Oscar Contenders

19 Animated Films Compete for 2014 Best Animated Feature Oscar

I've also updated my predictions for the category

Frozen animated movie trailer
Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

The Academy released the following list of nineteen films that have been submitted for consideration at the 2014 Oscars for Best Animated Feature. Of the nineteen, I have 12 listed in my Oscar predictions for the category, which I just updated yesterday after several positive reviews for Disney's Frozen hit the Internet.

Those submitted for consideration that I don't currently have on the list include The Fake, Khumba, The Legend of Sarila, A Letter to Momo, O Apóstolo, Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion and Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury.

Interestingly enough, one film I previously had on the list that is not included is the Weinstein's Escape from Planet Earth. I have no idea what it was left off, but it's simply possible Harvey et. al simply decided it wasn't worth it, or it had to do with some sour grapes after the studio settled a $50 million lawsuit in connection with the project. It doesn't really matter, it wasn't going to win one way or another, but it is a little interesting.

Just below is the complete list of nineteen films that will compete, several of which have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying runs, but all will most likely meet the requirement. Nominations will be announced on on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 5:30 a.m. PT.

  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • The Croods
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Epic
  • Ernest and Celestine
  • The Fake
  • Free Birds
  • Frozen
  • Khumba
  • The Legend of Sarila
  • A Letter to Momo
  • Monsters University
  • O Apóstolo
  • Planes
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion
  • Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury
  • The Smurfs 2
  • Turbo
  • The Wind Rises
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  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/bridgetoash/ Nathan

    Loved Monsters University. Hated Brave. Excited for Despicable Me 2. Not for Frozen.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JimmyB/ Jimmy B

    Despite its marketing, I have high hopes for Frozen. We haven't had a great animated film for a few years now, and I'd argue this year's slate has (so far) been even weaker than 2012's.

    • Frank

      ParaNorman, Wreck It Ralph, Rango, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Arthur Christmas I'd argue personally were great. Those movies came out in the last two years.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JimmyB/ Jimmy B

        Admittedly, I haven't seen Arthur Christmas or Kung Fu Panda 2 and the rest I consider solid to very good, but I feel like we haven't had anything at the level of, say, the early '90s Disney films or the majority of Pixar's works.

    • Shane O’Neal

      Take a look at it's most recent stuff, like the new trailer. They've really improved upon the early, lackluster trailer!

  • Frank

    I'm pretty sure Frozen, Monsters University, and The Wind Rises will get nominated. The final two spots are between Croods, DM 2, Ernest and Celestine, and A Letter To Momo I think.

  • http://www.silverscreenriot.com SmartFilm

    What a trash year for animated. Against expectation, my favorites have been Turbo or The Croods.

  • Bertram J. Krogh

    I’m sure the safest bets would be The Croods, Despicable Me, Frozen, Monsters University and The Wind Rises, in no specific order.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/DArtagnan/ DArtagnan

    Should the Smurfs be eligible in this category?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

      No.

  • http://www.digitalkebab.com Shaun Heenan

    It's really weird that The Smurfs is eligible. If that counts, so does Pacific Rim.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Hudsucker/ Hudsucker

      You have a point there. Let's start a revolution!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Foggy/ Liam Fogarty

    Frozen has been getting some rave early reviews, so I think that'll be the one to beat, other than that, Monsters Uni, Despicable Me 2, The Croods and an obscure curveball will make up the rest of the nods.

    • RBBrittain

      Are you calling The Wind Rises "an obscure curveball"? It's only Miyazaki's final film; it'll definitely be nommed despite its being about a WWII Japanese warplane designer. Frozen & MU are also definitely in; the Oscar will go to one of those three. The "curveballs" (most likely Ernest & Celestine) will be vying with DM2 & The Croods for the last two slots.

  • Hi

    I'm assuming that I'm the only one in the comment section that knows what Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion is, even though it's 99.9% likely that it will not get nominated, I think it's one of the best movies on this list. Too bad nobdoy notices it.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/bridgetoash/ Nathan

      Thanks for the recommendation, I'll be checking it out.

    • Daniel Casasbuenas

      Lol, Rebellion is the only one I want to win...it's so different, I mean all these American animated films are family-friendly, and light hearted...Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a DARK anime, the Japanese just take anime more seriously, so I think if anything deserves the Oscar, it's this.

      • Sir Trey

        There's an annoying tendency in the States to think that when something starts as a medium for kids that it must stay that way for all eternity...animation and video games are both plagued by this mindset, and both have so much potential when they're let free.

      • Justin Short

        You're right, I actually hope it gets nominated to the top

    • Justin Short

      I agree with you, I actually hope it does reach there

  • Anthony Pedersen

    Probably won't be selected, but I have my eyes on Puella Magi Madoka Magica Rebellion. It's arguably the best one on this list, both in animation and story.

  • QB

    Many of the movies on the list are great! Although I really hope for Puella Magi to be picked, since the animation is beautiful, and the story is mind blowing, and outstanding, and the characters and character development is really great. It's a shame not many people have really heard of it.

    • Vajra26

      QB huh ? it remembers me something, but what ? /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

  • reichan1

    It makes me sad that Puella Magi Madoka Magica Rebellion doesn't even have a chance at becoming nominated even though it's probably the best one on this list.

  • Alan Ruiz

    I really hope Puella Magi Madoka Magica - Rebellion gets picked, even though is unlikely to happen. Don't let it's appearance fool you the story isn't cute, Its very dark

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AlexHartsell/ Alex Hartsell

    My top choices are The Croods, Ernest & Celestine and Monsters University while my other picks are Despicable Me 2 or Frozen and A Letter to Momo or The Wind Rises. Usually the nominations of Best Animated Feature goes in a pattern for example, two traditional animated features on top and three computer generation animated films for the rest of the row. Here is the pattern I think will be if it is five nominations.

    1. The Croods (CGI)
    2. Despicable Me 2 (CGI)
    3. Ernest & Celestine (traditional)
    4. A Letter to Momo (traditional)
    5. Monsters University (CGI)
    or...
    1. The Croods (CGI)
    2. Ernest & Celestine (traditional)
    3. Frozen (CGI)
    4. A Letter to Momo (traditional)
    5. Monsters University (CGI)

  • Vajra26

    Sadly, puella magi madoka magica doesn't stand a chance... even if it's the best animation I've seen so far...

  • Woohoo

    Puella Magi Madoka Magica Rebellion is the best on that list but it was mostly aimed at people who watched the anime which means it's probably not going to get nominated. It has beautiful animation and a very dark story.

  • FWarg

    Please give Madoka Magica a try before dismissing it.
    ^ TL;DR

    Just look at those PVs. That scene with Homura vs Mami. DAT ANIMATION. My gawd it's beautiful.

    Only reason why Rebellion Story won't win is because of lack of recognition and stereotypes. I mean just hearing the summary would make most people sneer.

    "Magical girls?", they'd think. "What is this doing running for the Oscars?"

    When most people think magical girls, they think silly little shows with girls in colorful costumes beating up monsters every week in as flashy a way as possible. But this isn't a monster of the week show.

    This was originally a twelve episode series. A very surprising and heart-wrenching, twelve episodes.

    It starts off like any other magical girl show... And then sucker punches you. HARD. This show's the reason why I try to give everything at least a few episodes before I give my verdict.

    Oh and after that episode, everything goes down hill FAST.

    And the ending... The ending might seem ideal on the surface...

    But for a certain character... It's far from ideal. And that's what leads to Rebellion.

    That certain character, already having been through hell for 12 years... Has to go through more at the hands of a certain creature.

    She finally snaps 'cause she's had enough of all of their shit and takes things into her own hands.

    Mind you, this ending isn't ideal either, although it may seem so on the surface. For one, there's still a character who will never find true happiness. For another... What happens is fundamentally immoral.

    Yes, most of those nominated have really good stories and animation. They also have some good messages.

    But Madoka Magica - Rebellion Story does as well. It has a great story and from what I've seen, the animation is beautiful. Have I mentioned the soundtrack? Eargasms everyone, eargasms.

