I recap the animation season thus far and handicap the Oscar race in my latest TOH/Indiewire column. Without an early front runner like last year’s Rango, most of the eventual nominees may not have been released, which makes it hard to pin down how strong a year it will be. But that also underscores the current state of the industry: as the technical craft improves and commercial pressures increase, animators and distributors have to fight against complacency.
The big question at the moment is: How many nominees will there be? I’m figuring there will be the requisite 16 releases to nominate five, including the four titles Gkids will qualify before the end of the year. My preliminary thinking is that Brave, Frankenweenie, and Rise of the Guardians will get nominated, with The Lorax, Hotel Transylvania, ParaNorman, Wreck-It Ralph, and Gkids’ From Up on Poppy Hill and Zarafa fighting it out as the most likely contenders for the remaining two spots.