Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

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2021 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

UPDATED: Apr. 21, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Apple TV Plus and GKids were hopeful they could break up the “Soul” train (no pun intended) with “Wolfwalkers.” But Pixar, which has two other noms (one of which is also locked), seems to have this one in its pocket.

Will win: “Soul” – Dana Murray, Pete Docter
Could win: “Wolfwalkers”
Should win: “Onward”
Should have been here: “No. 7 Cherry Lane” (Far Sun Film Co. Ltd)

PRECURSORS LEADER: “Soul” (Pixar) – Pete Docter, Dana Murray
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)
2021 Awards Season Calendar


AND THE NOMINEES ARE:

  1. "Soul" (Pixar)
    Pete Docter, Dana MurraySoulTHE "OSCAR SCENE"
    "Don’t worry, they’re fine. You can’t crush a soul here. That’s what life on Earth is for." - Tina Fey (22 talking to Joe)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Docter (8 nominations, 2 wins [2009's "Up" and 2015's "Inside Out"]), Murray (1 nomination)

    DIRECTOR: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers
    PRODUCERS
    : Dana Murray
    SYNOPSIS: A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.
    STARRING: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Graham Norton, Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, Wes Studi


  2. "Wolfwalkers" (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS)
    Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants, Nora Twomey, Paul Young
    Lazy loaded image

    THE "OSCAR SCENE"
    "We can drive them back. We are wolves! They have guns. A cannon. But don’t be afraid. They’re in our forest. Let’s go!" - Honor Kneafsey (Robyn Goodfellowe)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Moore (2 nominations), Roelants (never nominated), Twomey (1 nomination), Young (1 nomination)

    DIRECTOR: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
    PRODUCERS
    : Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants, Nora Twomey, Paul Young
    SYNOPSIS: A young apprentice hunter and her father journey to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. But everything changes when she befriends a free-spirited girl from a mysterious tribe rumored to transform into wolves by night.
    STARRING: Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean, Simon McBurney, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tommy Tiernan


  3. "Onward" (Pixar)
    Dan Scanlon, Kori Rae
    Lazy loaded image

    THE "OSCAR SCENE"
    "Oh, and he told me to give you this." - Chris Pratt (Barley hugs Ian)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Dan Scanlon
    PRODUCERS
    : Kori Rae
    SYNOPSIS: Two elven brothers embark on a quest to bring their father back for one day..
    STARRING: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong


  4. "Over the Moon" (Netflix)
    Glen Keane, Peilin Chou, Gennie Rim
    Lazy loaded image

    THE "OSCAR SCENE"
    "[singing] 'Love Someone New'." - Phillipa Soo (Chang'e to Fei Fei)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Keane (1 nomination, 1 win [2017's "Dear Baskebtall" in best animated short]), Kahrs (1 nomination, 1 win [2012's "Paperman" in best animated short])

    DIRECTOR: Glen Keane, John Kahrs (co-director)
    PRODUCERS
    : Peilin Chou, Gennie Rim
    SYNOPSIS: In this animated musical, a girl builds a rocket ship and blasts off, hoping to meet a mythical moon goddess.
    STARRING: Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ruthie Ann Miles, John Cho, Sandra Oh, Margaret Cho, Ken Jeong


  5. "A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon" (Netflix)
    Will Becher, Richard Phelan
    Lazy loaded image

    THE "OSCAR SCENE"
    "[Shaun passes his hard hat]"

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Will Becher, Richard Phelan
    PRODUCERS
    : Paul Kewley
    SYNOPSIS: When an alien with amazing powers crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun the Sheep goes on a mission to shepherd the intergalactic visitor home before a sinister organization can capture her.
    STARRING: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Amalia Vitale


† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in the lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Best Animated Feature)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The biggest Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each. The animated feature category was introduced in 2001 when “Shrek” was the first awarded. Five animators have won this award twice: Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich. Bird and Docter are also among the most nominated with three, along with Ron Clements, Dean DeBlois, Travis Knight, Hayao Miyazaki, Rich Moore and Chris Sanders.


Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)

2021 Golden Globes Predictions (Film)

2021 SAG Awards Predictions (Film)


About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners are selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The Oscars are scheduled for Sunday, April 25, 2021.

About the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes Awards, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is held annually with 93 members since 1944. The group recognizes excellence in film and television across drama and comedy or musical categories. Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” holds the record for the most awards won by a single film with seven. Milos Forman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Alan Parker’s “Midnight Express” are next in line with six each. Robert Altman’s “Nashville” has the record for most nominations received by a film with 11 while Colin Higgins’ “Foul Play,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part III” and Mike Nichols’ “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” share the record for receiving the most nominations and not winning a single award at seven.

  • The Golden Globes are scheduled for Feb. 28, 2021.

About the SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by SAG-AFTRA, is an annual award show that has become one of the most important and key indicators for the Oscars. Four films have won the most SAG awards with three: 1999’s “American Beauty,” 2002’s “Chicago,” 2011’s “The Help” and 2017’s “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Three movies have been nominated for the most SAG awards with five: 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago” and 2008’s “Doubt.”

  • The SAG Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 4, 2021