I love cartoons, I mean “animated” films!

11 Films ‘Toon Up for Oscar
A family of superheroes is vying for Oscar glory. And we’re not talking about the Justice League.
Disney-Pixar’s buzz-heavy ‘toon The Incredibles, which opens Friday, tops this year’s slate of eligible contenders for this year’s Best Animated Feature Film Oscar unveiled by the folks at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
But giving the superheroes a run for their money will be DreamWorks’ megahit sequel Shrek 2 and undersea adventure Shark Tale (which happens to feature a lead character named Oscar), along with Nickelodeon’s upcoming The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and director Robert Zemeckis’ The Polar Express, featuring Tom Hanks in six animated parts.
Thursday’s announcement means Zemeckis can exhale: the Oscar-winning director had feared his film might not qualify in the animation category because it uses a brand new technique called performance capture, for which Hanks and costars acted out their roles in live action, while technicians later converted the performances to CGI.
Other films qualifying include Disney’s Home on the Range and Teacher’s Pet; DreamWorks’ cyberpunk anime thriller by Mamoru Oshii, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence; and Warner Bros.’ Clifford’s Really Big Movie. Sky Blue and The Legend of Buddha round out the list of contenders.
With 11 deemed eligible, the Best Animated Feature category will be activated for the fourth year in a row. The Academy’s 40-member governing board will now whittle the list down to three finalists by Dec. 14.
According to Academy criteria, if more than eight but fewer than 16 flicks qualify, three films will be nominated in that category. If more than 16 qualify, then five films can be nominated. Last year, for instance, because there were fewer eligible films, only three ‘toons made the grade: Brother Bear, The Triplets of Belleville and the winner, Finding Nemo.
This year’s troika will be announced with the rest of the Academy Award nominations on Jan. 25.
The Academy decided to launch the Animated Feature category in 2000. The first new Oscar category in 20 years, which was created at the behest of animators who felt slighted, aims to honor those ‘toons that were shut out of the Best Picture competition and/or were too long for the Animated Short category.
To qualify for Best Animated Feature, a film must be a minimum of 70 minutes, contain more than 75 percent animation and utilize one of three styles: traditional cel drawing, stop-motion or computer-generated animation. They must also open theatrically in Los Angeles prior to Dec. 31.