Though the Academy Awards won’t take place until next February, us critics are already all abuzz about which movies from this past year stand a fighting chance of earning Oscar gold. And though the jury is still out on some major categories, especially Best Actress and Best Picture, we now have a pretty solid idea of which films might be contending for a smaller but still extremely competitive category – Best Animated Feature.
2014 has been a great year for animation, from The LEGO Movie way back in February right up to Big Hero 6, which opens this Friday, so it should be interesting to watch so many accomplished titles duke it out for that coveted golden statuette. Personally, I’m still rooting for The LEGO Movie, which may have faded from voters’ minds considering its early release date but still stands (in my opinion) as one of the most visually engaging, brilliantly imagined films of the year.
Now, the below titles are eligible to be nominated, but we won’t know the nominees until January 15th. Still, speculation is half the fun, so go ahead and sound off below with your predictions for what will make the cut. From where I’m standing, the safe money is on The LEGO Movie (which was well-received enough that it may end up on some critics’ top ten lists next month), The Book of Life (the most visually splendid film of the year), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (a crowdpleasing sequel to a past nominee), Big Hero 6 (which is shaping up into a box office smash and has drawn rave reviews) and probably The Boxtrolls (never count out Laika, even though the film didn’t do as well as the studio’s past efforts). I could also easily see The Tale of the Princess Kaguya sneaking into the Boxtrolls‘ spot, but that outcome just doesn’t seem quite as likely.
Check out the list of all the eligible titles, and let me know your picks below.
The Eligible 2015 Best Animated Feature Films
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
Henry and Me
The Hero of Color City
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
The Lego Movie
Minuscule – Valley of the Lost Ants
Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Penguins of Madagascar
The Pirate Fairy
Planes: Fire and Rescue
Rocks in My Pockets
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya