This past Friday, the Academy announced some changes to its rules for Oscars eligibility and participation. In particular, multi-part documentaries are now not eligible for consideration, and the requirements for participation in the committee that determines the Best Animated Feature nominees have been relaxed such that its members will no longer be mostly people with experience (past or present) in the field of animation.
Since the new rules were published, there has been speculation about their effects on the awards. Josh Spiegel at /Film and Scott Feinberg at the Hollywood Reporter agree on the potential effects to the Best Animated Feature category. Writes Feinberg, “…the mountain that must be climbed for a GKIDS movie to land a best animated feature nomination just got a lot steeper. And the prospects of a nomination for high-profile studio movies — not just those from Disney/Pixar, but also Universal/Illumination (Despicable Me 3), Warner Bros. (The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie), Fox (Ferdinand) and DreamWorks Animation (The Boss Baby) — just got a lot better.” (Source: Hollywood Reporter)
While Feinberg offers analysis, Spiegel offers opinion: “While no Best Animated Feature Oscar winners have been indies, the fact that smaller films get to compete against the Zootopias and Inside Outs of the world only means good things for fans of animation. Animated films are more than just the latest Pixar or DreamWorks Animation releases, so to learn that a potentially wider net will be cast for nomination committee voters is plenty concerning. Primarily, this choice allows for a possible dilution of quality among Best Animated Feature nominees.” (Source: Slashfilm)
It will be interesting to see how these changes affect next year’s awards, and whether predictions come true.
Featured Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures