With the 91st annual Academy Awards just around the corner, a total of 25 films have been submitted in the Best Animated Feature category, including Incredibles 2. The long-anticipated sequel is a frontrunner in the category, having grossed more than $1.23 million at the box office, far surpassing its predecessor. With a 15-year gap in the franchise, Incredibles 2, which follows the family of Supers on a brand-new adventure that picks up right where the original left off, had a unique advantage of being both appealing to children and reaching the now-adult audience that enjoyed the first film so many years prior.
Also, potentially in the running is Sony Animation's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The flick, from acclaimed writing team Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, isn't due out until December, but already has some major buzz. At NYCC this month, attendees were gifted with a 35-min preview of the film, which centers around Miles Morales as the famed web-slinger. The film has been praised for its intriguing animation and its furthered exploration of a universe that has historically centered only on Peter Parker donning the costume.
Incredibles 2 and Spider-Verse are just two of the many films gunning for a nomination. THR reports that Disney has another pony in the race, the forthcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet, sequel to 2012's Wreck-It Ralph. Other entries include Sherlock Gnomes (also a sequel) from Paramount, Small Foot and Teen Titans Go! To the Movies from Warner Bros., and Isle of Dogs, Fox Searchlight's stop-motion film from Wes Anderson released in March. Additionally, Sony has also submitted another franchise film, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation and Universal/Illumination is betting on its holiday offering: a 3-D animated retelling of Dr. Seuss' The Grinch.
Disney has historically dominated the Best Animated Feature category, taking home the prize for the six years running. Of the five nominees, Disney typically has two entries out of five total nominees in the running, whereas studios like DreamWorks and Fox put out far fewer films per year, generally only qualifying every other year. It's only become this uneven in more recent years: The first film to ever take home the prize was DreamWorks' Shrek in 2001.
If it is truly Disney's game to win, Incredibles 2 seems like the safest bet, with its record-breaking box office run setting it apart. The media giant, which only continues to grow, could pull ahead in other categories this awards season: Marvel's Black Panther is gunning for the Best Picture nomination, following the blink-and-you'll-miss-it Best Popular Film controversy that first brought it into the conversation. Official nominations will be announced on January 22, 2019, just one month prior to the Oscars ceremony on February 24, 2019.