Sunday, August 05, 2018

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE (91st)

AUGUST PREDICTIONS

ESSENTIAL LOCKS

1. ISLE OF DOGS (23 March, Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Kunichi Nomura, Jason Schwartzman
Producers: Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, Scott Rudin
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Greta Gerwig, Tracy Walker, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Balaban, Scarlett Johansson, Courtney B. Vance, Kunichi Nomura, Tilda Swinton

Plot (IMDb): Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy's odyssey in search of his dog.

Pre-Oscars Citations:
Nomination, Golden Berlin Bear, Best Film, Berlin International Film Festival

This could end up being one of the most critically acclaimed films (animated or otherwise) of the year, though there is some controversy (silly, IMO) about the "appropriation" of Japanese culture. A nomination is a pretty sure bet, but a win would be hard because of Incredibles 2.

2. INCREDIBLES 2 (15 June, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Brad Bird
Producers: Nicole Paradis Grindle, John Walker
Cast: Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Catherine Keener, Sophia Bush, Jonathan Banks, Bob Odenkirk, Isabella Rossellini, John Ratzenberger, Brad Bird, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner

Plot (IMDb): Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.

Pre-Oscar Citations:
None

Finally, the long-anticipated sequel of the much-loved blockbuster The Incredibles. It has largely wowed audiences and critics, so it can easily win this category over the less mainstream Isle of Dogs.

MOST LIKELY

3. RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT-RALPH 2 (21 November, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Directors: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore
Writers: Phil Johnston, Pamela Ribon
Producer: Clark Spencer
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Kristen Bell, Taraji P. Henson, Mandy Moore, Auli'l Cravalho, Kelly Macdonald, Allan Tudyk, Ming-Na Wen, Idina Menzel, Ed O'Neill, Jane Lynch, Anika Noni Rose, Jodi Benson

Plot (IMDb): Six years after the events of "Wreck-It Ralph," Ralph and Vanellope, now friends, discover a wi-fi router in their arcade, leading them into a new adventure.

Pre-Oscar Citations:
None

Another sequel of another highly regarded animated film. This looks like it's going to be even more fun, and the addition of the Disney princesses may prove to be irresistible to the voters. This one can even upset.

POSSIBLE

4. SMALLFOOT (28 September, Warner Bros.)

Director: Karey Kirkpatrick
Writers: Glenn Ficarra, Karey Kirkpatrick, Sergio Pablos, John Requa
Producers: Glenn Ficarra, Bonne Radford, John Requa
Cast: Zendaya, Gina Rodriguez, Channing Tatum, Common, Danny DeVito, James Corden

Plot (IMDb): A Yeti is convinced that the elusive creatures known as "humans" really do exist.

Pre-Oscar Citations:
None

The plot sounds like a lot of fun and probably has not-so-subtle digs at the lack of inclusivity and tolerance in today's society. It's got a pretty mean voice cast, too.

5. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (14 December, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing)

Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Writer: Phil Lord, based on characters created by Brian Michael Bendis, Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Sara Pichelli
Producer: Christina Steinberg 
Cast: Shameik Moore, Mahershala Ali, Liev Schreiber, Brian Tyree Henry, Nicolas Cage, Hailee Steinfeld

Plot (IMDb): Spider-Man crosses parallel dimensions and teams up with the Spider-Men of those dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.

Pre-Oscar Citations:
None

Why not? All things Marvel are hot now, Miles Morales brings major representation, and the trailer looks sick.

6. Early Man (16 February, Lionsgate)

Director: Nick Park
Writers: Mark Burton, James Higginson
Producers: Richard Beek, Peter Lord, Nick Park, Carla Shelley, David Sproxton
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams

Plot (IMDb): Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home.

Pre-Oscar Citations:
None

7. Night Is Short, Walk on Girl (22 August, Fathom Events)

Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Writer: Makoto Ueda, based on the novel by Tomihiko Morimi
Producers: Junnosuke Itô, Noriko Ozaki
Cast: Gen Hoshino, Kana Hanazawa, Hiroshi Kamiya

Plot (IMDb): The story of the titular girl known only as "Otome" and her insanely long night of partying and drinking-complete with a book fair, festival, and many adventures in between. It is also the story of "Senpai," her upper class man who has been attempting to get closer to her by "coincidentally" running into her again and again. However, on this night, meeting up with her may be the greatest challenge of his life.

Pre-Oscar Citations:
None

8. The Grinch (9 November, Universal Pictures)

Directors: Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier
Writer: Michael LeSieur, based on the book by Dr. Seuss
Producers: Christopher Melendandri, Scott Mosier
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch

Plot (IMDb): A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.

Pre-Oscar Citations:
None

9. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (27 July, Warner Bros.)

Directors: Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail
Writers: Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic, based on characters created by Bob Haney, Bruno Premiani, Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic
Producers: Will Arnett, Peter Rida Michail, Peggy Regan
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell, Halsey, James Corden, Will Arnett, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Greg Cipes, Hynden Walch, Scott Menville, Lil Yachty

Plot (IMDb): A villain's maniacal plan for world domination sidetracks five teenage superheroes who dream of Hollywood stardom.

Pre-Oscar Citations:
None

10. Mirai (TBA, GKids)

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Writers: Mamoru Hosoda
Producers: Yuichi Adachi, Takuya Itô, Genki Kawamura, Yuichiro Sato
Cast: Haru Kuroki, Moka Kamishiraishi, Gen Hoshino

Plot (IMDb): A young boy encounters a magical garden which enables him to travel through time and meet his relatives from different eras, with guidance by his younger sister from the future.

Pre-Oscar Citations:
None

Other Contenders:
The Ark and the Aardvark
Attack on Titan: The Roar of Awakening
Boonie Bears: The Big Shrink
Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer
Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Treasure Island
Duck, Duck, Goose
Fireworks
Hodja and the Magic Carpet
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Inzomnia
The Legend of Charro Negro
The Legend of Muay Thai: 9 Satra
Lu Over the Wall
Luis and the Aliens
Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
Marcianos vs. Mexicanos
Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors
Maya the Bee: The Honey Games
Pokémon the Movie: Everyone's Story
Sherlock Gnomes
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
Troll: The Tail of a Tail
Uru in Blue
White Fang

"Never Too Early Predictions" (March 2018)
1. Isle of Dogs
2. Incredibles 2
3. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2
4. The Grinch
5. Smallfoot
6. Early Man
7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
8. Batman Ninja
9. Teen Titans Go! to the Movies
10. Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero

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