2018 was a quality year for animated film. A long-awaited Pixar sequel. An intricately-crafted Wes Anderson film. A surprising critical darling in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. A crowd-pleaser in Ralph Breaks the Internet.
It is a strong field, although there is a clear divide between the top tier and the second string candidates.
- Incredibles 2
- Isle of Dogs
- Ralph Breaks the Internet
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
In the Mix:
- The Grinch
- Hotel Transylvania 3
- Early Man
- Teen Titans Go! to the Movies
The current top five are a strong lot. Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse feel like locks. Mirai and Ralph Breaks the Internet are strong contenders. It is hard to foresee this not being the five nominees.
Those films on the outside looking in were all big films that received wide releases. The recency of The Grinch could do it some favors, although it pales in comparison to box office competitor Spider-Man. Genndy Tartakovsky is a great animator, but his Hotel Transylvania films have yet to receive an Oscar nomination. The third installment is charming, but I don’t think it will usurp any of the top five.
Teen Titans Go! to the Movies was a minor critical success, but few people saw it. And the content is perhaps too childish for the Academy voters who have seen it.
Early Man has gone similarly unseen, and its initial release was at the beginning of the year. Aardman has received three Oscar nominations for feature films in the past, but this production has not been receiving a lot of buzz. Unless its reputation precedes it, Early Man is unlikely to make the cut.
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)