This year, six anime films were submitted for the Oscar for Best Animated Film. They all have their strengths, but their chances of nominations are low.

Of the 26 eligible films submitted for the Oscar for Best Animated Film this year, six are from Japan. Six is ​​also the number of anime films that have been previously nominated for the award: Made disappear (that won), Howl’s Moving Castle, The Wind Rises, The Story of Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There Y Mirai (The only non-Studio Ghibli anime nominee). Could any of this award season’s crops join that short list?

All contenders have a lot of work to do to be recognized. Neither has been a widespread favorite in a year in which Soul Y Wolfwalkers are dominating the animation awards, and while each of them has strengths that could be an asset, they all have notable weaknesses as well. It would be at least a little surprising if any of these films were nominated, but it is not impossible.

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Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train

So far, movies based on Shonen jump the properties have never been considered serious competitors for awards. FUNimation, the company that launches the Murderer of demons movie in the US, didn’t even bother to ship My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising despite being also eligible. So what does he do Murderer of demons so different? The simple answer: you have already made all the money.

Can’t underestimate what phenomenon Murderer of demons as a whole and Mugen train in particular it has been in Japan. The rhythm of this movie Made disappearbox office records, making it the most financially successful anime film of all time. Those headlines will undoubtedly attract more attention than such a movie. It has already been nominated for a Satellite Award and was placed as a finalist in the New Mexico Film Critics’ Best Animated Feature Film award. Mugen train has exaggeration in its favor. The big question is whether Academy voters can understand whatever is happening without first seeing the TV show.

Earwig and the witch

Earwig and the witch

On paper, Earwig and the witch he sounded like an Oscar contender. Five Studio Ghibli films have been nominated in the past, including the winner. Made disappear, and the studio’s first fully CGI feature looked promising. GKIDS, the independent animation distributor that has successfully campaigned for 12 Oscar nominations, clearly expected this year’s extended window of eligibility to benefit. Earwig, which was released this February.

So people saw the movie and most of them didn’t like it. Critics gave it a low 33% score on Rotten Tomatoes and even those who most forgave the film’s visual weaknesses couldn’t forgive the fact that the story cuts out just when it should begin. With an answer like this, a nomination would be downright shocking.

Lupine III: The First


The most artistically successful of the two disputed CG anime, Lupine III: The First it is a movie that tends to like a lot, but not very much. The movie’s Rotten Tomatoes score (which calculates how many critics liked it) is 95%, but its Metacritic score (which calculates how a lot of the main critics liked it) is only 61. It is true that the film has more reviews hosted on RT than on Metacritic, but the overall impression is that it is good but not great.

Still, solidly good could be enough to make it big in this strange awards season if GKIDS campaigns as hard as possible and Academy voters can overcome their dislike of franchise anime. Those are two big yes, but Lupine III: The First it is visually stunning and accessible to new Lupine III. In fact, it managed to win the award for Best Animated Film from the Hawaii Film Critics Society.

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On-Gaku: Our sound

On-Gaku Our Sound featured

For those looking for the most unique animated films of the past year, On-Gaku: Our sound definitely deserves a bit of attention. This deadpan comedy about a bunch of stupid musicians was produced independently, with screenwriter and director Kenji Iwaisawa drawing nearly all of the film’s 40,000 animation frames. It is practically ready to be a cult movie.

However, the potential cult of this movie is probably too small for an Oscar nomination. The movie’s theatrical release last December missed the attention of most critics (it doesn’t even have a Rotten Tomatoes score yet), and GKIDS has more mainstream contenders to campaign for.

Ride your wave

Masaaki Yuasa’s Ride your wave It could be the best of the six anime in contention for awards this year. It’s sad, fun, romantic, and inspiring, with great music and exceptional animation. If the discussion about pain in WandaVision made you cry, this anime’s treatment of the same topic will make you cry. It’s airing now on HBO Max, so check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

Your biggest obstacle has nothing to do with the quality or appeal of the movie itself; it’s all about timing. Movies released in the first quarter of a given year are generally ignored by the Oscars, and with this Oscar season lasting two months longer than usual, Ride your wave It feels like forever ago It won multiple awards at film festivals in 2019, but this year, the Florida Film Critics Circle is the only group to give it a Best Animated Feature nomination thus far. GKIDS would need an incredible campaign to turn the tide.

A mustache away


The launch of Netflix A mustache away received mostly positive reviews, drawing some comparisons to the works of Studio Ghibli. However, despite this, it never got a chance to win the Oscars due to the nature of its release. Netflix has five contenders this year, and A mustache away it is by far your lowest campaign priority. On the moon Y The Willoughbys are internal productions that Netflix clearly prioritizes, while TO Shaun the Sheep Moive: Farmageddon comes from Oscar favorites Aardman Animation and Indian film Bombay Rose It has more hype than film festivals. Maybe it can surprise at the animation-focused Annie Awards, but for the Oscars, it’s not a start.

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