Best Animated Feature
Will Win/Should Win - Frozen
Could Win - The Croods or Despicable Me 2
Commentary - Last year, a heated battle with Disney and Pixar broke out for the Animated Feature prize, with Brave squeaking out a victory over Wreck-It Ralph (honestly, when you look at the combination of BAFTA and the guilds, it might not have been as close as we think). This year though, it looks like nothing will stand in the way of Disney finally winning this prize. Pixar is out as Monsters University was surprising snubbed. The Wind Rises might have had a shot had it actually been Miyazaki's last film. But since he reversed that decision the buzz dies. The Croods is beautifully constructed, and Despicable Me 2 is just so damn adorable. But Frozen is another Disney classic, has swept the precursors including the guilds and
Best Live Action Short Film
Will Win - The Voorman Problem
Could Win - Just Before Losing Everything, Helium, or Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)
Should Win - Just Before Losing Everything
Commentary - As always, these categories can be a real crap shoot. I personally preferred Just Before Losing Everything of the bunch. But The Voorman Problem is the only English-language one, features Martin Freeman, who was tearing up the screen on Sherlock during voting, and will probably be the stand out on the ballot.
Best Animated Short Film
Will Win - Get a Horse!
Could Win - Mr. Hublot or Room on the Broom
Should Win - Mr. Hublot
Commentary - To be honest, unlike Paperman, this Disney entry Get a Horse! doesn't have the same magic, but I do think that it is the obvious choice, and does reach back to the origins of Disney, which will appeal to voters. Room on the Broom is a strong choice, but I think the dark horse here is Mr. Hublot, my personal favorite of the five. It has a charm about it that could sway voters who, like me, were not as impressed with the hyped Get a Horse!
Best Documentary Short
Will Win/Should Win - The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Could Win - Facing Fear, Karma Has No Walls, or Cavedigger
Commentary - Facing Fear, Karma Has No Walls, and Cavedigger are all high quality short films, and will sure to have their supporters. But there is a reason that most pundits are picking The Lady in Number 6. It is an engaging, important film that will strike a chord with the Academy. Most importantly, it is the best of the bunch. That has to count for something, right?