Indie animation distributor Gkids, which last year scored two Oscar nominations for Chico & Rita and A Cat in Paris, has four more offerings in contention this season, helping to ensure five nominees.
Gkids will qualify all four titles in LA in November: From Up on Poppy Hill, the blockbuster Studio Ghibli movie from Japan about gearing up for the 1964 Olympics, directed by Goro Miyazaki from a screenplay by his legendary father, Hayao Miyazaki; Zarafa (Pathe, France), an epic journey that takes a boy and his giraffe from the Sudan to Paris to deliver the majestic animal to the King of France, Charles X; The Rabbi’s Cat (TF1, France), from graphic novelist Joann Sfar & Antoine Delesvaux, set in Algeria in the 1920s, in which a cat learns how to speak after swallowing the family parrot and wants to convert to Judaism; and Le Tableau (Rezo, France), a painterly-looking feature from the legendary Jean-Francois Laguionie, in which painted characters in different stages of completion unite in search of the artist.
Of the four, I’ve only seen Zarafa thus far and it’s very good: the fairy tale story’s engaging and the animation is exquisite (including the desert and Paris).
Gkids also recently announced pickups of Ernest & Celestine from Studiocanal in France and A Letter to Momo from Production I.G in Japan. Both of these movies are slated to compete in the 2013 awards season.