Awards season has finally begun! Disney has officially launched their For Your Consideration site, where they are promoting all their 2016 releases for precursor awards like the Annies, Golden Globes, and critics' awards — which all eventually lead up to the prestigious Academy Awards, or Oscars, the end-goal in awards season.
Pixar's Finding Dory and Piper will be in contention this year as part of Disney's slate.
The following Disney releases are currently being promoted for awards consideration:
Captain America: Civil War (Marvel)
Doctor Strange (Marvel)
Finding Dory (Pixar)
The Jungle Book (Walt Disney Studios)
Moana (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Queen of Katwe (Walt Disney Studios)
Zootopia (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
I'm expecting Pixar's Piper, as well as The BFG, Rouge One: A Star Wars Story, and potentially Pete's Dragon and Alice Through the Looking Glass to be added in the future, or added just to Disney's Oscar-specific site later on.
Disney's Oscar-specific site is not yet up and running yet, but a strong showing at the minor awards that come first raises a film's profile amongst the industry members who afterwards also vote for the Oscars. Oscar nominations for 2016 films will be announced January 24th, 2017, while the Academy Awards ceremony, where the final winners are announced, will be on February 26.
Until then, Disney's awards office will probably be hard at work promoting Finding Dory amongst industry members, and we may soon be seeing more FYC material (remember those gorgeous Inside Out FYC posters last year?).
Anyway, for now, here's some brief, early Oscar predictions of mine:
Best Animated Short Film
This category's predictions are made significantly easier when the shortlist of films eligible for nomination is announced in a few weeks. For now though, I think it's safe to assume that Piper will be a major frontrunner.
Best Animated Feature Film
The following films are listed in order of likelihood to receive an Oscar nomination, as gauged subjectively by me. These predictions will probably change as awards season goes on ... though last year I did predict 4/5 of the nominees
1) Kubo and the Two Strings (Laika)
2) The Red Turtle (Studio Ghibli/Sony Pictures Classics)
3) My Life as a Zucchini (GKIDS)
4) Moana (WDAS)
5) Zootopia (WDAS)
6) April and the Extraordinary World (GKIDS)
7) Finding Dory (Pixar)
8) Miss Hokusai (GKIDS)
9) Long Way North (Shout! Factory)
10) Phantom Boy (GKIDS)
Long shots & dark horses:
11) Kung Fu Panda 3 (DreamWorks)
12) The Little Prince (Netflix)
13) Sing (Illumination)
14) Sausage Party (Sony)
15) Revengeance (Plymptoons)
Best Original Score
Tbd, at this state of the race nobody has any idea what's going on in the Original Score category. Unlike animated feature, where there's a limited number of contenders, here all films are in contention. Finding Dory composer Thomas Newman is considered a favorite to score his fourteenth Oscar nomination (he was nominated last year for Bridge of Spies and was also nominated for Finding Nemo and WALL-E). If he does, perhaps he'll finally win this year? Some of Dory and Newman's *potential* big competition, listed in no particular order:
Passengers (Thomas Newman)
The BFG (John Williams)
Arrival (Johann Johannson)
The Jungle Book (John Debney)
Moana (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa'i, Mark Mancina)
Rouge One: A Star Wars Story (Michael Giacchino)
Florence Foster Jenkins (Alexandre Desplat)
The Light Between Oceans (Alexandre Desplat)
La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna)
Hopefully Piper doesn't disappoint, and although I'm being a bit pessimistic on Finding Dory right now (its best shot is at Best Original Score; it'll likely be snubbed for Animated Feature, and probably isn't at the level necessary for a serious Best Picture or Adapted Screenplay run), it's still very early in a very fluid season, so things may definitely change by the time it's January!