The Oscar nominees for animated feature this year reflect shifts in an art form that has become an increasingly crucial part of the movie business.
There is the return of an industry giant, Walt Disney Animation Studios, which saw its blockbuster musical "Frozen" collect nominations both for animated feature and original song; the validation of a younger studio player, Los Angeles and Paris-based Illumination Entertainment, which secured its first Oscar nominations for "Despicable Me 2" and that movie's original song, "Happy"; the omission of a category stalwart, Pixar Animation, which was passed over for its prequel "Monsters University"; and the end of an august career, that of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, who was nominated for what he has said will be his final film, "The Wind Rises."
"The Croods," the DreamWorks Animation caveman comedy, and "Ernest & Celestine," the hand-drawn French-Belgian adaptation from independent distributor GKIDS, rounded out the category. ...
Since I've got no clue which of the above will win, I'll limit myself to one prediction: Frozen will pick up at least one Oscar, either for song or best animated feature.
As for the rest, may the best .... or most politically connected .... feature win. I'm so old I remember when nobody cared whether an animated feature got ANY nominations. Animation was a sleepy, irrelevant backwater that Hollywood ignored.
Oh yeah. Here's a list of all the nominees.