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Oscars Predictions: Best Animated Feature – ‘Wolfwalkers’ Could Overtake ‘Over the Moon’ and ‘Soul’

2021 Oscar Predictions - Best Animated
Courtesy of GKIDS / PIXAR / NETFLIX / APPLE TV PLUS

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: Jan. 14, 2020

AWARDS COMMENTARY:
When assessing the competition of any animated feature race, Pixar is always a studio to put your money on as the favorite. With the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the cinematic year, it’s become more of a level-playing field with beloved films like “Wolfwalkers” from Apple TV Plus and GKIDS looking to get their first trophy and “Over the Moon” from Netflix looking to take advantage of a split vote between Pixar’s “Soul” or even “Onward.”


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Wolfwalkers Courtesy of Apple

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

  1. "Wolfwalkers" (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS)
    Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants, Nora Twomey, Paul Young
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    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


  2. "Soul" (Pixar)
    Pete Docter, Dana Murray
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    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


  3. "Over the Moon" (Netflix)
    Glen Keane, Peilin Chou, Gennie Rim
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    Courtesy of Netflix

    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


  4. "Onward" (Pixar)
    Dan Scanlon, Kori Rae
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    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


  5. "Earwig and the Witch" (GKIDS/Studio Ghibli)
    Gorô Miyazaki
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Gorô Miyazaki
    PRODUCERS
    : Toshio Suzuki
    SYNOPSIS: It follows an orphan girl, Earwig, who is adopted by a witch and comes home to a spooky house filled with mystery and magic..
    STARRING: J.B. Blanc, Alex Cartañá, Thomas Bromhead, Pandora Colin, Richard E. Grant


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Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animati

NEXT IN LINE:

  1. "Demon Slayer" (Funimation)
    Haruo Sotozaki
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    -
    DIRECTOR: Haruo Sotozaki
    PRODUCERS
    : Haruo Sotozaki
    SYNOPSIS: Tanjiro Kamado, joined with Inosuke Hashibira, a boy raised by boars who wears a boar's head, and Zenitsu Agatsuma, a scared boy who reveals his true power when he sleeps, board the Infinity Train on a new mission with the Flame Pillar, Kyojuro Rengoku, to defeat a demon who has been tormenting the people and killing the demon slayers who oppose it.
    STARRING: Bryce Papenbrook, Zach Aguilar, Abby Trott, Natsuki Hanae, Aleks Le


  2. "Trolls: World Tour" (Universal Pictures)
    Walt Dohrn, Gina Shay
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    -
    DIRECTOR: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith (co-director)
    PRODUCERS
    : Gina Shay
    SYNOPSIS: When the Queen of the Hard Rock Trolls tries to take over all the Troll kingdoms, Queen Poppy and her friends try different ways to save all the Trolls..
    STARRING: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom, James Corden, Kelly Clarkson, Anderson .Paak, Sam Rockwell, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, Kenan Thompson


  3. "The Croods: A New Age" (DreamWorks Animation)
    Joel Crawford, Mark Swift
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Joel Crawford
    PRODUCERS
    : Mark Swift
    SYNOPSIS: The prehistoric family the Croods are challenged by a rival family the Bettermans, who claim to be better and more evolved.
    STARRING: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran


  4. "Lupin III: The First" (GKIDS)
    Takashi Yamazaki, Takeshi Ito, Naoaki Kitajima, Koji Nozaki
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Takashi Yamazaki
    PRODUCERS
    : Takeshi Ito, Naoaki Kitajima, Koji Nozaki
    SYNOPSIS: Lupin III goes on a grand adventure to uncover the secrets of the Bresson Diary, which is tied to the legacy of his famous grandfather.
    STARRING: J. David Brimmer, Richard Epcar, Doug Erholtz, Tatsuya Fujiwara


  5. "On-Gaku: Our Sound" (GKIDS)
    Tetsuaki Matsue, Kenji Iwaisawa
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Kenji Iwaisawa
    PRODUCERS
    : Tetsuaki Matsue
    SYNOPSIS: A trio of delinquent schoolkids form a music band..
    STARRING: Shintaro Sakamoto, Ren Komai, Tomoya Maeno, Tateto Serizawa, Kami Hiraiwa, and Naoto Takenaka


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

Best Animated Feature awards history:
The animated feature category was introduced in 2001 when “Shrek” was the first awarded. There are five animators that 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.

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