Oscar nominated Animation

Animation Analysis

While Inside Out was snubbed for best picture, it did receive an impressive nomination for its screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley, which was based on an original story by Docter and co-director Ronnie del Carmen. The other nominated works in the original screenplay category are Bridge of Spies, Ex Machina, Spotlight, and Straight Outta Compton.

Here are the animation nominations:

Animated Feature Film
  • Anomalisa
    dir. Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, pro. Rosa Tran
  • Boy and the World
    dir. Alê Abreu
  • Inside Out
    dir. Pete Docter, pro. Jonas Rivera
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
    dir. Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
  • When Marnie Was There
    dir. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, pro. Yoshiaki Nishimura

Analysis: Even though the winner in this category is pre-ordained (hint: the Disney Company will win for the 8th time in 9 years), the nominees in the category at least managed to be surprising. The surprises came at the expense of Blue Sky’s The Peanuts Movie and Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, both of which had been nominated for Golden Globes and Annie Awards. Those films were knocked out in favor of international features released by New York-based indie distributor GKIDS: Alê Abreu’s The Boy and the World and Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s When Marnie Was There. It marks the seventh and eighth nominations for GKIDS in the last seven years.

Brazilian film Boy and the World represents a watershed moment for the South American animation industry. It is the first time an animated feature from that part of the world has been nominated for the Academy Award. Even more remarkable, as the film’s director Alê Abreu told Cartoon Brew recently, the film’s budget was around half-a-million dollars. The most expensive film in the category, Pixar’s Inside Out, had a reported budget of $175 million, or 350x more.

Aside from Inside Out, the animated feature category is dominated for the first time by non-major modestly-budgeted animated features. Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep Movie was brought in for under $25 million; When Marnie Was There, the third Studio Ghibli nomination in three years, cost around $10.5 million; and the stop motion gem Anomalisa was produced at a reported budget of $8 million (though the actual cost of production was far lower, and Paramount likely inflated the figure with its $5 million acquisition cost).

Other observations: Two stop motion films, two drawn films, and just one CG film. Also, the majority of the films in the category (Boy and the World, Shaun the Sheep Movie, When Marnie Was There) are foreign-made for only the second time in the history of the category. The other time this happened was in 2005, though there were only three nominees that year.

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