Arthur and the Invisibles, the first animated feature from celebrated French filmmaker Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita) is apparently not animated enough for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the MGM/Weinstein Co. release has been dropped from the list of 16 eligible films because it contains too many live-action sequences.
The pic begins in a live-action world as 10-year-old Arthur (Freddie Highmore) hatches a plan to save his grandmother’s house by seeking a treasure hidden in the world of the Minimoys, a race of tiny people he learns of from the writings of his missing adventurer grandfather. When Arthur enters the Minimoy kingdom, everything is computer-animated, but Besson often takes the story back to reality as Arthur’s grandmother, played by Mia Farrow, searches for her grandson while fending off a greedy land developer.
The Academy reportedly ruled that the animated sequences didn’t comprise at least 75 percent of the film’s running time, a requirement for all films in contention for Best Animated Feature. And while the film was not one of the top contenders, its omission will have a ripple effect since only three movies can be nominated now that the number of eligible films has dropped below 16.
Nominations for the 79th Annual Academy Awards will be announced January 23. The award ceremony will be held on Sunday, Feb. 25.