The Academy Awards are taking the Best Animated Feature Film category back to the drawing board.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced several eligibility changes in certain categories, including Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Feature. The former is undergoing a major shift.
Most categories select their own nominees, trusting in the expertise of each branch. The only exception was Best Picture, which all members vote on. Previously, the Best Animated Feature nominees were selected by a committee, half of which came from the Animation branch. Now, the committee will be thrown open to the entire Academy.
This is likely to make it harder for small, independent movies like "The Red Turtle" and "My Life as a Zucchini" (both nominees from this past Oscars) to get recognition. Of course, the winner is usually a big blockbuster like "Zootopia."
The other major category change targeted Documentary Features, and seems directed at the most recent winner, "O.J.: Made in America." The Academy has made ineligible "multi-part or limited series."
"O.J.: Made in America" ran 467 minutes and played at several film festivals at full length. However, most people watched it as a five-part series on ESPN (or on a streaming service). So, if this rule had been in place at this past Oscars, it would not have been nominated, much less won.
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