We'll get back to the acting categories next week in my early 2014 Oscar predictions with Supporting Actor and Actress, but to close off the week I thought we'd take a first look at the Best Animated Feature category where I currently have 13 contenders listed, but expect the list will grow by the end of the year as it always does.
Last year we had a total of 17 contenders and I would think with 13 titles we can almost certainly count on competing this year that 17 number is well within reach.
My out-of-the-gate #1 is Disney's Frozen. Over the past couple of years, Disney has released Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph only to be left on the sideline. Well, I don't think Pixar is going to be able to sneak in again this year with Monsters University, though I'm certainly not counting it out, placing in the preseason #2 slot, but at some point the dramatic improvement in the content coming out of Disney Animation has to be rewarded.
At #3 I have the French-animated feature Ernest & Celestine from the talented artists behind A Town Called Panic (seriously, if you haven't seen that movie rush to do so now), which will be distributed by Gkids some time later this year after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival last year, Ernest enjoyed great reviews wherever it went and could be a major contender this year.
In fourth I'm going with Despicable Me 2. The first film wasn't nominated, but I expect this one will have even more Minions and will win over more voters as a result.
And rounding out my top five is Fox and Blue Sky's Epic even though the in-theater marketing for this thing would seem to suggest Fox is giving up before they ever begin. Seriously, all I see as I head up the stairs at a local theater here in Seattle is a giant head of some elf-like creature with the title Epic underneath it. Who is getting excited about that?
Once again, if you don't have a free RopeofSilicon account you may want to register for one. Later this year, all contenders below the Bubble Line and not among my projected nominees will only be visible to logged in and registered members of the site. So if you haven't registered yet, you may as well do so now. It only takes a second.