    It also has a message. And what a different message it has indeed. It's not your typical child-friendly Aesop. Nope. Its message hits you hard. Right where it hurts. Because it's true. So frickin' true.

    It's the pessimism to all the other animation's optimism. It's the frying pan to their safe stove top.

    This was never a happy series. But just because it isn't happy, doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a chance.

    I urge you all. Give this a chance. Watch the first two movies, which are a recap of the twelve episodes. You'll see what I mean.

    I know, I know dark magical girl shows aren't new to the scene. But this one truly stands out.

    Don't agree with me? Tell me why. Don't just bash. Agree with me? Onwards, fellow Meguca Fandom! We shall see to it that Rebellion wins the Oscars!!!

    • Vajra26

      I don't know who you are... but I will find you, and I will marry you.
      You said it, and you said it perfectly.

      • FWarg

        I'm sorry to disappoint... but my heart belongs to Homura. But we can still be friends. :D

        • Vajra26

          x) No problem, I can't cheat on kyouko-chwan anyway =3

  • Alexander Evan
  • Alexander Evan

    Really, Madoka is soo underrated in west.

    Instead of those Lovey-dovey 3D animation (except for Miyazaki who really have a traditional sense of anime, and The Wind Rises is his last too), I goes for Madoka.

  • Justin Short

    I would definitely go for Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie - Rebellion. I have watched the animated series and the two movie prequels to Rebellion. It was a good show and had a beautiful ending, sad but still very good. The story line was good. This movie is not your typical family "Magical Girl" movie, since it is darker than the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series. I actually hope this gets nominated as the animated movie of 2014. Even though I haven't watched Rebellion, I can tell its going to be good.

    The storyline for the two movies before Rebellion follows the anime series. Movie 1 were the first 8 episodes and movie 2 was the last 4 episodes. The animation is superb, and the score (music) actually fits with it.

    When I started watching this, I thought Madoka was going to be another typical "Magical Girl" series until I reached episode 3 (about 45min in the first movie) where Mami Tomoe was killed by the Witch, Charlotte, through decapitation. After that is when the series takes a extreme turn of events that actually surprised me.

    The songs done by ClariS and Kalafina even added to the scenes where the emotions were truly felt.

    If I had to vote out of these 19, the top three would be as follows:

    #1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica - Hangyaku no Monogatari (Magical Girl Madoka Magica - Rebellion)

    #2. The Wind Rises

    #3. Despicable Me

    I look forward to the Oscar nominations and I do hope that what I've put will go

  • Claudia

    I want Madoka Magica to win but probably it's going to be Monster's University, Despicable Me or The Wind Rises. Don't get me wrong, those are very good too (loved both Monster's University and Despicable Me and Miyazaki's works are known for their quality) but I really like Madoka Magica for it's dark portrayal of Magical Girls and SHAFT animation is pretty unique.

  • luis olmos

    Madoka and the wind rises are the best so far, the rest of the movies are just plain CGI movies with lame plots and dumb humor...pixar disappointed me the most, Monters Inc wasn't that bad but, it was really forgetable...and come on, smurfs? Really? films are supposed to be art

  • adamant_cocoon

    Ideally, the nominees would be:

    1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion
    2. The Wind Rises

    3. Frozen
    4. The Fake
    5. Letter to Momo or Ernest and Celestine

    But this is the Academy, you guys...

  • prickachu

    The thing is that, Puella Magi most likely wont get picked. And thats because its not as well known, probably. Frozen, Monsters University, and Despicable Me 2 have the best chances at winning, and I didn't particularly care for either of them. But they have a chance since they're more known and they all come from companies that (Americans) love, I suppose. I havent seen The Wind Rises, however, but from what you guys are saying it also stands a chance, haha.

    I'd love to see Rebellion at least make it up even further, and I hope they give it a chance. Maybe it'll be the season's under dog. Even if I haven't seen it, I know Puella Magi and I know its worthy. Just my opinion though.

  • prickachu

    Also, I love how all the top comments are about Puella Magi. You go, guys.

  • mehedi hasan

    i'm interested at all.........guys, i love animations.... yahooooooo