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27 Films Will Compete For 2021 Best Animated Feature Oscar



This year's awards season promises to be like no other. Due to the fact that cinemas were shuttered for the majority of the year in the United States and elsewhere, awards organisations such as The Academy have changed their eligibility criteria temporarily. This year's Oscars will have an extended eligibility window and allow films that debuted on streaming to be submitted- supposedly for one year only, but with the pandemic still ongoing the rules for the 2022 ceremony will likely have to be changed as well. 

The Academy hasn't released a full list of the submitted films for this year's Best Animated Feature award as yet. However, entertainment news site The Wrap has published a list of all the films available for Academy members to view in the online screening room for the category. This should hopefully comprise all the competing films for this year, although there is a slight possibility that the list could change before voting takes place between March 5 and March 10.

With major titles such as Raya and The Last Dragon, Connected and Minions 2 pushed back to this year it was expected that the list would be somewhat shorter. But with streamers and international films picking up the slack, the list is an impressive 27 films, not that much less than last year's record tally of 32.

This year's Academy Awards ceremony will take place later than normal on April 25, with nominations announced on March 15.

Here's the list:


Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Bombay Rose
Calamity
The Croods: A New Age
Demon Slayer: The Movie: Mugen Train
Dreambuilders
Earwig and the Witch
Kill It and Leave This Town
Lupin III: The First
Mosley
My Favorite War
Nos Ili Zagoyor Ne Takikh
No. 7 Cherry Lane
On-Gaku: Our Sound
Onward
Over the Moon
Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs
Ride Your Wave
Scoob!
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Faramageddon
Soul
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run
Terra Willy
Trolls World Tour
A Whisker Away
The Willoughbys
Wolfwalkers
 

The Top Contenders 

 

Onward




Anything Pixar has to be in with a shot of taking home the prize- but with two films in the running this year, will that split the vote? Dan Scanlon's suburban fantasy is definitely seen by most critics as the lesser of the two, but its big heart and sense of invention should score it at least a nomination. Or could it's pure escapism and optimism be just what the voters need in the year 2021 and it pulls off the win?

 

Over The Moon



Former Mouse- House animator Glen Keane's name will go a long way with Animation Branch voters. Despite a switch to CG for his directorial debut, Keane's fingerprints can be seen all over the designs and fluid character animation. For general voters, this animated musical feels like the most Disney film that Disney never made, and it sticks to the formula of what many believe animated films to be. With Netflix making a huge push for awards again this year, expect this to be very much in the running. Over The Moon is also likely to be a contender in the Best Original Song category too.

 

Calamity


 
French animator Remi Chaye follows up his acclaimed Long Way North with a fictionalised story set in the childhood of Martha 'Calamity' Jane Cannary. Picking up the top award at last year's Annecy Festival,  it has already proved its popularity with the animation community. It's eye-catching visuals and adventurous feel make it a real crowdpleaser that should give it a shot with general voters too.

 

Soul


Disney definitely sees Soul as the more prestigious of this year's two Pixar films and is pushing this as their great hope for this Awards season. However, Pete Docter's film isn't quite the nailed-on slam dunk it might have been. Although its reception was more positive than not, the acclaim was not as universal as with Pixar classics like Inside Out or Wall-E. Still, this is the Oscars and this is Pixar, so Soul would still have to be the favourite to take home the trophy this April 25.

 

Wolfwalkers

Cartoon Saloon's first three features all scored Best Animated Feature nominations from the Academy. Will Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart's new film make it four for four? Wolfwalkers is the Kilkenny studio's most ambitious, visually sumptuous film yet (and arguably their best) so surely it seems more than likely bag a place among this year's finalists. It stands a better chance of winning than their past films too, having already picked up 8 wins for Best Animated Films from organisations including New York, Los Angeles and San Diego's Critics Circles. Dare we dream?

 

Trolls World Tour




There's not really any buzz around this one, but DreamWorks Animation films are nominated most years (DWA animators likely make up a sizable portion of the Animation branch) and this was more widely seen than The Croods sequel. Say what you like about the film itself, but the animation itself is definitely excellent and visually distinctive, which will go a long way with the branch members. When it comes to the wider Academy, this is less likely to appeal to the older voters who make up much of the population, but don't be surprised if this at least makes it to the ballot.

 

Shaun The Sheep: Farmageddon


Britain's Aardman Animation are another Academy favourite, winning for both shorts and features in the past. The artistry on display in the stop-motion animation is undeniable, and the film itself is full of charm and slapstick humour. It may be though that it is too slight and too obscure to American audiences to be a real contender. 



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