Pixar’s blockbuster about sadness, Charlie Kaufman’s Kickstarter dream project, Hayao Miyazaki’s (probable) lush swan song, England’s swashbuckling silent film starring a sheep and a Brazilian boy’s kaleidoscopic journey are the animated features earning Oscar nods this year.
The odds-on favorite to win is director/co-writer Pete Docter’s “Inside Out,” last summer’s mammoth hit that collected more than $855 million in global box office receipts. The film, led by Amy Poehler’s ebullient Joy, deconstructs the emotional journey of a girl as she’s uprooted from the Midwest for a new life in San Francisco.
FOR THE RECORD
Jan. 15, 3:05 p.m.: Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki did not work on the film “When Marnie Was There,” and the studio has at least one more film coming out, “The Red Turtle,” set for release in Japan in September.
Docter has earned five other Oscar nods in the genre, including for co-writing “Toy Story” in 1995, for animated feature for “Monsters, Inc.” in 2001, for original screenplay for “Wall-E” in 2008 and for “Up” in 2009, which earned him a statuette.
Paramount Pictures’ “Anomalisa,” a critically lauded stop-motion story of a self-help author’s struggle with life’s banality, earned director Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman an Oscar nod. Kaufman is a four-time nominee, who won for original screenplay for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” in 2004.
A few of the nominees for the top awards -- picture, director, actor and actress -- and other selected categories at this year’s Academy Awards.()
Winner: Picture | Original screenplay. Nominations: Supporting Actor - Mark Ruffalo | Supporting Actress - Rachel McAdams | Director - Tom McCarthy(Kerry Hayes)
Winner: Actor - Leonardo DiCaprio | Cinematography | Director - Alejandro González Iñárritu. Nominations: Picture(Kimberley French / Twentieth Century Fox)
Winner: Actress - Brie Larson. Nominations: Director - Lenny Abrahamson | Adapted screenplay(Ruth Hurl / Element Pictures)
Winner: Original score. Nomination: Supporting actress - Jennifer Jason Leigh(Weinstein Company / TNS)
Winner: Supporting actor - Mark Rylance. Nominations: Picture | Original Screenplay(Jaap Buitendijk / DreamWorks)
Winner: Animated feature. Nominations: Original screenplay.(Handout )
Winner: Visual effects. Nominations: Original screenplay.(AP)
Winner: Sound mixing | Sound editing | Film editing | Costume design | Production design | Make-up and hairstyling. Nominations: Picture | Director - George Miller(Jasin Boland / Warner Bros.)
Winner: Supporting actress - Alicia Vikander. Nomination: Actor - Eddie Redmayne(Agatha A. Nitecka / Focus Features)
Winner: Adapted screenplay. Nominations: Picture | Supporting actor - Christian Bale | Director - Adam McKay(Jaap Buitendijk / Paramount Pictures)
Nominations: Picture | Actor - Matt Damon(Giles Keyte / Twentieth Century Fox)
Nominations: Supporting actor - Sylvester Stallone(Barry Wetcher / Warner Bros.)
Nominations: Picture | Actress - Saoirse Ronan(Kerry Brown / Twentieth Century Fox Film Corpo)
Nominations: Actor - Bryan Cranston(Hilary Bronwyn Gayle / Bleecker Street)
Nominations: Original screenplay(Jaimie Trueblood / Universal Pictures)
Nominations: Actor - Michael Fassbender | Supporting actress - Kate Winslet(Francois Duhamel / Universal Pictures)
Nominations: Actress - Jennifer Lawrence(Twentieth Century Fox)
Nominations: Actress - Cate Blanchett | Supporting actress - Rooney Mara(Wilson Webb / Weinstein Co.)
Nomination: Animated film(Paramount Pictures)
Nomination: Actress - Charlotte Rampling(Agatha A. Nitecka / Sundance Selects)
“The thing that’s different [is] we put it together ourselves with no studio involved,” said Kaufman in a call from Detroit, where he’s promoting the film. “There’s so many difficulties in making it. And so many times we thought we wouldn’t finish it. The fact that we did finish it and it’s been getting positive response from people — it’s very gratifying.”
Writer-directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzak earned their first nomination with Aardman Animation’s “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” a stop-motion film, based on the long-running TV series.
“It’s been tinged with a bit of sadness because we lost Alan Rickman,” Burton said in a call from Britain, speaking of the English actor who died on nominations morning. “But we’re delighted. It’s a group effort.”
It’s another big year for newcomer GKIDS, a New York-based distributor since 2010 specializing in indie animation. The company released Brazil’s “Boy & the World” and Japan’s lush drama “When Marnie Was There,” both of which were nominated this year after playing in a very limited number of theaters.
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, “When Marnie Was There” was adapted from the 1981 novel about girlhood and friendship. The film is the latest — and potentially the last — released by Japan’s venerable Studio Ghibli, which was founded by the Oscar-winning Japanese auteur and anime master Miyazaki.
“The selection of the film truly is a tribute to the entire production staff of the film, to whom I express my sincere appreciation,” said Yonebayashi in a statement.
“Boy & the World,” directed by Brazilian artist Alê Abreu is a colorful, impressionistic story of one boy’s journey into the city to find his father amid the threats of modern life.
“I am so honored and happy to have our film recognized by the academy, I have no words,” Abreu said in a statement. “It was a great year for animation around the globe, and the academy’s continued recognition of our work will continue to inspire.”