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

AUGUST 11TH PREDICTIONS

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

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).

Tier 1 Predictions

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. 

Toy Story 4
Disney/Pixar
June 21st

Though we still don't know why it had to exist, enough people loved it that it seems like a sure thing in this category. It could even win unless something more beloved comes along.

Frozen 2
Disney
Nov 27th

 The original Frozen was a phenomenon but the story felt more than complete and the first sequel short was sub-par. Still it's probably a threat surely from being such an inevitable box office behemoth.

Missing Link
UA/Laika
April 12th

 When is Laika going to win the Oscar? We grow impatient. With Disney and Pixar only doing sequels or remakes this would have been a great year for it but Missing Link was not popular so...

Klaus
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.

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.

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.

IS IT GOING TO BE READY IN TIME?

Abominable
Universal/Pearl
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.

Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles

GKids
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?

 
Tier 3 - Or maybe these... 

Okko's Inn
GKids
April 22nd

 An orphaned girl living at her grandmother's inn discovers friendly ghosts and plays gracious host to them. GKids has been pretty successful at snagging nods. But it's hard to know which of their many foreign titles each year will catch on.

Funan
GKids
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.

The Lion King
Disney
July 19th

 Enough animators have balked at this film -- for refusing to acknowledge it was animated and for not crediting the 1994 animators who aren't being paid despite copying their work essentially. plus the campaign to sell it as live action meets it's probably a no go here.

Master Jiang and the Six Kingdoms
Release
TBA

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

IS IT GOING TO BE READY IN TIME?

Addams Family
MGM/United Artists
Oct 18th

 An all-star voice cast (but then what toon doesn't have one these days?) but the trailer looks dated/terrible. Same animation house as Sausage Party but under a new name "Cinesite"

 
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.

  • Nezha - Chinese highest-grossing animated film ever. Will it get sent over for eligibility?
  • 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
  • Secret Life of Pets 2 - Universal June 7th

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

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

It's far too early to do this since we don't yet know which films will be eligible (complicated rules) and that whole finalist of 15 films list. But here are some titles we're keeping an eye on and have reviewed.

Tier 1 Predictions

One Child Nation
Amazon
Aug 4th

REVIEW

Maiden
Sony Pictures Classics
June 28th

REVIEW

The Great Hack
Netflix
August

REVIEW

Apollo 11
Neon
March 1st

REVIEW

The Edge of Democracy
Netflix
July

REVIEW

 
Tier 2 - Or maybe these... 

The River and the Wall
Gravitas
May 3rd

REVIEW

Honeyland

Neon
July 26th

REVIEW

The Russian Five
Lucky Hat
March 21st

REVIEW


Biggest Little Farm
Neon
May 10th
Pavarotti
CBS Films
June 7th
 
Tier 3 - So many titles to consider... 

Halston
Orchard
May 24th

REVIEW

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love
Roadside
July 5th

Roll Red Roll
Greenwich
March

Knock Down the House
Netflix

REVIEW

Ask Dr Ruth
Magnolia

REVIEW

 

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

  • American Factory
  • Echo in the Canyon
  • Hail, Satan? (REVIEW)
  • Meeting Gorbachev (REVIEW)
  • The Proposal (REVIEW)
  • Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

NOT ELIGIBLE THIS YEAR (DESPITE 2019 THEATRICAL RELEASE) BECAUSE THEY WERE ACTUALLY ON THE 166 CONTENDER LIST FOR 2018 :

  • Amazing Grace
  • Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy Blache
  • The Silence of Others