The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Thursday that 12 films would be eligible to compete for the best animated feature Oscar next year, including such crowd-pleasers as Ratatouille, Shrek the Third and Bee Movie.
Only three movies will make the grade when nominations in all categories are unveiled on January 22. Had the eligible films totaled 16 or more, then five would have been nominated. In the seven-year history of the category, the Academy has nominated five films only one time.
Also on the list are Alvin and the Chipmunks, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, Beowulf, Meet the Robinsons, Persepolis, The Simpsons Movie, Surf's Up, Tekkonkinkreet and TMNT.
The least-known film is Tekkonkinkreet, a Japanese fable from U.S.-born director Michael Arias.
Three movies are yet to have their qualifying Los Angeles run, Beowulf, Persepolis and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Additionally, there has been some doubt in animation circles as to whether Robert Zemeckis' performance-capture epic Beowulf could be considered an animated film. The Academy has reserved the right to revoke eligibility if a movie is later deemed not to meet all criteria, a fate that befell Luc Besson's Arthur and the Invisibles last year.