The 15 animated movies of 2010 accepted for consideration in the Academy Awards Best Animated Feature category have been announced. However, only three will be vying for top prize at the Oscars. So which animated movies of 2010 have a chance at landing on the short list? Here’s a look at the top three contenders in my book, as well as the rest of the competition:
‘Toy Story 3’ – Since Pixar can do no wrong, it looks like the toys’ last(?) tale could be the least surprising win at the Oscars. However, as touching as it was to see Andy all grown up and as great as characters like Ken and his magical closet were, I really don’t think this was the best of the animated movies of 2010.
‘The Illusionist’ – It’s hard to put this one in with my top three, since it hasn’t been released in America yet. However, I love French director Sylvain Chomet’s amazing cartoon caricatures and the whimsical worlds he creates with classic animation. Chomet already captured a bit of director Jacques Tati’s creative comedic style in Oscar-nominated ‘The Triplets of Belleville’, and he’s taking it a step further here by using a screenplay Tati wrote before he died. So will audiences fall in love with his story of a fallen vaudeville magician trying to make ends meet? Just be forewarned: this one could be more of a tearjerker than ‘Toy Story 3’.
‘How to Train Your Dragon’ – When it comes to the animated movies of 2010 that have a chance of taking ‘Toy Story 3’ down at the Oscars, this one is definitely my top pick. It’s got a great message; it’s witty; and the action sequences are breathtaking. And, while dragons in animated movies are nothing new, they’ve never been portrayed quite as perfectly they are here. So will Academy Award voters actually go for the more original movie over Pixar if this one earns one of the three Best Animated feature slots? I’m hoping I’ll be just as pleasantly surprised when the Oscars air as I was watching this movie.
So the above are my top three picks for the Academy Awards Best Animated Feature slots, but they’re up against some stiff competition in the rest of the fifteen animated movies of 2010 under consideration.
Villains will vie for a chance to take over the Oscars, in a blue vs. Gru showdown as supervillain-turned-superhero Megamind faces off against the ‘Despicable Me’ criminal mastermind and his minions.
And in the battle of the blondes, our favorite Disney fairy’s feature film ‘Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue’ will have to compete with Rapunzel’s menacing mane in ‘Tangled’.
The Japanese film ‘Summer Wars’ will focus on a math genius whose attempt to solve a mathematical problem causes a parallel world’s collision with Earth, and Chinese film ‘The Dreams of Jinsha’, set in a magical world that is being threatened by a dark energy, rounds out the three traditionally-animated foreign movies competing for one of the three Best Animated Feature slots.
And plenty of animated animals are ready to invade the Oscars, including the owls of ‘Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole’; the wolves of ‘Alpha and Omega’; and some of our favorite pets in ‘Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore’ and ‘My Dog Tulip’.
The Ogre that won the first Academy Award for best animated feature hopes to win yet again for ‘Shrek Forever After’, but another movie featuring a bad-natured star, Bill Plympton’s bizarre ‘Idiots and Angels’, is much more intriguing. It’s the tale of a rude, crude bar patron who sprouts wings and starts doing good deeds, despite his intense desire not to, and it looks like one of the few animated movies of 2010 not making an attempt to be family-friendly (but it still has that fairy tale quality to it).
So will my three picks be the animated movies that end up vying for the Best Animated Feature title at the Oscars? Be sure to check and see which three make the final cut on January 25, 2011, and also be sure to check out the ten Best Picture nominees (some of these animated movies might have a chance at snagging some of those coveted slots, too).