in 2001, there have only been two years that featured 5 nominees – 2002 and 2009. However, with more animation studios continuing to appear and more foreign countries joining the animated film trend, we are likely to see 5 nominees grow to become the norm.
Not this year, though.