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Best Animated Feature - 2020

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The Annecy Film Festival's feature competition lineup has been announced--that festival is taking place online this year--so I figured that now is a good time to start a thread for the category. There's several questions to consider for this category.

 

- How would the postponing of the awards affect the category and its nominations? Which films will choose to vie for next year with a theatrical release?

- How will straight-to-streaming affect the chances of films like Trolls: World TourScoob!, and The Wolf House?

- How about the animated films released straight to Netflix like The Willoughbys be affected?

 

This might be a category to keep an eye on...

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14 minutes ago, SLAM! said:

The Annecy Film Festival's feature competition lineup has been announced--that festival is taking place online this year--so I figured that now is a good time to start a thread for the category. There's several questions to consider for this category.

 

- How would the postponing of the awards affect the category and its nominations? Which films will choose to vie for next year with a theatrical release?

- How will straight-to-streaming affect the chances of films like Trolls: World TourScoob!, and The Wolf House?

- How about the animated films released straight to Netflix like The Willoughbys be affected?

 

This might be a category to keep an eye on...

Anything that was intended before the middle of March to have a theatrical release this year but ended up going straight to VOD can qualify.

 

Onward and Soul are the only two movies that are sure to be nominated. In most years the former would probably be snubbed but with a barren field and being the biggest box office casualty of COVID-19 it's as safe as anything even with its "Lesser Pixar" status.

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I've done it in the past, so I'll do it again now. These are the films in competition at Annecy--hopefully, one of them surges to become an Oscar contender:

 

  • 7 Days War (Japan) - An anime film based on a novel.
  • Bigfoot Family (Belgium, France) - A sequel to The Son of Bigfoot.
  • Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary (France, Denmark) - A female-driven western from the director of Long Way North.
  • Ginger's Tale (Russia) - Russian fantasy film.
  • Jungle Beat: The Movie (Mauritius) - An alien grants African animals the ability to speak. This is a children's film based on a episodic show, but as a feature film, it's historic for the country of Mauritius.
  • Kill It and Leave This Town (Poland) - A somewhat disturbing surrealist film ruminating on a childhood in 1970s Poland. This film previously received favorable reviews at the Berlin Film Festival.
  • Lupin III The First (Japan) - A CG-animated feature featuring a well-known Japanese character.
  • Nahuel and the Magic Book (Chile, Brazil) - A film in which a boy finds a magical book and sets out to rescue his father.
  • Little Vampire (France) - A vampire living in a haunted house with other Halloween-type monsters ventures out to interact with outside folks.
  • The Nose or Conspiracy of Mavericks (Russia) - Critique of Stalin-era communism.

This is an exciting lineup, but for the competition, I think it's between Calamity and the Polish film.

 

The films in the competitive Contrechamp section include:

 

  • Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery (Croatia)
  • Beauty Water (South Korea)
  • The Knight and the Princess (Saudi Arabia, Egypt)
  • Lava (Argentina)
  • The Legend of Hei (China)
  • My Favorite War (Latvia, Norway)
  • The Old Man--The Movie (Estonia)
  • On-Gaku: Our Sound (Japan)
  • The Shaman Sorceress (South Korea)
  • True North (Japan, Indonesia)

Currently, the highest-profile films in Contrechamp are Legend of Hei and On-Gaku.

 

Well, I figured I'd list all of the feature films in competition. Some of these films might not be able to surge to an Oscar nomination, but a few could have a chance.

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I think Connected looks like it has a cool animation style. think it looks good for a nomination if it gets released. There's also Netflix's Over The Moon which will be the feature directing debut of animation legend Glen Keane (he won the short oscar a couple years ago for the Kobe thing)

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I think there's three high-profile foreign films that have a chance.

 

Ride Your Wave by Masaaki Yuasa has a chance. Gkids decided not to submit it last year, and it had a theatrical release through Fathom Events last February (which ended up being beautiful timing). In such a dry year, the more serious animation voters might seize the chance to nominate a film by Yuasa.

 

The Bears' Invasion of Sicily, which I think is a French film, is in a similar boat to Ride Your Wave. The film was at last year's Toronto festival and everything, but it wasn't submitted to the category last year--which means this year is last chance junction for the film's submission.

 

There's also The Wolf House; the filmmakers took the opportunity to release the film on their website during this time, and I think it'll end up being eligible. It's a disturbing stop-motion film from Chile with political connotations that currently has a 92 on Metacritic. I think it might have a chance.

 

I think it's important that films like these are submitted at all, because this could be the first year in a long time where it's only three nominees in the category. Any amount of submission less than 16 means only three films are nominated. And there's only a few films from Hollywood this time. Assuming they're all released in time, there's OnwardTrolls: World TourScoob!Soul, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the RunConnectedThe Croods 2. That's it. I don't think The Willoughbys will count--which is a shame. So if Netflix and other streamers don't have anything up their sleeve, that's only seven films. So that's a whopping nine films that need to come from other sources to unlock a five-nominee field. I think it's possible, but it could be a challenge. And, personally, I really don't want a three-nominee field. That's not fair to the brilliant indie/foreign stuff that would be snubbed without hesitation. I guess we'll see what happens!

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44 minutes ago, SLAM! said:

.

 

I think it's important that films like these are submitted at all, because this could be the first year in a long time where it's only three nominees in the category. Any amount of submission less than 16 means only three films are nominated. 

this rule was actually axed a year or two ago it's just a straight five now

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2 minutes ago, CoolioD1 said:

this rule was actually axed a year or two ago it's just a straight five now

 

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This means we could have some fascinating nominees...

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Two other indie/foreign films I've just now thought of that could make excellent submissions to the category:

 

Bombay Rose debuted at TIFF last year, but wasn't submitted for the Oscars--which means it can be submitted this time.

 

Studio Colorido (Penguin Highway) also has their next film, A Whisker Away, debuting on Netflix in June. The film was originally intended for release in Japanese theaters, so there's no doubt in my mind that it'll be eligible for submission to the Oscars.

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