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Oscar Nominees 2017: Where are the 2D Animated Features?

Tags: Animation Film News and Opinion

And the 2017 nominees for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature are…

"Kubo and the Two Strings" — Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
"Moana" — John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
"My Life as a Zucchini" — Claude Barras and Max Karli
"The Red Turtle" — Michaël Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
"Zootopia" — Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

If you are looking for a 2D animation feature, you may have to squint. Hidden among the forest of 3D features stands only the Euro-Japanese film "The Red Turtle".

"The Red Turtle" is a critically acclaimed, indie sleeper hit from Dutch-British director Michaël Dudok de Wit. A joint production between Germany's Wild Bunch and legendary Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, the piece features no dialogue and instead relies on stunning visuals to carry the plot through its 80-minute run time.


While "The Red Turtle" was not produced with Toon Boom software, we have to give credit where credit is due. In today's increasingly competitive animation market, the fact that it was able to get industry-topping recognition —beating out giants like "Finding Dory"— is an achievement.

So where are all the 2D animated features? Frankly, it boils down to a lack of selection. In 2017, Sony will be releasing three feature-length animated films — a first for a studio since 2014. Unsurprisingly, all of them are in 3D.

This is not a criticism of 3D. Rather, it's an observation of the times and a call to action. Creativity in Hollywood has always boiled down to bottom lines; if studios believe 3D animated features will perform better, they will invest more in them. If you want more 2D animated features, vote with your dollar by going to see them in theatres.

What do you think about the Academy Awards 2017 Best Animated Feature nominees? Do you think 2D animated features should be judged separately? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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