The 2023 Academy Award nominations were revealed this morning, and the big story is Everything Everywhere All At Once living up to that name by placing in nearly every category. The only one it couldn’t be eligible for was Best Animated Film….but here’s who was.
This marks the first year in a while that Disney hasn’t dominated the noms list or is competing with itself. They only have one nominated movie this time, while Netflix has two. Last year we figured the statue would go to Encanto and we were right, but we have no idea which direction things will turn this time.
All we do know is that Oscar judges are famously unqualified to judge animated films and seem to turn their noses up at the medium as a whole. While they will often give the nod to artsy live-action films that aren’t blockbusters, when it comes to cartoons, they tend to lazily toss Oscars to whatever their kids are most into.
TURNING RED: Pixar released two films last year, one that broke nearly every mold the studio had set and one that just reheated old leftovers. Turning Red left a pretty strong impression and was a blast of fresh air: there haven’t been many energetic Chinese female-driven teen comedies set in 2002 Canada lately. On the flip side, Lightyear was probably considered the “safer bet” among Disney execs for 2022, but it’s not on this list and nearly forgotten already.
THE SEA BEAST: Intrepid explorer Jacob Holland and stowaway Maisie Brumble find themselves up against the titular beast rumored to have sunk dozens of ships. But that story turns out to be a bunch of hot air…and protecting it will be much harder. Excellent film, and a sequel is already under way.
GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO: In the works for ten years, the end product is essentially the same story but throws in enough new spins to keep it fresh — like setting the story in Mussolini’s Italy and dealing directly with themes of life and death. The film’s twist on the “real boy” concept is inspired.
PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH: Puss has used up eight of his nine lives, and he’ll be facing the reaper soon unless he can grab onto a wish-granting star before anybody else does. Those who have seen this say it’s the best film in the extended Shrekian universe.
MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON: This one’s placement here is weird, because though the title character is animated, nothing else is — it’s basically a live-action film. There are plenty of CGI-heavy movies that have much more animation in them than this does. But it probably has a better shot here than it would in any other category, so…shrug.
The 2023 Academy Awards ceremony will take place March 12.
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