‘Nimona’ Directors Nick Bruno & Troy Quane On Oscar Nom, Telling Stories That “Prove You’re Not Alone” & The True Pinnacle Of Awards

After a whirlwind journey to even get made, Nimona received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature on Tuesday morning, much to the delight of directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane. “This movie was dead, it was not even going to exist, and now here it is, standing shoulder to shoulder with the top films of the year,” says Quane. “It’s crazy and incredible.”

Nimona was originally at Blue Sky Studios, which was dissolved after being acquired by Disney. “It’s a testament to what ND (Stevenson) created with the graphic novel,” says Bruno. “For all those people who’ve ever felt misunderstood, it’s unapologetically LGBTQ+. At the time, Disney was unapologetically against it, but we had a whole industry pick this movie up and help carry it across the finish line.”

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Four other animated films are in contention for the Oscar this year – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-VerseThe Boy and the HeronElemental and Robot Dreams – and Bruno and Quane are thrilled for Nimona to be counted among them. “I think this is one of the greatest years for animation,” says Bruno, “just because the people we’re in company with, the movies that are out there… You’re seeing more diversity in both stories that are being told and the styles that they’re being told in, which is amazing. That’s huge for animation. We got to keep things fresh.”

Diversity in storytelling is what drove the pair to never give up on Nimona, and Quane says they have seen how the film has affected people in those communities. “Up to this point, we’ve been reading comments of people who’ve been supportive online saying, ‘I feel seen and I feel acknowledged.’ And now to take that a step further with being nominated for an Academy award… it’s just a platform for being seen and acknowledged at such a higher level. Hopefully that does the trick and more people see it.”

While the recognition with an Oscar nomination is great, Bruno hopes this will lead to the award he’s always dreamed of. “When I was a kid, 10-year-old Nick growing up, there was always one award that I really wanted… and it was the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award. And I really hope that the acknowledgement today might get us some recognition to maybe be nominated for that.”

“We make these movies for future generations,” says Bruno, “and hopefully they help tell the stories that prove that you’re not alone to kids, and show us ways to be better adults someday. That’s why the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards is still the pinnacle for me… but today’s a great day.”

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