GKids plans to distribute 4 Oscar-qualifying films

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Oscar Statuette, Academy Awards

Oscar Stat­uette, Acad­emy Awards

New York-based ani­ma­tion dis­trib­u­tor GKids announced Tues­day that it plans to give runs to four films in order to qual­ify them for this year’s Oscars.

Three of the four are French fea­tures: Zarafa (Pathe), Le Chat du Rab­bin (The Rabbi’s Cat) (TF1) and Le Tableau (The Paint­ing) (Rezo). The fourth is Kokurikozaka Kara (From Up on Poppy Hill), from Japan’s Stu­dio Ghibli.

Last year, GKids dis­trib­uted two Oscar-nominated fea­tures: Chico & Rita, from Spain’s Fer­nando Trueba and set in the milieau of Cuban jazz, and French spy tale Une Vie De Chat (A Cat In Paris).

The four new releases will raise the num­ber of Oscar-qualifying films to 15, which means that the num­ber of nom­i­nees for Best Ani­mated Fea­ture will auto­mat­i­cally increase from three to four. If just one qual­i­fy­ing ani­mated film is released, the num­ber of Oscar nom­i­nees in the cat­e­gory will reach five.

Already, six stu­dio films have received Oscar-qualifying runs: Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Sony/Aardman’s The Pirates: Band of Mis­fits, Dream­Works Animation’s Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, Disney/Pixar’s Brave, Blue Sky/20th Cen­tury Fox’s Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift and Laika/Focus’ Para­Nor­man.

Sched­uled for release later this year are Sony Pic­tures Animation’s Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia, Tim Burton’s stop-motion Franken­wee­nie and Rich Moore’s Wreck-It Ralph from Dis­ney, and DWA’s William Joyce adap­ta­tion Rise of the Guardians.

A Liar’s Auto­bi­og­ra­phy: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Gra­ham Chap­man, with con­tri­bu­tions by over a dozen dif­fer­ent ani­ma­tion stu­dios, is also sched­uled to receive a qual­i­fy­ing run.

The Oscars have had a Best Ani­mated Fea­ture cat­e­gory for 11 years. There has been a field of five nom­i­nees three times — twice in the last three years.

With this look­ing like the Oscar pack, do you have any favorites, or guesses as to which film will take it all this year at the Oscars???

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