2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Animation

Here is a list of the few animations I believe that will make the top lists of Best Animation at the Oscars this year: Of course there is room for development.

Finding Dory (Pixar/Disney)
The film premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on June 8, 2016, and was released in the United States on June 17, 2016. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide, becoming the second Pixar film to cross this mark following Toy Story 3 (2010). The film set numerous records, including the biggest animated opening of all time in North America, emerging as the biggest animated film of all time in the U.S. and has become the biggest Pixar film release in China.

One year after reuniting Nemo with his father, Marlin, Dory has become a helping hand in raising Nemo. One day during a lesson with Nemo’s class, Dory recalls through a childhood flashback that she has a family. She decides to look for them but finds her short-term memory loss to be an obstacle. The only thing she remembers is that they lived at the Jewel of Morro Bay.

Kimi no Na wa / Your name (Funimation)
Kimi no Na Wa has now surpassed Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo anime film, as well as James Cameron’s Avatar film. The only anime films to earn more are Ghibli and Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke . Kimi no Na Wa will be released by Funimation before 2017 to qualify for an Oscar. Your Name will run at Los Angeles’ Laemmle Music Hall for one week, Dec. 2 to 9, qualifying it for the 2016 Oscars. A film must run for a week in LA county in order to qualify. A wider theatrical release is planned for the first quarter of 2017.

The film, themed around “miracles and love,” follows the story of high school students Mitsuha and Taki. In dreams, they swap bodies. While a love story, Kimi no Na Wa features several more layers of complexity as the two protagonists search for the secret to their dream swapping. The story reportedly takes inspiration from Torikaebaya Monogatari, a 12th-century tale where two siblings display the mannerisms of the opposite sex.


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Miss Hokusai Review

Miss Hokusai is a 2015 anime film about the life and works of Japanese artist Ukiyo-e and painter Katsushika Hokusai. The movie is as seen from the eyes of his daughter, Katushika O-Ei. The origin of this anime is based off of a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hinako Sugiura.  The manga is a collection of short stories that are not connected. The original run of the mange was from 1983 to 1987. The anime movie was released on May 9, 2015 with critical acclaimed reviews. It won the Jury Award the 39th Annecy International Animated Film Festival.  It received its North American premier at the Fantasia International Film Festival between July 12 and August 5, 2015.Which it won the Gold Audience Award for best animated feature film. It also won Best Animated Film Award at the Mainichi Film Awards.
G KIDS expanded the movie in over 85 theaters  over weekend in the month of October . The movie runs around 90 minutes and was directed by Keiichi Hara. Keiichi Hara is known for his work on Crayon Shin-Chan, Doraemon and 21 emon. The story was written by Miho Maruo and produced by Production I.G. The movie is rated Pg 13 for some sexual tension.
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I probably would have enjoyed this movie a lot more if I invested some time in reading the manga. After seeing this movie I already am trying to get a copy of the manga series. Going into this movie I expected a long story about the artist and his life. What I did not expect was a collection of short stories from these artist and what they experienced. The story is linear but there are many stories intertwined to get a feel of the characters and their backgrounds. I absolutely loved the traditional art and with studying art history in the past I enjoyed the many  mediums they used. I also enjoyed the references of Hokusaias, Great Wave off Kanagawa  and a few other prints he did.  I would have liked to see more story background about the father, Hokusai. I thought the ending was a little abrupt but I enjoyed the short stories and illustration of the movie. The illustration was certainly not a disappointed and it kept the story interesting. I do expect this movie to make the top 10 finalist for best animation at the Academy Awards but I don’t think I expect to see this movie make the top five at the Academy Awards for best animation. Overall I give this movies story a 3 out of 5 woodblock prints.

When Marnie Was There, US Trailer


1. Story and background of When Marnie was there.
2. GKIDS and Studio Ghibli Article 

42nd Annie Awards Winners

Best Animated Feature

  • Big Hero 6 – Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Cheatin’ – Plymptoons Studio
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 – DreamWorks Animation SKG
  • Song of the Sea – GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon
  • The Book of Life – Reel FX Animation Studios/Twentieth Century Fox
  • The Boxtrolls – Focus Features/Laika
  • The LEGO Movie -Warner Bros. Pictures
  • The Tale of The Princess Kaguya – GKIDS/Studio Ghibli

Best Animated Special Production

  • Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey – Voyager Pictures LLC
  • Dawn of the Dragon Racers – DreamWorks Animation
  • How Murray Saved Christmas – Universal Television
  • Polariffic – Bent Image Lab / Pershing Road Productions
  • Toy Story That Time Forgot – Pixar Animation Studios

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GKIDS and Studio Ghibli

GKIDS (Guerrilla Kids International Distribution Syndicate) is an American distributor based in New York City of animated and youth-aimed cinema. GKIDS organizes the New York International Children’s Film Festival and is an Academy Award qualifying event. Just recently GKIDS has just acquired North American rights for Studio Ghiblis, When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie). The film opened in Japan last July with positive reviews. GKIDS will release an English-language version in the United States this spring and will qualify the film for 2015 award consideration. 
Omiode_no_Marnie_posterThe movie, When Marnie Was There is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi ( The Secret World Of Arrietty) and based on the British Children’s novel by Joan G. Robinson. The film follows a young girl who finds a mysterious girl while adventuring to an abandoned house. The screenplay was written by Yonehayashi with Keiko Niwa who is known for From Up on the Poppy Hill and Secret World of Arriety. Masashi Ando designed the characters and directed the animation.

GKIDS has released previous Ghibli films including From Up on Poppy Hill and The Tale of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya that has been nominated for Academy Award this year. GKIDS has also released a 2014 documentary about the studio, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. GKIDS handles all of the North American theatrical distribution rigs for the Studio Ghibli library.

Studio_Ghibli_Logo   Gkids

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea is a 2014 Irish animated film directed by Academy Award Filmmaker Tomm Moore.  The film was produced by Paul YoungClaus Toksvig Kjar and written by Will Collins. The story has animation similarities from Cartoon Saloons previous work, the critically acclaimed, The Secret of Kells. The movie was released at TIFF on September 6,2014 and distributed by StudioCanal of the UK and GKIDS from the US.
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The Song of the Sea has had many positive reviews from, gorgeous artwork, storytelling from folk takes and magic and imagery. The movie currently hold a high 8.1 rating out of 10 from ImDb and is expected to be a contender in the list to choose for best animation at the Academy Awards.  The storyline is a character by the name of Saoirse  a child who is the last of the Selkies. The Selkies are a group of  women in Irish and Scottish legends who transform from seals into people. The story tells Saoirise’s journey from escaping from her grandmother and setting off to free fairy creatures trapped in a world of uncertainty. Being a fan of the movie, The Secret of Kells I’m very interested in seeing this movie and hope that to those who enjoy folktales and animation, will not pass up the opportunity to see an extraordinary film with high expectations and glamour.