Oscars Predictions: Best Animated Feature – Can ‘The Croods’ Return To The Oscars With ‘A New Age’?

Clayton Davis
·6-min read

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UPDATED: Feb. 11, 2020

The Golden Globes had the top four contenders and included “The Croods: A New Age.” This category has traditionally given us a surprise or two, typically from GKIDS so I wouldn’t discount any of their many features out of the race. The original film, “The Croods,” was nominated for best animated feature and the film has a lot of heart to it that could carry it through to the nominations. There’s also a considerable push for “The Willoughbys” from Netflix that they are hopeful will crack the lineup. “Soul” has dominated the critic’s awards so far with “Wolfwalkers” just behind it, garnering lots of love and could be GKIDS’ first real shot at Oscar gold. Lots of good early buzz for “Calamity” from Shout! Factory, and if enough see it, perhaps it makes a play. “Demon Slayer: The Movie: Mugen Train” is a box office smash overseas, and with lots of international voters, they could help have that one bubble to the top of the pack.

PRECURSORS LEADER: “Soul” (Pixar) – Pete Docter, Dana Murray
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)


  1. "Soul" (Pixar)
    Pete Docter, Dana Murray

    OSCAR HISTORY: Docter (8 nominations, 2 wins [2009's "Up" and 2015's "Inside Out"]), Murray (1 nomination)

    DIRECTOR: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers
    : Dana Murray
    SYNOPSIS: A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.
    STARRING: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Graham Norton, Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, Wes Studi

  2. "Wolfwalkers" (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS)
    Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants, Nora Twomey, Paul Young

    OSCAR HISTORY: Moore (2 nominations), Roelants (never nominated), Twomey (1 nomination), Young (1 nomination)

    DIRECTOR: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
    : Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants, Nora Twomey, Paul Young
    SYNOPSIS: A young apprentice hunter and her father journey to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. But everything changes when she befriends a free-spirited girl from a mysterious tribe rumored to transform into wolves by night.
    STARRING: Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Sean Bean, Simon McBurney, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tommy Tiernan

  3. "Onward" (Pixar)
    Dan Scanlon, Kori Rae

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Dan Scanlon
    : Kori Rae
    SYNOPSIS: Two elven brothers embark on a quest to bring their father back for one day..
    STARRING: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong

  4. "Over the Moon" (Netflix)
    Glen Keane, Peilin Chou, Gennie Rim

    OSCAR HISTORY: Keane (1 nomination, 1 win [2017's "Dear Baskebtall" in best animated short]), Kahrs (1 nomination, 1 win [2012's "Paperman" in best animated short])

    DIRECTOR: Glen Keane, John Kahrs (co-director)
    : Peilin Chou, Gennie Rim
    SYNOPSIS: In this animated musical, a girl builds a rocket ship and blasts off, hoping to meet a mythical moon goddess.
    STARRING: Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ruthie Ann Miles, John Cho, Sandra Oh, Margaret Cho, Ken Jeong

  5. "The Croods: A New Age" (DreamWorks Animation)
    Joel Crawford, Mark Swift

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Joel Crawford
    : Mark Swift
    SYNOPSIS: The prehistoric family the Croods are challenged by a rival family the Bettermans, who claim to be better and more evolved.
    STARRING: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran


  1. "Demon Slayer: The Movie: Mugen Train" (Funimation)
    Haruo Sotozaki

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    DIRECTOR: Haruo Sotozaki
    : Haruo Sotozaki
    SYNOPSIS: Tanjiro Kamado, joined with Inosuke Hashibira, a boy raised by boars who wears a boar's head, and Zenitsu Agatsuma, a scared boy who reveals his true power when he sleeps, board the Infinity Train on a new mission with the Flame Pillar, Kyojuro Rengoku, to defeat a demon who has been tormenting the people and killing the demon slayers who oppose it.
    STARRING: Bryce Papenbrook, Zach Aguilar, Abby Trott, Natsuki Hanae, Aleks Le

  2. "Earwig and the Witch" (GKIDS/Studio Ghibli)
    Gorô Miyazaki

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Gorô Miyazaki
    : Toshio Suzuki
    SYNOPSIS: It follows an orphan girl, Earwig, who is adopted by a witch and comes home to a spooky house filled with mystery and magic..
    STARRING: J.B. Blanc, Alex Cartañá, Thomas Bromhead, Pandora Colin, Richard E. Grant

  3. "On-Gaku: Our Sound" (GKIDS)
    Tetsuaki Matsue, Kenji Iwaisawa

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Kenji Iwaisawa
    : Tetsuaki Matsue
    SYNOPSIS: A trio of delinquent schoolkids form a music band..
    STARRING: Shintaro Sakamoto, Ren Komai, Tomoya Maeno, Tateto Serizawa, Kami Hiraiwa, and Naoto Takenaka

  4. "Trolls: World Tour" (Universal Pictures)
    Walt Dohrn, Gina Shay

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    DIRECTOR: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith (co-director)
    : Gina Shay
    SYNOPSIS: When the Queen of the Hard Rock Trolls tries to take over all the Troll kingdoms, Queen Poppy and her friends try different ways to save all the Trolls..
    STARRING: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom, James Corden, Kelly Clarkson, Anderson .Paak, Sam Rockwell, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, Kenan Thompson

  5. "Lupin III: The First" (GKIDS)
    Takashi Yamazaki, Takeshi Ito, Naoaki Kitajima, Koji Nozaki

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Takashi Yamazaki
    : Takeshi Ito, Naoaki Kitajima, Koji Nozaki
    SYNOPSIS: Lupin III goes on a grand adventure to uncover the secrets of the Bresson Diary, which is tied to the legacy of his famous grandfather.
    STARRING: J. David Brimmer, Richard Epcar, Doug Erholtz, Tatsuya Fujiwara

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in the lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories

Best Animated Feature awards history:
The animated feature category was introduced in 2001 when “Shrek” was the first awarded. Five animators have won this award twice: Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich. Bird and Docter are also among the most nominated with three, along with Ron Clements, Dean DeBlois, Travis Knight, Hayao Miyazaki, Rich Moore and Chris Sanders.

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