Oscar Update: Adding ‘Wrinkles’ to the Best Animated Feature Predictions

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Let’s be honest, the Best Animated Feature Film category is impossible to predict at this moment. Yes, a lot of critics enjoyed Rango, Rio and Puss in Boots and The Adventures of Tintin has already amassed $125.3 million overseas. They are definite contenders.

Then you have those in-betweeners such as Winnie the Pooh and Kung Fu Panda 2. One notch lower and you have Cars 2. Even further down you have Gnomeo and Juliet, The Smurfs, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil and Mars Needs Moms!.

But with all these films do we really have a film we can consider a front-runner? One that stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of the Oscar race?

We must also consider we have the upcoming Aardman animated feature Arthur Christmas, Happy Feet Two, which is a sequel to a previous Best Animated Oscar winner and then the complete unknowns in foreign language contenders Alois Nebel, Chico & Rita, A Cat in Paris and then Wrinkles (Arrugas), which I just added only a few minutes ago.

It’s impossible to predict, yet, I’ll try. Though I think we all know this is preliminary work and I’m primarily doing a write up to give you a little added insight into Wrinkles as I’ve been able to pull together some information and additional assets since the list of 18 contenders was announced last week.

To begin, here is the official synopsis:

Based on Paco Roca‘s comic of the same title (2008 National Comic Prize), Wrinkles is a 2D animated feature-length film for an adult audience. Wrinkles portrays the friendship between Emilio and Miguel, two aged gentlemen shut away in a care home. Recent arrival Emilio, in the early stages of Alzheimer, is helped by Miguel and colleagues to avoid ending up on the feared top floor of the care home, also known as the lost causes or “assisted” floor. Their wild plan infuses their otherwise tedious day-to-day with humor and tenderness, because although for some their lives is coming to an end, for them it is just beginning.

The film has thus far only been screened at the San Sebastian Film Festival and the only “official” review of the film online comes from The Hollywood Reporter as written by Neil Young, who calls it “[an] exceptional animated feature… imaginatively and sensitively explore one of the major issues confronting most of the developed world: how to look after senior citizens in a rapidly aging population.”

A scene from Wrinkles

I was able to also find a translation of an El Pais commentary on the film describing the San Sebastian screening where Roca attended and said of the film, “Obviously some things changed, including the characters [one of the protagonists even had a different nationality], but the spirit is there. It says what I wanted to say… I was worried about the ending, how the threads would be tied up and whether it would hold up. It certainly does.”

However, outside of the teaser trailer for the film above and my gallery of six images from the film here, that’s all we have to go on and it’s hardly enough to make any kind of concrete prediction, but that’s all part of the fun.

For now, I’m not going too risky and have kept The Adventures of Tintin in the #1 spot, just ahead of Rango. I moved Puss in Boots into the top five and have Wrinkles debuting at #5. Hopefully the foreign contenders will be screened soon enough so the blind guessing can turn to informed opinions, but for now this is what I’m left with.

In truth, I think Tintin will fall, but not not knowing which film will replace it means it must remain for now. You can browse my complete list of contenders and rankings right here, and I’ve included my top five directly below. I would love to hear how you weigh in on this current crop, so please have a say in the comments below.

  1. The Adventures of Tintin (dir. Steven Spielberg)
  2. Rango (dir. Gore Verbinski)
  3. Arthur Christmas (dir. Sarah Smith)
  4. Puss in Boots (dir. Chris Miller)
  5. Wrinkles (dir. Ignacio Ferreras)