THE AWARDS derby for the year’s best animated feature is about to take distinct shape, with the Golden Globe nominations arriving Thursday.
And if the industry’s Annie Awards are a fair bellwether, Disney and Sony productions should be prominent in the Globe and Oscar races.
The International Animated Film Society announced its Annie nominations Monday, with Disney/Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” (11 nominations) and Disney Animation’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (10 nods) leading the way, followed by Aardman Animations’ “Early Man” and Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which landed seven nominations each.
Those four films, plus Fox Searchlight’s “Isle of Dogs” (four noms), fill out the best animated feature category. Such strong across-the-board showings here bode well for the majority of them getting Globe nominations, too.
What the Annies’ featured nominees especially point to is acclaim for familiar red-carpet faces. Directors Brad Bird (“Incredibles 2”), Rich Moore (“Ralph Breaks the Internet”) and Nick Park (“Early Man”) have all won animation Oscars, and Wes Anderson (“Isle of Dogs”) received an Oscar nomination for his previous stop-motion film, “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”
The wild-card contender this season has been “Spider-Man,” from veteran animation talents Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey — as well as Emmy-nominated Rodney Rothman, the former “Letterman” head writer — as directors. Rothman co-wrote the screenplay with Phil Lord (“The Lego Movie”).
The film, which opens Dec. 14, has a strong average score of 83 on Metacritic.com and a perfect 100 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
And because “Spider-Man' is being hailed as a sleek achievement in superhero animation, it will be intriguing to see how how it fares against established, preapproved cartoon franchises.
Will the humor and dynamic visuals of “Spider-Man” prove winning enough to join the Globe and Oscar party?
Given the love from the Annies, look for “Spider-Man” to have an especially strong shot at hearing its name called Thursday for the Globes. That could well be the natural steppingstone to an Oscar nomination.