Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.
Beginning in March 2021, a month before the Oscars awards ceremony aired, films officially qualified for the Oscars of 2021. While it might be too early to make concrete projections, there have been a few strong candidates for Best Animated Feature and with a few more on the way.
Raya and the Last Dragon was released just in time for 2021 consideration and wowed audiences as another beloved Disney animation movie for the catalogue. There is no doubt it has legs to make it on the nomination list despite the ten months between its debut and the Oscars.
One of the biggest surprises of the year so far has been The Mitchells vs The Machines which is wildly original and loads of fun. This has the potential to be a dark horse winner as the unorthodox and original Sony Pictures Animation movie that can definitely step in the ring like Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse did in 2018
The third of the early animation triple threat has not been released yet. Luca will be out this summer and is this year’s Pixar film, which is essentially an automatic nomination. However, this film looks like a beautiful story of friendship with LGBT subtext that will be revolutionary for the studio and will earn its nomination and the possible win.
These three films are the current front runners for Best Animated Feature, which is surprising considering they all debuted in the first half of the year, but each represents a type of past winner and fits the model of an award winner.
The second half of the year does not seem to hold much of a threat to these three, but they may be contenders. Some may scoff at Boss Baby Family Business, but the first somehow fought its way to a nomination in 2017.
The fourth chapter in the Hotel Transylvania saga will be released this year, but the first three have not even been nominated which seems to leave without any chance of momentum for a win. This goes the same for Sing 2, who’s predecessor was not recognized and therefore does have a huge chance. Meanwhile the Lin Manuel Miranda vehicle, Vivo, seems far too generic without showing much promise of garnering awards attention.
The two most likely competitors would be Wendell and Wild, the fascinating Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key reunion, and Encanta, another beautiful Disney animated film that will be released closer to award season. There is not much about these two yet, but with them not being sequels and being original ideas, they sound the most promising.
The Best Animated category at the Oscars has had fascinating trends. It is usually Pixar but every once in a while being an original movie that comes from an unsuspecting studio and while the Pixar film looks promising, so many this year show great promise.