16 Animated Features, 5 nominees, 1 winner

Source: A.M.P.A.S.

In what would be the first time since 2002, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is anticipating that the Animation Feature Film catagory for next year’s Oscars will have five nominees.

The 16 features expected to compete for 79th Academy Awards® nominations are:

The Ant Bully
Arthur and the Invisibles
Barnyard
Cars
Curious George
Everyone’s Hero
Flushed Away
Happy Feet
Ice Age: The Meltdown
Monster House
Open Season
Over the Hedge
Paprika
Renaissance
A Scanner Darkly
The Wild

Could this be the year that a Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks Animation film are not declared the victor? The obvious choices for nominations would have to include Cars, Monster House, and A Scanner Darkly. The last two spots are up for grabs, but for this reviewer, I’d reserve a spot for Over the Hedge, thus leaving one space vacant.

Arthur and the Invisibles, Happy Feet and Paprika have not yet had their required Los Angeles releases. If any one of the group were not to meet that requirement, the field in the category would fall below 16, the number required to trigger the five-nominee slate. With 15 or fewer contenders, Academy rules allow a maximum of three nominated features.

Films submitted in the Animated Feature category also may qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they meet the requirements for those categories.

Nominations for the 79th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2007, at 5:30 a.m. PST in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2006 will be presented on Sunday, February 25, 2007, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network at 5 p.m. PST, beginning with a half-hour arrival segment.