Thursday morning’s Oscar nominations for Best Animated Film skewed heavily towards the independents, the international and the quirky. Disney-Pixar’s much-heralded “Inside Out” scored a nomination but the company’s second film, “The Good Dinosaur” was shut out along with Fox’s “The Peanuts Movie” and Universal’s blockbuster “Minions.”
“It was a ride there with Fear in my brain while waiting for the nomination but in the end I think Joy won out,” said “Inside Out” director Pete Docter.
Though it might seem like a foregone conclusion that a Pixar film will triumph yet again at the Oscars, just being nominated, as they say, is an honor for several lesser-known titles.
Paramount’s offbeat stop-motion drama “Anomalisa,” directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, received a nod, along with Lionsgate’s “Shaun the Sheep Movie” and a pair of dramas distributed by GKids — innovative Brazilian story “Boy and the World” and “When Marnie Was There” from Studio Ghibli.
“Inside Out” outperformed forecasts with $356 million in the U.S. and another $500 million overseas. The box office for the other Oscar nominees has been limited, to say the least, led by “Shaun the Sheep Movie” with $19 million in the U.S. and $64 million internationally.
Richard Starzak, who directed “Shaun the Sheep” for “Wallace and Gromit” producers Aardman Animations, said, “It’s mind blowing where Shaun has got to in the last 10 years. I’m very proud on behalf of myself, my co-director Mark Burton, and team Shaun.”
“When Marnie Was Here” grossed $561,000 during a summer run in the U.S. at 57 locations. “Anomalisa” has pulled $527,435 at 17 U.S. theaters since its Dec. 30 launch and “Boy and The World” generated $17,580 at two theaters last month in its qualifying run and will be expanded this week.
New York-based indie distributor GKids, which launched in 2008, has seen an impressive tally of nominations over the past few years. Last year, the indie distributor received noms for Irish production “Song of the Sea” and Japanese fantasy “The Tale of Princess Kaguya.” It also received double nods in 2012 for “A Cat in Paris” and “Chico & Rita.”
“Gkids is absolutely thrilled to have two nominees for Best Animated Feature for two years in a row, and we are incredibly thankful to the Academy for embracing outstanding animated filmmaking that pushes the boundaries of the medium into new and exciting directions,” the company said. “We are so happy for Alê Abreu and Hiromasa Yonebayashi who are both amazingly talented, wonderful, thoughtful artists that are so deserving of the recognition!”
Abreu, who directed “Boy and The World,” said, ” I am so honored and happy to have our film recognized by the Academy, I have no words. Thank you! It was a great year for animation around the globe, and the Academy’s continued recognition of our work will continue to inspire.”
Hiromasa Yonebayashi, director of “When Marnie Was There,” said, “The selection of the film truly is a tribute to the entire production staff of the film, to whom I express my sincere appreciation. I will continue to endeavor to make films that will be seen and enjoyed by many people. Thank you very much for this honor.”
Pixar has dominated the category since 2003, when “Finding Nemo” won, followed by “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Wall-E,” “Up,” “Toy Story 3” and “Brave.” In fact, “The Good Dinosaur” joins “Cars 2” and “Monsters University” as the only Pixar films that have not have been nominated since the category was created in 2001.
Disney Animation has won the last two animated Oscars with “Frozen” and “Big Hero 6.”
In the Best Animated Short Film category, the nominations featured Pixar’s” Sanjay’s Superteam,” which ran before “The Good Dinosaur” and “Bear Story,” “Prologue,” “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos” and “World of Tomorrow.”