2024 Oscars Best Animated Feature Predictions

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

THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE, from left: Donkey Kong (voice: Seth Rogen), Mario (voice: Chris Pratt), Princess Peach (voice: Anya Taylor-Joy), Cranky Kong (voice: Fred Armisen), 2023. © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection
©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Weekly Commentary (Updated Aug. 23, 2023): Animated movies are firing on all cylinders, which shouldn’t be surprising given the last decade of outstanding outings by major and independent studios. A mixture of established IP and sequels will be among the big movies in the awards discussion.

The summer was lit with Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse,” the sequel to the 2018 Oscar winner. Helmed by directing trio Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson, with the producing power of Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Amy Pascal, the film is the early favorite in the race, with the potential (and worthiness) to pick up additional noms for sound, original score (Daniel Pemberton), film editing (Michael Andrews) and most notably best picture.

Three animated movies have been nominated for best picture in Oscars history — “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), “Up” (2009) and “Toy Story 3” (2010) — all under the Walt Disney banner. And more than two dozen worthy animated movies should have been listed alongside them, going back to 1937’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” up to the most recent “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.” The industry should continue to embrace the medium substantially and not just relegate it to this category.

Speaking of Disney, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary year, they already have the beautiful “Elemental,” which is turning a profit and will likely climb the charts as more industry voters discover it with its timely themes and story. The company also has “Wish” under the Walt Disney Animation Studios banner, with Oscar winner Ariana DeBose voicing the newest Princess Asha.

After winning its first Oscar for animated feature last year with “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” Netflix is back with another potential strong roster, which already includes the gorgeous “Nimona” and the upcoming “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget” which will have its World Premiere at the BFI Film Festival.

Not the only sequel in the race, with DreamWorks Animation coming down the pike with the third installment of the “Trolls” franchise, sure to make money (and have an original song in the mix).

Illumination has a one-two punch with the billion-dollar “Super Mario Bros. Movie,” despite the mixed reviews and the impending computer-animated “Migration,” which follows a family of mallards with an ensemble that includes Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks and Awkwafina.

There’s also any of the flicks from GKids that consistently factor into the conversation, and they’ll have legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron,” which will open the Toronto Film Festival, in addition to others such as “The First Slam Dunk.”

Other smaller but mighty studios that are hoping for recognition include Crunchyroll with the first-half contender “Suzume,” Neon with the Cannes acquisition “Robot Dreams” and IFC Films with “Stopmotion.”

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

The submission deadline for general categories is Nov. 18, 2023. Preliminary shortlist voting will begin on Dec. 18, with the results announced on Dec. 21. The voting period will run from Jan. 11-16, 2024, with the official nominations announcement on Jan. 23.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Mar. 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. Elemental” (Pixar)
    Peter Sohn (director), Denise Ream (producer)
  3. The Boy and the Heron” (GKids/Toho)
    Hayao Miyazaki (director), Toshio Suzuki (producer)
  4. Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget” (Netflix)
    Sam Fell (director), Steve Pegram, Leyla Hobart (producers)
  5. The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Illumination)
    Aaron Horvath, Michael Lelenic (directors), Chris Meledandri, Shigeru Miyamoto (producers)

Next in Line

  1. Nimona” (Netflix)
    Nick Bruno, Troy Quane (directors), Roy Lee, Karen Ann Ryan (producers)
  2. Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures)
    Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn (directors), Peter Del Vecho, Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster-Jones (producers)
  3. Migration” (Illumination)
    Benjamin Renner (director), Chris Meledandri (producer)
  4. Suzume” (Crunchyroll)
    Makoto Shinkai (director), Kōichirō Itō, Genki Kawamura (producers)
  5. Robot Dreams” (Neon)
    Pablo Berger (director), Ibon Cormenzana, Ignasi Estapé, Sandra Tapia, Jérôme Vidal (producers)

Other Top-Tier Possibilities

  1. The First Slam Dunk” (GKids)
  2. Trolls 3: Trolls Band Together” (DreamWorks Animation)
  3. They Shot the Piano Player” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” (Paramount Pictures)
  5. Stopmotion” (IFC Films)
  6. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman” (Gebeka Films)
  7. Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibbertia” (GKids)
  8. The Monkey King” (Netflix)
  9. The Inventor” (Blue Fox)
  10. Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” (DreamWorks Animation)

Also In Contention

  1. Unicorn Wars” (GKids)
  2. PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie” (Paramount Pictures)
  3. Leo” (Netflix)
  4. The Magician’s Elephant” (Netflix)
  5. The Peasants” (No U.S. Distribution) **

All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Studio)**

  • The Inventor” (Blue Fox)
  • Suzume” (Crunchyroll)
  • Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” (DreamWorks Animation)
  • Trolls 3: Trolls Band Together” (DreamWorks Animation)
  • Stopmotion” (IFC Films)
  • 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)
  • The Peasants” (No U.S. Distribution)
  • 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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