The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has deemed 11 films eligible to compete for the Best Animated Feature Oscar in the 2004 Academy Awards competition. All of the year’s big releases are there but, as usual, a few lesser-known long shots have made the list as well.
Disney has three pics in the running with Home on the Range, Teacher’s Pet and its presentation of Pixar’s The Incredibles. DreamWorks also has a trio in the mix with Shrek 2, Shark Tale and its Go Fish acquisition, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. Warner Bros. and Paramount have one entry each with The Polar Express and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, respectively. Scholastic slides in with Clifford’s Really Big Movie, and under the radar come Pentamedia Graphics Ltd.’s Indian toon, The Legend of Buddha, and the Korean anime feature, Sky Blue (aka Wonderful Days) from Maxmedia.
The 2D-animated The Legend of Buddha tells the story of Prince Siddharth Gautama, heir to the Himalayan mountain kingdom of Kapilavastu, who overcomes obstacles and the lure of luxury to fulfill his destiny and become a legendary spiritual leader.
Directed by Moon-saeng Kim, Sky Blue is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the fortunate few are gathered in a protected mega-city called Ecoban, while others are left to perish in the polluted wastelands outside. A daring young rebel named Suha decides to challenge the status quo and runs smack into his childhood love, a gorgeous, gun-toting member of Ecoban’s security force. Kim won Best Director awards for the film at this year’s Venice and Berlin festivals.
A maximum of three films can be nominated for the prize this year. Films submitted in the Best Animated Feature category also may qualify for awards in other areas, including Best Picture, provided they meet the rules criteria governing those categories.
The 77th Academy Award nominations will be announced at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Tuesday, January 25, 2005. The 2004 Academy Awards will then be presented on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Highland. The ceremony will be televised live on ABC beginning at 5 p.m. PST.