In what has turned out to be the most competitive animated Oscar race since the Academy instituted the category 15 years ago, we have a record 27 entries — most of them indies — and the greatest range of diversity ever on display in terms of themes and techniques.
From talking and singing animals to female empowerment, to both extraordinary and ordinary rites of passage, to cycle of life exploration, animation speaks with relevance and urgency about and how we must grow closer together in these divisive times.
In terms of the race itself, the animation committee remains dedicated to nominating two or three indies, so look for that trend to continue. Which means no more than one or two big studio CG movies, along with significant representation of 2D and stop-motion. But while GKIDS has dominated the indie field the last several years, it has greater competition this season.