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Awards

Golden Globes: Animation Oscar race comes into view

Directors

Directors of the five Golden Globe-nominated animated features, from left: Steve Martino, “The Peanuts Movie”; Pete Docter, “Inside Out”; Peter Sohn (seated), “The Good Dinosaur”; Duke Johnson, “Anomalisa”; Richard Starzak, “Shaun the Sheep Movie." 

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

In the wake of the Golden Globes nominations this week and the Annie Awards nominations last week, the Oscar race for animated feature is coalescing around five films that pit the best of big studio, computer-generated animation against two stop-motion projects from smaller companies.

Both awards groups -- the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which selects the Globes, and the International Animated Film Society, which chooses the Annies, nominated the same five films: “Anomalisa,” “The Good Dinosaur,” “Inside Out,” “The Peanuts Movie” and “Shaun the Sheep Movie.” (Incidentally, The Times selected the directors of these same five movies for its annual Envelope animation roundtable.)

Golden Globes 2016: Full Coverage | Complete listSnubs, surprises and reactions | Top nominee photos

Among the list are two films from perennial academy favorite Pixar Animation Studios (“Inside Out” and “The Good Dinosaur”) and one from Fox’s Blue Sky Studios taking on a beloved property (“The Peanuts Movie”). In the field of stop-motion are U.K.-based Aardman Animations’ “Shaun the Sheep,” which won fans for its dialogue-free approach, and California-based Starburns Industries’ “Anomalisa,” a rare animated movie crafted expressly for adults.

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The Envelope Animation Roundtable
The Envelope Animation Roundtable On Now
The Envelope Animation Roundtable
The Envelope Animation Roundtable | Steve Martino on keeping the ‘Peanuts’ legacy alive On Now
The Envelope Animation Roundtable | Steve Martino on keeping the 'Peanuts' legacy alive
The Envelope Animation Roundtable | Richard Starzak on creating a feature length ‘Shaun the Sheep’ story On Now
The Envelope Animation Roundtable | Richard Starzak on creating a feature length 'Shaun the Sheep' story
The Envelope Animation Roundtable | Directors discuss casting their voice actors On Now
The Envelope Animation Roundtable | Directors discuss casting their voice actors
The Envelope Animation Roundtable | Duke Johnson on choosing animation for ‘Anomalisa’ On Now
The Envelope Animation Roundtable | Duke Johnson on choosing animation for 'Anomalisa'
The Envelope Animation Roundtable | Directors discuss career advice On Now
The Envelope Animation Roundtable | Directors discuss career advice

“Inside Out,” Pete Docter’s inventive story set inside the brain of an adolescent girl, has been considered the Oscar frontrunner since it opened in June to rave reviews, and went on to win fans at the box office, grossing more than $850 million so far worldwide.

But “Anomalisa,” Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s R-rated, Kickstarter-financed exploration of the psyche, emerged out of the fall film festivals with equally gushing praise and a gung-ho distributor, Paramount Pictures, setting up a likely showdown between two imaginative, thematically similar movies that represent the opposite ends of the animation business in their scope.

Some of the animated feature category’s traditional key players are not represented this year. Walt Disney Animation, which won the Oscar the last two years for “Big Hero 6" and “Frozen,” has no film in release this year and DreamWorks Animation, which had a nominee four of the last five years, is largely sitting out after getting little critical love for its one 2015 movie, “Home.”

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One potential spoiler in this year’s race is tiny New York-based distributor GKIDS, which has a terrific track record of winning over the academy’s unpredictable animation branch with its hand-drawn and foreign animated films. GKIDS’ “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet,” which combines animated sequences from several well-liked 2D directors, including Tomm Moore and Bill Plympton, could entice the sizable chunk of the branch who worked in that medium themselves.

Follow me @thatrebecca on Twitter

Follow The Times’ complete coverage of the Golden Globes and Oscars


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