'Up' Wins Top Animation Award. Is the Best Picture Oscar Next?

On Saturday, Up snagged Best Animated Feature at the 37th annual Annie Awards -- basically the Oscars of animation. Does getting the top Annie mean that Up has a shot at the actual Best Picture Oscar?

The Pixar film, nominated for five Academy Awards, won the Annie over the exact same competition it will face in the best animated feature category: Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog and The Secret of Kells, (plus additional Annie competitor Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). Among Oscar contenders for Best Animated Feature, Up is a clear frontrunner: It was the best-reviewed, had the biggest box office, and was made by the critical darlings at Pixar. It's arguably the most ambitious film as well, deftly combining the expected whimsy and humor of a family cartoon with moments of genuine heartbreak.

Here's the catch: Up also received a nomination for the Academy Awards' highest honor, Best Picture. Because the Best Animated Feature category is relatively new (it started in 2001), no other film has ever been nominated in both categories. (Disney's Beauty and the Beast is the only animated film to score a Best Picture nomination, period -- back in 1991.) Since Up was one of the best-loved and most successful films of the year, we'd like to think it has a shot at getting the statuette.

But it probably doesn't. Up is almost certain to win Best Animated Feature, and as Hollywood.com points out, voters are unlikely to honor it twice. Up may be handicapped by its own success. Ironically, much of Avatar, the popular frontrunner for Best Picture, is animated. But because it wasn't nominated in the Best Animated Feature category, it actually has a better shot at Best Picture. Seems a little unfair to us -- especially since Pixar has been consistently churning out some of the best movies of the entire decade.

Other big winners at the Annies included The Princess and the Frog and Coraline, which took home three awards each.

Do you think Up deserves a Best Picture Oscar? Chime in below!

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