“Inside Out,” “Anomalisa” and “The Peanuts Movie” are among the top contenders in a category that will once again have five nominees
The Oscar race for Best Animated Feature will likely include a full slate of five nominees this year, with 16 films submitted for the award.
Academy rules state that five films can be nominated in a year in which there are at least 16 qualifying entries. If there were less than 16, the size of the category would drop to three nominees, which was the norm from the category’s creation in 2001 through 2008.
Since 2009, however, enough films have been submitted to trigger a full slate of nominees every year except one. ...
Others might disagree, but it's a blessing that animated features now have their own Oscar category. Because the Academy would vote a "Best Picture" Oscar to an animated feature, any animated feature, around the time the sun reaches its "red star" phase.
And that's one hell of a long time.
By rights, Beauty and the Beast should have nabbed the Best Picture award twenty-odd years ago, but a law enforcement-horror flick named Silence of the Lambs beat it out
because it had flesh-and-blood actors on camera. And no self-respecting actors (who make up the largest bloc of Academy voters) are going to vote for voice performances when full-body versions are on the Academy ballot.
Sad, but the way it is. So I'm delighted that animated features have their own niche inside The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Otherwise they would have no niche at all.