The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has accepted 15 pics for consideration in the animated feature film category.
Among the pics qualifying are DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Megamind,” plus Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 3.”
Had 16 or more films qualified, five nominees could have been selected, but with 15 titles the maximum number of nominees is three.
The remaining films on the shortlist are “Alpha and Omega,” “Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore,” “Despicable Me,” “The Dreams of Jinsha,” “Idiots and Angels,” “The Illusionist,” “The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls ofGa’Hoole,” “My Dog Tulip,” “Shrek Forever After,” “Summer Wars,” “Tangled” and “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue.”
Of the films that qualified, “The Dreams of Jinsha,” “The Illusionist” and “Summer Wars” have not yet had the required Los Angeles qualifying run, and must fulfill theatrical release requirements in order to advance for further consideration. Disney opens “Tangled” Nov. 24, while Sony has “The Illusionist” skedded for Dec. 25.
Although the part-animated, part live-action “Yogi Bear” from Warner Bros. was submitted, it was not selected by the Academy, which resulted in potential nominees being reduced to three.
In order to be considered as an animated feature, the rule says “a significant number of the major characters must be animated and animation must figure in no less than 75% of the picture’s running time.”
The Academy did select another live-action/animation hybrid in “Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.”
Jon Bloom, Academy governor and chairman of the exec committee of the short films and feature animation branch, said “Yogi Bear” was clearly under the stated percentage of animation, whereas “Cats and Dogs” had more than the required time.
“This year’s list of submissions are so strong that it would have been in the best interest to expand the list, but given the rule, the film had to be disqualified,” Bloom said.
Since its inception in 2001, the award has only garnered enough submissions to expand the list of nominees from three to five twice — in 2002 and 2009.
With several studios having more than one title — Warner Bros. has “Legend of the Guardians” and “Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore,” DWA has “Shrek Forever After” and “Megamind,” while Disney has “Toy Store 3” and “Tangled” — studios will have to carefully evaluate resources they devote to awards campaigns.
The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced Jan. 25, and the ceremony will take place Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theater.