Friday, November 09, 2018

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE (91st)

NOVEMBER PREDICTIONS

MOST LIKELY

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 for Best Film, Berlin International Film Festival
Win, Best Animated Film, Atlanta Film Critics Circle
Nomination, Best Motion Picture-Animated, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)

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:
Win, Best Animated Feature, National Board of Review
Nomination, Best Motion Picture-Animated, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Win, Best Animated Film, Philadelphia Film Critics Circle

Finally, the long-anticipated sequel of the much-loved blockbuster The Incredibles is finally upon us. It has largely wowed audiences and critics, even if it doesn't match the fervor over the first, so it can easily win this category over the less mainstream Isle of Dogs.

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:
Nomination, Best Motion Picture-Animated, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)

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. The reviews so far aren't very strong, but the competition from the other titles is rather weak.

MAYBE

4. 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

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:
Win, Best Animated Film, New York Film Critics Circle
Win, Best Animated Feature, Detroit Film Critics Society
Nomination, Best Motion Picture-Animated, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)
Win, Best Animated Film, Chicago Film Critics Association

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

5. 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. Reviews and box office are not stellar but good, and in this category, that's sadly all it takes for an American production to win a nomination over more critically acclaimed foreign releases, especially with the new voting system. But watch for Mirai to get the magical GKids push and probably get maestro Mamoru Hosoda his first Oscar nomination.

6. Mirai (30 November (limited), GKids)

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Writer: 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:
Nomination, Best Motion Picture-Animated, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes)

7. 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

8. Ruben Brandt, Collector (TBA, Sony Pictures Classics)

Director: Milorad Krstic
Writers: Milorad Krstic, Radmila Roczkov
Producers: Milorad Krstic, Janos Kurdy-Feher, Péter Miskolczi, Hermina Roczkov, Radmila Roczkov
Cast: Iván Kamarás, Gabriella Hámori, Zalán Makranczi

Plot (IMDb): A psychotherapist suffers violent nightmares inspired by legendary works of art.

Pre-Oscar Citations:
None

9. 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

10. Dr. Seuss' 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

Other Contenders:
Ana y Bruno
Fireworks
Have a Nice Day
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
The Laws of the Universe – Part I
Liz and the Blue Bird
Lu over the Wall
MFKZ
Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
On Happiness Road
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
Sherlock Gnomes
Tall Tales
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Tito and the Birds

"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 Nina
9. Teen Titans Go! to the Movies
10. Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero

August Predictions
1. Isle of Dogs
2. Incredibles 2
3. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2
4. Smallfoot
5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
6. Early Man
7. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl
8. The Grinch
9. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
10. Mirai

September Predictions
1. Isle of Dogs
2. Incredibles 2
3. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2
4. Smallfoot
5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
6. Early Man
7. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl
8. The Grinch
9. Mirai
10. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

October Predictions
1. Isle of Dogs
2. Incredibles 2
3. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
5. Smallfoot
6. Early Man
7. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl
8. The Grinch
9. Mirai
10. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

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