A still from "Frankenweenie (Photo : Walt Disney Pictures)
Throughout the precursor awards, "ParaNorman" has been the undisputed front-runner to win the Best Animated Film. The film has racked up 10 Best Animated film awards from such critics circles as the Boston Online Film Critics, Washington DC Film Critics, and San Francisco Film Critics. However, the film is not nominated for Golden Globe's Best Animated category, making the race more unpredictable. Here are the other nominees.
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Brave (Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation)
Pixar's latest film has not had the awards buzz that prior films of the reputable production company and it may be the second straight year that Pixar fails to capture the Animated Film Globe since the category's inception in 2006. Pixar lost the award in 2011 and the fact that "Brave" has yet to pick up a single precursor win could bode poorly for the film. On the positive side of things, Pixar has won the Award five out of six times and with "ParaNorman" out of the race, the Hollywood Foreign Press could reshape the entire race. Their adoration of Pixar gives this film a big shot.
Frankenweenie (Walt Disney Pictures)
Disney's second of three contenders is likely their strongest contender. Tim Burton's animated feature has won six precursor awards including victories at the New York Film Critics, Boston Film Critics, and Los Angeles Film Critics. After "ParaNorman," Frankenweenie has won the most precursors and is the bonafide front-runner in this category. Additionally, Tim Burton is a high profile celebrity and the idea of the idiosyncratic director taking the podium to accept the award could be enough to sway the Hollywood Foreign Press to give the film the award.
Hotel Transylvania (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation)
"ParaNorman's" exclusion from the category was all the more surprising because of the inclusion of this film. "Hotel Transylvania" was panned by the critics and currently has a 43 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is the worst reviewed film in this category and probably has no chance at winning this category. The only explicable reason for its nomination over "ParaNorman" or other animated films was its solid box office run. The film grossed $123.9 million, making it the 16th highest grossing film of the year and the fourth highest grossing animated film of the year. Conversely, "ParaNorman" only grossed $55 million.
Rise of the Guardians (Dream Works Animation LLC)
"Rise of the Guardians" has won four precursor awards and could also pull a surprise victory. Among the organizations awarding the film are the Hollywood Film Awards and the Satellite Awards. It is the only other contender (aside from "Hotel Transylvania") that is not a Disney film. If the HFP feel inclined to vote against Disney, then this film has a shot.
Wreck-It Raplh (Disney Pictures)
The final Disney Picture in this race and the second-highest grossing after "Brave." Unlike the Pixar film however, "Wreck-It Ralph) has won five precursor awards for Best Animated film. The film was awarded by the National Board of Review, which is arguably one of the more reputable awards precursors. The race may very well be a competition between this film and "Frankenweenie."
Prediction: The HFP will likely go with the top celebrity in this category: Tim Burton. Look for "Frankenweenie" to win this award.