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The five nominated films are Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner), Mona (John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer), My Life as a Zucchini (Claude Barras and Max Karli), The Red Turtle (Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki) and Zootopia (Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer).

It looks like there are two major contenders, Zootopia and Kubo and the Two Strings. Both are impressive works worthy of the award.  If the voters favor originality and technical brilliance Kubo should win, while if the voters are more impressed with a solid traditional story where you can root for the little hero, Zootopia will probably win.

Laika/Focus’ Kubo and the Two Strings – described by the filmmakers as a “hybrid” animated film, as it combined stop-motion and computer animation, was also nominated for best animated feature and received a second nomination for visual effects.  Disney’s Junglebook also was nominated for VFX.

In the race for Best Animated Short Robert Valley, who used to work local for Colossal and WildBrain is nominated for his short Pear Cider and Cigarettes.  Cara Speller is also nominated for her work on Pear Cider and Cigarettes.  The other animated shorts are Blind Vaysha by Theodore Ushev (National Film Board of Canada), Borrowed Time by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj (by Pixar animators working on their own projet away from Pixar), Pearl by Patrick Osborne (a Google Spotlight Story), and Piper by Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer (Pixar).

Life Animated was nominated for Best Documentary and the song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls and “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana were nominated for Best Song.

The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.  It will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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