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92nd Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2019 (for the 2020 Ceremony) - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only


(Charts for Documentaries and Shorts will arrive later this year)

This year's animated race offers a major test in how many sequels the Animation Branch will put up with. The most they've ever nominated at once is two (just last year with Ralph Breaks the Internet and Incredibles 2) and with a few notable exceptions they have not been in love with sequels in the past. That said most of the mainstream animated releases this year are either sequels or remakes (which can amount to the same thing). This year will also be a test case in how Disney navigates the very silly waters of repeatedly calling their Lion King remake a "live action" film even though it's 100% animated. 

Tier 1 Predictions

Missing Link
April 12th

When is Laika going to win the Oscar? We grow impatient. Could this finally be their year with the usual Oscar champs, Disney and Pixar, only doing sequels or remakes ?

Toy Story 4
June 21st

Though its existence may retroactively damage the reputation of that perfectToy Story 3 finale, people will probably love it regardless

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden Kingdom
Universal / DreamWorks
Feb 22nd

Well liked and if the original competition doesn't wow, they could justify handing it the trophy as a cumulative "trilogy" prize. 

Wish Dragon
Columbia/Sony Animation / Base Animation
Release TBA

Jackie Chan leads the voice cast of this Chinese/US production. It's due for release this summer in China. No word on the US release date yet.

Netflix/Sergio Pablos Animation
Dec 25th

Sergio Pablos is a buzzy rising star in animation, and people love the mix of CGI light and handdrawn animation. But with Netflix you never know. Could be delayed or not sufficiently pushed or...

Tier 2 - Or maybe these... 

Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie Lionsgate/Aardman
May 15th

Though Oscar's animation branch loves Aardman, they are tough to predict when it comes to sequels.

Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles

Release TBA

Could manage the 'foreign / serious' slot this year but it's early days to know which film might manage that. Will they like its movie-making story?

The Lion King
July 19th

Perhaps its foolish to bet against this but might animators balk at nominating a film whose production refuses to acknowledge it was animated? Or that the 1994 animators aren't being paid despite this movie recreating all their compositions and such.

Release TBA

A film about a woman trying to survive the Khmer regime. Could manage the 'foreign / serious' slot this year but it's early days to know which film might manage that.

Frozen 2
Nov 27th

Why do we sense that this one is courting disaster? (not that it won't be a colossal hit regardless) The original Frozen was a phenomenon but the story felt more than complete and the first sequel short was sub-par.

Tier 3 - Or maybe these... 

Spies in Disguise 

Fox / Blue Sky Studios 
Sept 13th

Blue Sky has managed two nominations (Ferdinand,and Ice Age). If this is a hit it could be a third, since it's not a sequel or remake and might feel fresh given the context of more of the same this year.

Sept 27th

Not a lot of info on this one out there though it was once called Everest and is about a young girl and a yeti.

Addams Family
MGM/United Artists
Oct 18th

An all-star voice cast (but then what toon doesn't have one these days?) for yet another look at that ghoulish clan. Same animation house as Sausage Party but under a new name "Cinesite"

Master Jiang and the Six Kingdoms
(not yet finished)

Early clips for this long-gestating hand drawn project have looked incredible but Oscar prefers kids comedies to adventure fantasis in this category.

Secret Life of Pets 2
June 7th

The original didnt score so this one is unlikely. But what if its another giant hit and the reviews are stronger than last time?

Tier 3 - Other Movies of Interest

We're a long way off of knowing which foreign titles will be eligible and which US titles will do the work of submitting their films, and which films still in production will be finished in time. But here are a several other possibilities for the eligibility list. It's clear we're never going back to the days of only 3 nominees in this category.

  • Another Day of Life - winner of last year's EFA for animated film but it's always difficult to suss out eligibility with foreign titles. It wasn't on the eligibility list at last year's Oscars for some reason. This year?
  • The Lego Movie 2 - we dont think it was well-loved enough to factor in at year's end. Especially given how this franchise has really over diluted the market with diminishing box office returns. (Despite the title its actually the 4th Lego animated movie now in just a five year spread of time)
  • Wonder Park Paramount/Ilion -March 15th
  • The Queen's Corgi Distributor? TBA
  • Children of the Sea GKids (not yet finished) - TBA
  • Uglydolls STX/ReelFX -May 10th
  • Angry Birds 2 Columbia/Sony Imageworks -Sept 6th
  • Playmobil: The Movie Tristar/On Animation -August 16th
  • A Christmas Carol Distributor? (not yet finished) - TBA
  • The Ark and the Aardvaark Distributor? (not yet finished) -TBA
  • White Snake Light Chaser / Distributor? -TBA
  • Arctic Justice Open Road - Nov 1st
  • Dajaal: The Slayer and His Followers - Distributor - TBA
  • Trouble - Distributor - TBA

We're assuming 2020 OR actually scheduled for 2020

  • Wolfwalkers Apple/Cartoon Saloon
  • The Mitchells vs The Machines Sony Pictures Animation
  • Bayala Germany/Luxembourg
  • Vivo Lin-Manuel Miranda animated musical
  • Onward Pixar movie about elves and trolls
  • Nimona (Blue Sky) based on the awesome webcomic about a female shape-shifter