up Academy releases Oscar submissions for best animated featureLadies and gentlemen, the winner for best animated feature is… one of the 20 submissions announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The list is a mix of wishful thinking, dark horse contenders and some pretty solid heavy hitters.

Disney and Pixar are well represented, as is Dreamworks; we’re figuring they could walk away with a nice bit of Oscar hardware for the mantle.

The submissions are:

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”
“Astro Boy”
“Battle for Terra”
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
“Disney’s A Christmas Carol”
“The Dolphin – Story of a Dreamer”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”
“Mary and Max”
“The Missing Lynx”
“Monsters vs. Aliens”
“Planet 51”
“The Princess and the Frog”
“The Secret of Kells”
“Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure”
“A Town Called Panic”

Okay, let’s break this down. Sorry, Alvin and Tink, you have no chance. We’re pretty sure “Astro Boy” is a lost cause as well, and while “Ponyo” had an all-star cast, it also got next to no exposure. “Monsters vs. Aliens” was amusing but not really as emotionally engaging as we expect from an Oscar winner. Ditto the latest “Ice Age” installment.

Who do we peg as true contenders? “Up” was visually amazing and surprisingly emotional. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is another safe bet for the gold statue. “Coraline” may be a little dark for your usual Oscar nominee, but we think it’s a great out-of-left-field choice.

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Posted by:Andy Grieser