Robot, panda vie for Oscar slot with third cartoon

Sun Jan 4, 2009 11:48pm EST
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By Debra Kaufman

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "WALL-E" and "Kung Fu Panda" were critical and commercial hits last year, making them near shoo-ins for Oscar nominations in the best animated film category.

The feature that might capture the third slot when nominations in all categories are announced on January 22 is less clear, though there are a number of worthy contenders.

Fourteen films were submitted for consideration. If two more films had sought a nomination, Oscar rules would have allowed for up to five films to make the final cut.


Directors: Byron Howard, Chris Williams

North American box office: $110 million

The art of urban painter Edward Hopper and 1970s cinematography were two major influences behind the look of "Bolt." That accounts for the painterly mien of urban scenes and a desaturated color palette, combined with such signature 1970s effects as lens flare and blooming.

Oscar odds: Everyone agrees the film delivers. It's a commercial crowd-pleaser, and Disney magic might pull this one out of a hat. It doesn't hurt that it's already garnered a Golden Globe nomination alongside "Kung Fu Panda" and "WALL-E."   Continued...

<p>Actor Jack Black poses during a photocall to promote his animated film "Kung Fu Panda" in Madrid June 24, 2008. REUTERS/Susana Vera</p>