The 16 movies that have been submitted for consideration for the 88th Academy Awards’ Best Animated Feature Film category include three from Japan:
• “When Marnie Was There” (Omoide no Maanii) from Studio Ghibli. When shy, artistic Anna moves to the seaside to live with her aunt and uncle, she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes, and the mysterious young girl, Marnie, who lives there. The two girls instantly form a unique connection and friendship that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. As the days go by, a nearly magnetic pull draws Anna back to the Marsh House again and again, and she begins to piece together the truth surrounding her strange new friend. Based on the young adult novel by Joan G. Robinson and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (“The Secret World of Arrietty”).
• “The Laws of the Universe Part 0” (UFO Gakuen no Himitsu), directed by Isamu Imakake. Five high school students at a boarding school encounter alien abduction and realize that there are some malicious aliens hiding in the school. They begin to explore the truth behind UFOs and aliens, and later discover that a battle that will determine the future of Earth is about to begin.
• “The Boy and the Beast” (Bakemono no Ko), directed by Mamoru Hosoda (“Wolf Children”). The story centers around Kyuta, a boy living in Shibuya, and Kumatetsu, a lonesome beast from Jutengai, an imaginary world. One day, Kyuta forays into the imaginary world and, as he’s looking for his way back, meets Kumatetsu, who becomes his spirit guide. That encounter leads them to many adventures.
Also in the running are “Anomalisa,” “Boy and the World,” “The Good Dinosaur,” “Home,” “Hotel Transylvania 2,” “Inside Out,” “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet,” “Minions,” “Moomins on the Riviera,” “The Peanuts Movie,” “Regular Show: The Movie,” “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.”
The submissions were announced on Nov. 5. Some of the films have not yet been released in Los Angeles to meet the Oscar-eligibility requirement. The list of qualifying films will eventually be narrowed to a maximum of five Oscar nominees.
Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 14. The Oscars will be presented Feb. 28.
Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” won the Academy Award in 2002. Miyazaki’s “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “The Wind Rises” and Isao Takahata’s “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” have also been nominated.