The Good Dinosaur
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
The Peanuts Movie
Other Contenders - Minions, Shaun the Sheep Movie, When Marnie Was There, The Boy and the Beast, Boy and the World, Home, Hotel Transylvania 2, Regular Show: The Movie, Moomins on the Riviera, The Laws of the Universe - Part 0, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Commentary - Inside Out remains in the lead, and I still think it can snag a Best Picture nominations, especially as there is a renewed push for the film with its DVD release. Pixar was hoping for a double whammy this year, and early reviews of The Good Dinosaur suggest that they will accomplish just that. I don't think that it will end up with Inside Out level of reviews, but it should easily make the top five. Anomalisa is apparently strange, but it a critical favorite whose uniqueness will appeal to the Academy's animators. GKids has another big contender this year in Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, and while there are more populist choices waiting on the outside looking in, remember that Song of the Sea beat out The LEGO Movie for a nomination last year. I think that the final slot, after months of waiting for it to be seen, will in fact go to The Peanuts Movie. It just made $44 Million in its opening weekend (losing to Bond, so second place is pretty good), has the reviews, and has a nostalgia factor that I think will play well with older Academy voters. There are three other films of teh bunch that seem like strong possibilities to upset. Despicable Me 2 got in after the first film didn't, and Minions was a monster hit this year. But it needs precursors to prove the industry is ready for it to be nominated for an Oscar, because while the film is charming, it might be too light for this more artistic group (especially when three better-reviewed populist choices are already in the mix). When Marnie Was There is the big Japanese selection, and while its not Miyazaki, it has that feel, which has been popular in the past. Finally, Shaun the Sheep Movie, from the team that brought you Wallace and Gromit. I had it in fifth place until The Peanuts rolled in, but it could easily bounce back in.