Awards season is in full swing already. The Golden Globes have already passed, and the Academy will be handing out those little statues in early March. There's already been some buzz about the Oscars this year, but as usual it's covered in controversy. Concern has arisen over recent rule changes surrounding the nomination of animated films. In the past, the Academy had a specific branch dedicated to selecting animated films for nomination, and then the entire Academy's membership voted on the winner. Now however, the entire Academy will be eligible to nominate the Best Animated Feature film, in the same way that the Best Picture is nominated.
There had been concerns that this would exclude indie animated features from consideration. The idea of having a specific branch nominate in each category is that it allows experts to select the best work for consideration. That is, it allows people who understand the technical aspects behind the animation processes to choose what should be presented for judgement. Opening nominations up to the entire Academy is risky, especially given allegations that voters merely select winners based on what their kids liked. Now that the actual nominees have been selected though, those features have been allayed... mostly.
The big frontrunner of course is Pixar's Coco, which is a given. We also saw some smaller productions make it too, which is a good sign! We've got Loving Vincent, and The Breadwinner. The inclusion of these smaller titles has bolstered many hopes in the Academy's fairness and scope. However, eyebrows have already been raised at the other two nominations: The Boss Baby and Ferdinand. The Internet has exploded especially over the former, which came as a surprise given the critical and audience feedback.
Ultimately though, it seems to be par for the course. We've got the Disney/Pixar nomination, we have our indie titles, and we have some popular films up for the running. The shift in rules seems to have had little effect, at least this year. And perhaps, now that everyone has the responsibility to nominate animated films, more members of the Academy will give them a fair shake?
Well, in any case we have the Annie Awards on February 3.