The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that there will be only three nominations for the animated feature Oscar this year, as only fifteen films have qualified for the award nomination. The rules for the category, as set forth by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences require a minimum of sixteen qualified films to allow for a field of five nominations.
Toy Story 3 is considered a shoe-in for a nomination, if not the award itself. DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon is also considered to have a lock on a slot. That leaves Disney's Tangled in the unenviable position of having to duke it out with a number of other generally well-received films such as Universal's Despicable Me and the recently released Megamind from DreamWorks. Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue is the only other Disney qualifier and most certainly a non-player in the race. Shrek Forever After likely has long odds considering that Shrek the Third was shut out of a nomination back in 2008. If Toy Story 3 should bring the statue home, it would extend Pixar's winning streak in the category to an unprecedented four years. Considering that both prior Toy Story films predated the inauguration of the Animated Feature category in 2001, Academy voters may see this as an opportunity to belatedly reward the entire franchise.
Nominations will be announced January 25, 2011. Awards will be presented February 27.