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2022 Oscars: Encanto and Flee Score 3 Nominations Each

Their audience may have dwindled over recent years and their relevance may have been in decline, but there's no doubt The Oscars are still the biggest game in town. Otherwise known as The Academy Awards, they definitely remain the most well-known awards ceremony in the world. For animation filmmakers, a nomination in the Best Animated Feature or Best Animated Short categories is a big honour. Not least because they are voted on by their peers in the shorts and feature animation branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

The 94th Oscars will be the second event to take place during the pandemic and will be held on March 27 in Los Angeles. This year a total of 26 animated features from around the world qualified for the ceremony, down from 27 the year before. This year's crop included several features delayed from 2020 due to the pandemic. 

Early in the morning of February 8,  hosts Tracee Ellis Rose and Leslie Jordan announced the list of nominees. And this year both Encanto and Flee pulled off an impressive feat scoring three nominations each.

The five films nominated for Best Animated Feature this year include three hailing from Disney. Walt Disney Animation Studios productions Encanto and Raya And The Last Dragon are nominated alongside Pixar's Luca This is the first time this has happened (and only is possible because Raya was moved from its original 2020 release date). Previously when two Disney or Pixar films were in the mix there has been the question of whether it will split the vote, but how will three fare?

The Mitchells Vs The Machines is only the third film from Sony Pictures Animation to be nominated (fourth if you include The Pirates In An Adventure With Scientists, produced by Aardman and distributed by Sony). One of those nominations was for Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse, which won in 2018, and Sony will be hoping for a repeat this March. Spidey and The Mitchells shares some key creative talent, including executive producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

An exceptionally strong year for mainstream releases meant there was only room for one independent feature this year. Jonas Poher Rasmussen's animated docu-drama Flee was the most likely candidate, already winning many awards elsewhere and also eligible to be nominated in the Documentary Feature category and as Denmark's official submission for the International Feature Film award- and incredibly it was nominated in all three. 

Encanto also scored musical nominations for Best Score and Dos Oruguitas in Best Original Song.  The public will no doubt be asking why We Don't Talk About Bruno, the film's break-out smash hit isn't there instead, but the fact is it wasn't eligible because Disney didn't submit it. Bruno's success has taken Disney by surprise.

Clockwise from Top Left: Affairs Of The Art, The Windshield Wiper, BoxBallet, Bestia and Robin Robin

In the shorts this year, the nominees are Affairs Of The Art from British animation icon Joanna Quinn, Aardman and Netflix's holiday special Robin Robin (directed by Daniel Ojari and Michael Please), The Windshield Wiper from Alberto Mielgo, Bestia from Alfredo Gerard Kuttikatt, Ram Tamez, and Marlijn van Nuenen and BoxBallet from Anton Dyakov.  These five won through from the 15 shorts that made this year's longlist.

The nominees in Best Visual Effects are Dune, Free,  No Time To Die, Spider-Man: No Way Home and Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The 10 Rings