Nine Films Found Eligible for Best Animated
The last one is a controversial one within the animation industry as some say the techniques applied to Waking Life does not represent true animation. The Academy found otherwise, however, and is allowing it to compete. Two others most people haven't seen - Marco Polo: Return to Xanadu (which opens in limited release on December 22) and The Prince of Light. Had those two movies not been submitted there would not have been enough to qualify the giving of an award (at least 8 movies must be found eligible for the award to be held in any given year). Disney created some controversy of its own by refusing to submit Atlantis: The Lost Empire for consideration. The Academy specifically expressed disappointment in Disney for not submitting Atlantis.
Had Waking Life and one other movie been found ineligible, the award would have been cancelled.
Early buzz appears to favor Shrek, Waking Life, and Monsters, Inc. for a final three nominations.
The nominating process for this award will begin with a 100-member screening committee chaired by Academy Governor Tom Hanks and comprised half of animators and half of members of the Academy's other 13 branches. That group will view the nine films and will determine the three nominees. The nominees will be announced on February 12. All voting Academy members worldwide are eligible to vote to select the film that will receive the Oscar.
Academy President Frank Pierson pointed out that the award is intended to honor not just a film's animation work per se, but a film as an entire creation - taking the script, performances, score and other elements into account.
The Academy has pointed out that an animated movie being nominated for Best Animated Feature does not disqualify it from being nominated for a Best Picture award. To date, Beauty and the Beast is the only animated movie to ever be nominated for the Best Picture award.
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