November 8, 2007
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just released their list of films that have been submitted for consideration for the animated feature film category for next year's Oscars. The features are Alvin and the Chipmunks, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, Bee Movie, Beowulf, Meet the Robinsons, Persepolis, Ratatouille, Shrek the Third, The Simpsons Movie, Surf's Up, Tekkonkinkreet and TMNT. Alvin, Beowulf and Persepolis still haven't had their Los Angeles qualifying runs, but I'm sure Fox, Warner and Sony will get right on that.

It also appears that the Academy has gotten over its uncertainty with regards to tagging Beowulf and Alvin as animated features (the former because of its extensive use of motion capture—which even direct Robert Zemeckis doesn't feel is animation—and the latter because of its blend of animation and live action).

So which three films do you think will actually be nominated for the li'l gold guy? Here's what I think, and why:

Beowulf: Gosh-wow technology; eye candy in the form of both lush imagery and Angelina Jolie; Hollywood loves a good epic; the novelty of a PG-13 animated feature.

Persepolis: Great festival buzz; the hand-drawn look balances out the CG of most of the other entries; topical themes; more straightforward plotwise than Tekkonkinkreet; a nod to foreign animation.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters: Just kidding. Though I expect that The Simpsons Movie and Ratatouille will split the vote and we'll get something like Shrek the Third or Surf's Up in there.

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