Oscars Predictions: Animated Feature – Will Disney’s Awards ‘Wish’ for Two Feature Film Nominees Come True?

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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2023 Oscars Predictions:
Best Animated Feature

Jessica Drew (Issa Rae) and Miguel Oý Hara (Oscar Isaac) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animationsý  SPIDER-MANý: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.
Jessica Drew (Issa Rae) and Miguel Oý Hara (Oscar Isaac) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animationsý SPIDER-MANý: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE.

Weekly Commentary (Updated Nov. 16, 2023): Walt Disney Pictures’ 100-year celebration movie “Wish” dropped hours after the lift of the SAG-AFTRA strike and it was a wonderful way to celebrate. Helmed by “Frozen” (2013) Oscar winner Chris Buck and debut director Fawn Veerasunthorn, the movie is an Easter egg extravaganza that will feed the appetites of the Animation Branch members and those who have opted in to vote on the category.

With a few quality song candidates the Music Branch could also gravitate towards, the movie becomes the latest to land in this competitive and overflowing roster of animated feature contenders.

Sony Pictures Animation’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” still holds the frontrunner spot, as the studio is pushing for more categories including best picture, while also making a concerted effort for sound, visual effects, original score and original song. The recently announced live orchestral concert at the Academy Museum will surely help in the quest for more recognition.

Netflix also has a pair of contenders that can sneak into the field — “Nimona” and “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.” However, with only five slots, and many Disney animators part of the branch, both candidates making the cut could be difficult.

Even Disney’s counterpart “Elemental,” the Cinderella story of the year with the slow climb to a box office hit, will have to fight to stay in the race. While the company has gotten two of its films in the lineup before — “Soul” and “Onward” in 2020 and “Luca” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” in 2021, they’ve also missed previously (i.e., “Frozen II,” “Monsters University” and “The Good Dinosaur”) when another feature is in the race.

We also have the legendary Hayao Miyazaki in the mix with “The Boy and the Heron,” getting the big push by GKids, which has surprised in this category on multiple occasions.

Migration; Illumination; Universal Pictures; animated film; VIEW Conference
This holiday season, Illumination invites you to take flight into the thrill of the unknown with a funny, feathered family vacation like no other in the action-packed new original comedy, Migration.

Let’s not forget the huge push for “Trolls: Band Together” from DreamWorks Animation, with the double dose of Illumination with the billion-dollar hit “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and the upcoming “Migration.”

And God bless us all if enough voters make time for the delightfully moving “Robot Dreams” from Neon, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s worthy of consideration.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

The submission deadline for general categories is Nov. 15, 2023. The preliminary shortlist for eight categories is from Dec. 14-18, with the results announcement dropping on Dec. 21. The Oscar nomination period will run from Jan. 11-16, 2024, with the official nominees named on Jan. 23.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10.

Listed producer credits are not final, and all releases are subject to change. The Academy ultimately determines the official nominees.

And the Predicted Nominees Are:

  1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)
    Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson (directors), Avi Arad, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Amy Pascal, Christina Steinberg (producers)

  2. The Boy and the Heron” (GKids/Toho)
    Hayao Miyazaki (director), Toshio Suzuki (producer)

  3. Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures)
    Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn (directors), Peter Del Vecho, Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster-Jones (producers)

  4. Elemental” (Pixar)
    Peter Sohn (director), Denise Ream (producer)

  5. Nimona” (Netflix)
    Nick Bruno, Troy Quane (directors), Roy Lee, Karen Ann Ryan (producers)

Next in Line

  1. Trolls Band Together” (DreamWorks Animation)
    Walt Dohrn (director), Gina Shay (producer)

  2. The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Illumination)
    Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic (directors), Chris Meledandri, Shigeru Miyamoto (producers)

  3. Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget” (Netflix)
    Sam Fell (director), Steve Pegram, Leyla Hobart (producers)

  4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” (Paramount Pictures)
    Jeff Rowe (director), Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kevin Eastman (producers)

  5. Robot Dreams” (Neon)
    Pablo Berger (director, producer), Ibon Cormenzana, Ignasi Estapé, Sandra Tapia Díaz, Angel Durández (producers)

Other Top-Tier Possibilities

  1. The Peasants” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Dorota Kobiela (director), Hugh Welchman (director, producer), Sean M. Bobbitt (producer)

  2. Suzume” (Crunchyroll)
    Makoto Shinkai (director), Kōichirō Itō, Genki Kawamura (producers)

  3. Migration” (Illumination)
    Benjamin Renner (director), Chris Meledandri (producer)

  4. They Shot the Piano Player” (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Javier Mariscal, Fernando Trueba (directors), Cristina Huete (producer)

  5. Leo” (Netflix)
    Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel, David Wachtenheim (directors), Adam Sandler (producer)

  6. The First Slam Dunk” (GKids)

  7. Unicorn Wars” (GKids)

  8. Titina” (Norsk Film Distribujon)

  9. Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibbertia” (GKids)

  10. The Magician’s Elephant” (Netflix)

All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Studio)**

  • The Inventor” (Blue Fox)

  • Suzume” (Crunchyroll)

  • Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” (DreamWorks Animation)

  • Trolls Band Together” (DreamWorks Animation)

  • Migration” (Illumination)

  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Illumination)

  • Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman” (Gebeka Films)

  • The Boy and the Heron” (GKids/Toho)

  • Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibbertia” (GKids)

  • The First Slam Dunk” (GKids)

  • Unicorn Wars” (GKids)

  • Robot Dreams” (Neon)

  • Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget” (Netflix)

  • Leo” (Netflix)

  • The Magician’s Elephant” (Netflix)

  • The Monkey King” (Netflix)

  • Nimona” (Netflix)

  • Titina” (Norsk Film Distribujon)

  • The Peasants” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” (Paramount Pictures)

  • Elemental” (Pixar)

  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)

  • They Shot the Piano Player” (Sony Pictures Classics)

  • Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures)

** Denotes the potential for the film’s release date is not yet confirmed and could change.

2022 category winner: “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” (Netflix) — Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar, Alex Bulkley

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About the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 10,000-person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

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