You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Eligible Films in Oscars Animated Feature Race

Every year the field seems to get bigger for the Oscar animated feature race. Here’s a run-down of eligible features.

The Angry Birds Movie
Directors: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly
Voices: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride
Studio: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
If “Angry Birds” gets nominated, it will make history, becoming the first Oscar contender derived from a mobile gaming app. To its credit, the bright, high-energy CG toon struck many as far more delightful than such a provenance would suggest.

April and the Extraordinary World
Directors: Christian Desmares, Franck Ekinci
Voices: Angela Galuppo, Susan Sarandon, J.K. Simmons, Paul Giamatti
Studio: Je Suis Bien Content
Distributor: GKids
Inspired by the steampunk-esque graphic novel by Jacques Tardi, this female-driven adventure story takes place in a world without electricity. One of the few hand-drawn movies in the mix, and the most classical.

Finding Dory
Directors: Andrew Stanton, Andrew MacLane
Voices: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill
Studio: Disney/Pixar
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Thirteen years after Nemo lost his way, this long-awaited Pixar sequel focuses on everyone’s favorite side character. It became the year’s top-grossing movie, live-action or otherwise.

Popular on Variety

Ice Age: Collision Course
Directors: Mike Thurmeier, Galen T. Chu
Voices: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo
Studio: Blue Sky
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Perhaps the blockbuster “Ice Age” series could use a cooling-off period. The animation and 3D technology have advanced by leaps and bounds, though box office dipped for No. 5 (for those who consider a global gross of $406 million “disappointing”).

Kubo and the Two Strings
Director: Travis Knight
Voices: Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron
Studio: Laika
Distributor: Focus Features
Travis Knight, head of the thrice-nominated stop-motion studio responsible for “Coraline,” makes his directorial debut with what many consider to be Laika’s best film. Dark in tone and epic in scope, this Eastern fairy tale refuses to pander to all audiences, boasting an integrity that should resonate with the Academy.

Kung Fu Panda 3
Directors: Alessandro Carloni, Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Voices: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Carefully designed not to feel like a pro-forma sequel, this third installment adds dimension to the character by introducing Po’s father. But animators are likely to be excited by the dynamic ways the film pushes CG fight scenes.

The Little Prince
Directors: Mark Osborne
Voices: Jeff Bridges, Mackenzie Foy, Rachel McAdams
Studio: ON Animation Studios
Distributor: Netflix
Though Paramount was positioned to release this eye-popping adaptation of French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved novella following its 2015 bow at Cannes, the studio ultimately got cold feet. Enter Netflix, which could see its risk rewarded if this hybrid of CG and stop-motion techniques lands a nom.

Long Way North
Director: Rémi Chayé
Voices: Chloé Dunn, Vivienne Vermes, Peter Hudson
Studio: Sacrebleu Prods., Maybe Movies
Distributor: Shout! Factory
Director Rémi Chayé served as assistant director on two Oscar-nominated toons: “The Secret of Kells” and “The Painting.” Working on a modest budget, he creates an impressive 2D Flash-based adventure story noteworthy for its smart story and striking lack of lines.

Miss Hokusai
Director: Keiichi Hara
Voices: Erica Lindbeck, Richard Epcar, Ezra Weisz
Studio: Production I.G
Distributor: GKids
A lovely anime tribute to an unsung artistic hero, this Japanese-made feature depicts the life of O-Ei, daughter of the famed ukiyo-e painter Katsushika Hokusai, who may have been responsible for masterpieces attributed to her father. It also boasts one of the year’s best musical scores.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker
Voices: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Jemaine Clement
Studio: Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
The co-directors of “The Little Mermaid” and “The Princess and the Frog” make the leap to CG, pairing with “Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda on the music, while taking audiences to Polynesia.

Mune: Guardian of the Mune
Directors: Alexandre Heboyan, Benoît Philippon
Voices: Omar Sy, Izïa Higelin, Michaël Grégorio
Studio: ON Animation Studios
Distributor: GKids
Although rendered in CG, this French toon defies the traditional look of the format, instead offering abstract looking characters in a gorgeously lit fantasy environment.

My Life as a Zucchini
Director: Claude Barras
Voices: Gaspard Schlatter, Sixtine Murat, Paulin Jaccoud
Studio: Pole Pixel
Distributor: Gkids
Set in a foster home for troubled kids, this unique-looking stop-motion project doesn’t hesitate to bring tough issues (abuse, alcoholism) to the realm of animation — or to the attention of young audiences.

