The Oscar race is heating up.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences qualified 17 animated films for the relatively new Best Animated Feature Film category on Wednesday.
Some of the potential nominees are predictable, such as the computer-generated iceberg romp Ice Age and Disney’s two outer space efforts, Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet. Yet, some candidates were somewhat unexpected, such as the faith-based Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie and the Spanish entry El Bosque Animado (The Living Forest).
“It’s a really good representation of the art form,” Glenn Ross, president of Artisan’s family division, FHE Inc., told Reuters. FHE distributed Jonah at a risk, as most Hollywood studios would pass on such material. The film, however, pulled in $25 million at the domestic box office.
The dark film Spirited Away, from Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, also is under consideration and could be an early favorite after it has already gotten best film honors at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival.
The other films on the list include Stuart Little 2, Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights, Eden, Hey Arnold! The Movie, Mutant Aliens, The Powerpuff Girls Movie, Alibaba & the Forty Thieves, The Princess and the Pea, Peter Pan: Return to Neverland, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and The Wild Thornberrys Movie.
Last year nine films were in consideration with only three making it to the nomination list. DreamWorks’ Shrek expectedly took home the prize.