Oscars: 'Frozen' frontrunner for Best Animated Feature

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Five films are in the running for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.

‘The Croods’, Dreamworks Animation’s second highest-grossing film, tells the story of a caveman family’s trek through a fantasy world after their cave is destroyed.

The message behind the movie is that all children are Neanderthals in some ways and it is the great challenge of parents to civilize these little creatures.

“Yeah, we wanted to try to keep them grounded to some point, they were from planet Earth but we always called them sort of evolutionary dead ends,” said co-director Kirk De Micco.

Another hot candidate is ‘Despicable Me 2’, the hugely successful sequel to the 2010 hit. It is the story of lovable criminal mastermind Gru, who is recruited to help deal with a powerful new super criminal. Grossing more than 700 million euros at the global box office, the film has become the most profitable ever in the 100-year history of Universal Studios.

‘The Wind Rises’ is Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, a tribute to the Japanese aeroplane designer Jiro Horikoshi.

Unlike most other animated movies, ‘The Wind Rises’ contains no computer-generated elements and is all drawn by hand, a time-consuming job whose imperfections make it more charming.

Warmly received by critics, the film has won more than 20 international awards.

French animation movie ‘Ernest et Célestine’ has also garnered its share of global awards, including France’s César for Best Animated Film. The story of an unlikely friendship between a bear and a mouse, it is based on a series of classic children’s books by Gabrielle Vincent.

Benjamin Renner is one of the three directors who adapted it for the screen. He said: “When you chose to adapt a piece of work for the screen, there will inevitably be a part of you in it. I identified very strongly with the work of Gabrielle Vincent. After that, it’s all down to personal interpretation.”

The front-runner for Best Animated Feature is Disney’s box office hit ‘Frozen’, the story of a fearless princess who sets off on an epic journey to find her estranged sister, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

The film has already bagged a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Animated Film, as well five Annie Awards and a second Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.

Experienced screenwriter Jennifer Lee was responsible for the screenplay and co-directed the movie. She is the first female director of a Walt Disney Animation Studios feature film.

“I was more overwhelmed about being the first writer to become a director at Disney Animated Features. It’s been amazing. I think more and more women are going into animation,” she said.

Screened ahead of ‘Frozen’ in cinema theatres, ‘Get a Horse’ is probably the most viewed in the Best Animated Short Film category.

Directed by Lauren MacMullan, the film looks like a black-and-white Mickey Mouse cartoon from the 1930s before it bursts into colour and 3D.

The winners will be announced at the 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2 and euronews will, of course, be covering ceremony.

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