November 18, 2005

Computer Animation Leads Oscar List

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Computer-animated movies like "Madagascar" and "Chicken Little" dominated the animation style of 10 films named on Thursday for Oscar consideration, highlighting the shift to the new form of moviemaking.

Hand-drawn Hollywood animation seemed almost like a relic of the past as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences put a total of at least five computer movies on its Oscar short list, along with two others using stop-action motion and another two made in the Japanese hand-drawn style of anime.

Along with comedies "Madagascar" and "Chicken Little," the computer-generated movies making Oscar's list of 10 eligible films included "Robots," DreamWorks' "Valiant" and the upcoming Little Red Riding Hood spoof, "Hoodwinked."

"Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" and the British-made "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," were the two movies on the list that use stop-motion animation and figurines.

Japanese-made "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Steamboy" are the two anime films, and the final movie is India's "Gulliver's Travel," which has yet to screen in the United States. No details about the film were available.

The animated feature film category was introduced at the 2002 awards, and the contenders have been dominated by computer-animated fare. The last two winners, "The Incredibles" and "Finding Nemo," were made by Pixar Animation Studios, which pioneered the genre. The California firm sat out 2005, but will be back next summer with "Cars."

A committee of animation experts picks the films that are eligible to compete for the feature animation Oscar.

Nominees for all Oscar categories will be announced on January 31, with the winners unveiled during the 78th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood on March 5.