There were no notable omissions, and with such a low number of eligible animated features, relative to the “live-action” variety, almost all were included. However, Valiant--about a pigeon-turned-hero during World War II--is a surprising inclusion since it was widely panned by critics and largely ignored by audiences. The same goes for Steamboy, about a boy inventor in 1860s Britain, which hardly got any play in the U.S.
There seem to be a few frontrunners vying for the coveted top three spots in this relatively new category. Madagascar, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit all have the upper hand, but there is room for a few surprises, including Hoodwinked, which is being released Christmas weekend.
Here are the contenders:
All nominees will be formally announced Jan. 31, 2006, and the Oscar ceremony will take place Sunday, March 5, 2006, in Los Angeles, airing at 5 p.m. PST on ABC.