- Brad Bird’s animated Pixar hit The Incredibles and Robert Zemeckis’ pioneering motion-capture fantasy The Polar Express are two of the 11 releases in the running for next year’s Best Animated Feature Academy Award.
- Harry Potter and Howard Hughes movies are among the seven semifinalists in the Oscars’ Best Visual Effects category.
Animated Pixar hit The Incredibles & costly motion-capture fantasy The Polar Express among potential Oscar contenders
The Incredibles, The Polar Express, and 2004’s biggest blockbuster, Shrek 2, are three of the 11 titles eligible for next year’s Best Animated Feature Academy Award.
Directed by Brad Bird, the animated Pixar hit The Incredibles chronicles the not-so-humdrum lives of a family of superheroes who – like Elizabeth Montgomery in the 1960s television series Bewitched – must pretend to be your average, mundane suburbanites. In the voice cast: Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Dominique Louis, Wallace Shawn, Elizabeth Peña, and Teddy Newton.
Based on Chris Van Allsburg’s 1985 children’s book, Robert Zemeckis’ $165 million-budget, 3D Christmas musical fantasy The Polar Express is supposed to be the first all-digital-capture (i.e., motion-capture) feature.
The Warner Bros. release follows a skeptical boy on his way to the North Pole, where Santa Claus is busy preparing for Christmas. In the motion-captured cast: Two-time Best Actor Oscar winner Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, 1993; Forrest Gump, 1994) in no less than six roles, Leslie Zemeckis, Nona Gaye (voice), and Peter Scolari.
Directed by Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and Conrad Vernon, DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek 2 – a sequel to the 2001 hit Shrek – has Fiona’s fairy godmother doing her utmost to destroy the princess’ marriage to the titular character. In the voice cast: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Saunders, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, and Best Actress Oscar winner Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins, 1964).
Best Animated Feature hopefuls
Here’s the full list of Best Animated Feature Oscar hopefuls:
- Clifford’s Really Big Movie.
- Disney’s Teacher’s Pet.
- Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.
- Home on the Range.
- The Incredibles.
- The Legend of Buddha.
- The Polar Express.
- Shrek 2.
- Shark Tale.
- Sky Blue.
- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
As per Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules, a maximum of three animated films can be nominated in a year in which the field of eligible entries has at least eight but fewer than sixteen titles. In other words, early next year there will be only three Best Animated Feature Oscar contenders.
Expect Brad Bird’s animated Pixar hit to be one of the nominees when the Oscar 2005 roster is announced on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 27.
Howard Hughes & Harry Potter vying for Best Visual Effects Oscar
Listed below are the seven semifinalists – i.e., still-in-the-running Oscar contenders – in the Best Visual Effects category:
- Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator.
- Roland Emmerich’s The Day After Tomorrow.
- Alfonso Cuarón’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
- Alex Proyas’ I Robot.
- Brad Silberling’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
- Kerry Conran’s Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
- Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.
Only three of these films – featuring superheroes, climate change cataclysms, Harry Potter, and Howard Hughes – will be found on the final shortlist.
“Animated Pixar Hit” endnotes
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website.
The Incredibles image: Pixar Animation Studios.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow image: Paramount Pictures.
“Animated Pixar Hit Among Oscar Hopefuls” last updated in August 2022.