With Oscar nominated feature films like The Wind Rises and Ernest & Celestine still awaiting a proper Chicagoland release, the Animated Feature category at this year’s Academy Awards registers as especially commercial. The numbers don’t lie as Despicable Me 2 and Frozen are 2013’s top 3 and 4 grossers respectively (though that ranking could change by the end of this week). Meanwhile, The Croods rounds out 2013’s top 15 nearly 200 million in tow. While I may take umbrage with the homogenization and lack of personality in these animated films, these issues often get resolved when I peruse the corresponding short film options. With prior winners like The Lost Thing and Logorama (along with worthy nominees like Wallace and Gromit in a Matter of Loaf and Death and Adam and Dog), the category more often than not offers some of the best nominees of their year.
The 2014 selections represent a significantly better-rounded group of nominees, particularly in its emphasis on diversity. From mainstream American fare to animated films from Japan and France, each entry possesses a sense of singularity.Read More