Phantom Boy
Directors: Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol
Voices: Fred Armisen, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jared Padalecki
Studios: Folimage, Lunanime
Distributor: GKids
What if film noir were rendered in bright shapes and colors? That’s the feel one gets from this follow up to the Oscar-nominated “A Cat in Paris,” which depicts a supernatural caper in New York.

Ratchet & Clank
Directors: Kevin Munroe, Jericca Cleland
Voices: James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Jim Ward
Studio: Rainmaker Entertainment
Distributor: Gramercy Pictures
A fast-paced, action-packed adaptation of the popular sci-fi video game series, this CG animated project brings the series’ wild humor and storytelling style to the big screen.

The Red Turtle
Director: Michaël Dudok de Wit
Studios: Prima Linea, Studio Ghibli
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
The nominating committee will be watching with high hopes, not only because the director won an Oscar in 2001 for his short “Father and Daughter,” but also because his first feature was produced by Studio Ghibli.

Sausage Party
Directors: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Voices: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill
Studio: Nitrogen Studios
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Who said toons have to be for kids? This R-rated comedy from Seth Rogen and company offers more than just sexual double entendres, delivering a sharp satire on religious extremism (and other cartoons).

The Secret Life of Pets
Directors: Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud
Voices: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
Studio: Illumination Entertainment
Distributor: Universal
An original offering from the computer animation studio responsible for the Minions, this movie takes a tried-and-true formula (“How do pets behave when humans aren’t looking?”) and fills it with adorable critters.

Director: Garth Jennings
Voices: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane
Studio: Illumination Entertainment
Distributor: Universal
A massive crowd-pleaser when it premiered at the Toronto film fest, Illumination’s holiday release feels like a cross between “Zootopia” and “American Idol,” casting animals in an amateur singing contest.

Directors: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Voices: Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer
Studio: Warner Animation Group
Distributor: Warner Bros.
The studio’s second offering, following Oscar-snubbed “The Lego Movie,” could amuse voters with its rapid-fire humor and high-concept premise, though design elements feel a little familiar.

Directors: Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell
Voices: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Arguably the cutest animated movie ever made, “Trolls” skews young and, like “Angry Birds,” starts from the thinnest of source material, but entertains with its wild colors, textures, and musical elements.

Your Name
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Voices: Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryo Narita
Studio: CoMix Wave
Distributor: FUNimation
So far only seen by festival-goers and Japanese audiences (who’ve made it a huge hit), this visually stunning, conceptually creative anime romance blends time travel and body swapping elements to fresh effect.

Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore
Voices: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba
Studio: Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
A refreshingly smart and surprisingly timely talking-animal movie, given the tenor of this year’s election race, “Zootopia” offers a “can’t we all just get along” metaphor that only works in animation.

More Film

  • Imogen Poots

    'Black Christmas' Star Imogen Poots on Why Male Horror Fans Should See Slasher Remake

    “Black Christmas” is the second remake of the 1974 slasher classic, which centers on a group of sorority sisters stalked by an unknown murderer. While the original had the female protagonists (SPOILER) offed, in this one, the women fight back. “It’s been called a re-imagining of the original, and I think, in ways that the [...]

  • Imogen Poots as Riley in "Black

    'Black Christmas': Film Review

    “Black Christmas,” a low-budget Canadian horror movie released in 1974, was a slasher thriller with a difference: It was the very first one! Okay, there were more than a few precedents, from “Psycho” (the great-granddaddy of the genre) to “The Last House on the Left” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” to Mario Bava’s “A [...]

  • David Benioff, D.B. Weiss. Creators and

    'Game of Thrones' Creators to Develop H.P. Lovecraft Movie at Warner Bros.

    Following their exit from the “Star Wars” universe, “Game of Thrones” co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have found their replacement pic, signing on to produce an untitled thriller based on the graphic novel “Lovecraft” for Warner Bros. It is unknown if they will also direct the project, but they’ve already set Phil Hay and [...]

  • Little Women Greta Gerwig BTS

    Greta Gerwig and 'Little Women' Crew Mix Modern and Classical

    Greta Gerwig wrote and directed Sony’s “Little Women,” a new look at Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved 19th-century classic. Eager to pay tribute to her artisan colleagues, Gerwig says, “It was a joy for me to work with all these people. It’s a movie that’s impossible to create without world-class artists. They killed themselves for me!” [...]

  • Honey Boy

    Shia LaBeouf's 'Honey Boy' Adds Unusual Twist to Oscar's History With Kids

    Hollywood has made many terrific films about childhood, and many about filmmaking. Amazon’s “Honey Boy,” which opened Nov. 8, combines the two: A movie with a child’s POV of the industry. That unique angle could be a real benefit during awards season, and the film’s backstory — with Shia LaBeouf as the main attraction — will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content