Film News

14 cartoons seek 3 Oscar berths

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Fourteen films have been submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in hopes of securing one of the three nominations available in the best animated feature category.

The contenders are “Bolt,” “Delgo,” “Dragon Hunters,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Igor,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” “$9.99,” “The Sky Crawlers,” “Sword of the Stranger,” “The Tale of Despereaux,” “Waltz With Bashir” “WALL-E” and “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!”

Because there are at least eight but fewer than 16 submissions, a maximum of three movies can share the spotlight when Oscar nominations in all categories are announced January 22.

Disney/Pixar’s “WALL-E” is widely considered the frontrunner to win the Oscar. Competition for the other two nominee slots will include such box office hits as Blue Sky Studio’s “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!” and DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda” and “Madagascar” sequel, which is currently No. 1 at the North American box office.

The submissions also include Israel’s award-winning animated documentary “Waltz With Bashir,” which has emerged as this year’s “Persepolis.”

“Waltz,” Disney’s 3-D “Bolt,” CG fantasy films “Delgo” and “Dragon Hunters,” Australian stop-motion title “$9.99,” Japanese anime titles “The Sky Crawlers” and “Sword of the Stranger” and London-based Framestore Feature Animation’s first title “The Tale of Despereaux” from Universal still await their qualifying runs.

“Bolt” and “Fly Me to the Moon” are stereoscopic 3-D titles.

By next year, the majority of the leading competitors could be 3-D titles, as stereoscopic animated fare scheduled to open in 2009 includes Focus’ stop-motion “Coraline,” DreamWorks’ Animation’s “Monsters vs. Aliens,” Disney’s “Up,” Blue Sky’s “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and Sony Pictures Animation’s “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter