Two independent European animated features have made it to the Academy Awards shortlist for the best animated feature Oscar, squeezing out Pixar’s Cars 2.
Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal’s Cuban Jazz-inflected Chico and Rita is likely to be the more familiar of the two to English-speaking audiences, having previously received an Annie Award nomination and a very limited UK release.
But Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli’s delightful A Cat In Paris – the story of a housecat turned cat burglar – has only played at festivals in the USA and UK.
(In fact, both received full cinema releases in Continental Europe. But in the past, European success hasn’t cut much ice with the Academy Awards committee.)
DreamWorks and ILM movies take the remaining three spots, in the shape of Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss In Boots and Rango.
Tintin falls in race to VFX glory
In addition to Cars 2, the other high-profile casualty of today’s announcement is The Adventures of Tintin, which failed to make the shortlist for either best animated feature or visual effects.
The line-up in the VFX category echoes that of the VES Awards, with Harry Potter, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Transformers: Dark of the Moon appearing on both lists. Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and robo-boxathon Real Steel take the remaining two places.
And finally, a big shout out to London’s estimable Studio aka, whose short A Morning Stroll nets Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe an Oscar nomination for best animated short. You can check out the trailer here.