While Pixar’s “UP” has tremendous buzz around it this year, maybe even more than “WALL-E” last year, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has upped the best picture category to 10 nominations from 5 in previous years. The hollywood reporter thinks the film has a chance at the first coveted dual accolade (Best Film, Best Animated Feature).
A dual accolade would make history: The only instance of an animated movie being nominated for best film was “Beauty and the Beast” in 1991, long before the best animated feature category existed.
A double nomination also would create complications — and not only for Pixar execs who might have to shell out some extra coin on a broader campaign.
Pixar and director Pete Docter might hope that the best-picture momentum will carry it to a victory in the animation category. But for some voters, it could slice the other way, prompting them to choose something else in animation because they’ve already put “Up” high on their best picture ballot. (In that sense, “Up” would be unlucky to be nominated twice.)
The “Up” conundrum isn’t the only drama playing out this year. The animation race is more wide open than ever, thanks to a likely five slots, which are possible (though not mandated) if the Academy qualifies at least 16 animated releases. A whopping 20 films are said to have been submitted this year, a bounty that would nearly double the number of animated slots and essentially create the animation equivalent of the best-picture slot expansion.
That, in turn, could charge up more than a few dark horses. “There’s real anticipation this year because of the possibility we’re finally going to hit the magic number of 16, which would be a real bonus for many of the smaller pictures at the boxoffice and on DVD,” says Animation Magazine’s Ramin Zahed. “We say that every year, but this year there’s a real feeling it could happen.”
The list will be announced within the next week.