Yes, it’s absurd to start talking about the Oscar race even before Labor Day weekend has arrived, but The Hollywood Reporter has jumped the gun already! The trade magazine’s eager award season expert Scott Feinberg has come up with his predictions for this year’s Oscar race, even before many of the movies on the list have even opened or seen by anyone in the voting population of the Academy! Feinberg who has a pretty good track record for gauging the tastes of the Academy, may be a little off with this animated feature choices.
For example, he has Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises as one of this year’s top frontrunners, even though it was only announced yesterday that Disney has picked up the movie for distribution in the U.S.! The studio certainly didn’t reveal that it was going to release the movie for Oscar consideration in 2013! We know, everyone loves Hayao Miyazaki’s movies, and this specific title has delivered phenomenal box office numbers in Japan—but we still don’t even know if the movie will have an Oscar run Stateside this year.
His other choices for Best Animated features are much more sound. He has Disney’s Frozen, GKIDS’ Ernest and Celestine, Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University and DreamWorks’ The Croods on his top five. But, did he really think that Academy members are going to ignore Universal/Illumination’s Despicable Me 2, the studio’s most profitable movie to date—and the year’s most popular animated feature worldwide.
Then, he has DreamWorks’ Turbo, Fox/Blue Sky’s Epic, Disney’s Planes, Fox’s Walking with Dinosaurs, Weinstein’s Escape from Planet Earth, and Millennium/Triggerfish’s Khumba listed as major threats! Uh, major threats to what?
Finally, he has Relativity/Reel FX’s Free Birds, Drafthouse’s The Congress, Universal’s Despicable Me 2, Sony’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, GKIDS’ A Letter to Memo as just possibilities in the race, which is ridiculous because the Cloudy sequel is generating a lot of positive buzz both within the animation community and general fans.
He also exiles Sony’s The Smurfs 2, Phase 4/Carpe Diem’s The Legend of Sarila and Vertical Ent./Wizart’s The Snow Queen to the Siberia of award season contenders, a place known as “Long Shots!”
Yes, we hate it when people start talking about award season contenders when even the kids aren’t all back in school yet. So, please, can we save the Oscar prognostication chatter for silencing annoying family members during Thanksgiving dinner?