The other change to the Oscars: Animation category eligibility altered
The change in the Oscars' best picture nominating procedures wasn't the only shakeup instituted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday -- there's a switch in the animation race too.
In the past, if between eight and 15 animated films were released in a year, the group would nominate up to three pictures for best animated film; if 16 were released, the category could be expanded to five nominees. Last year, there were 15 releases and three nominees -- "Toy Story 3," "How to Train Your Dragon" and "The Illusionist."
Under the new rules, in any year when there are eight to 12 animated features released, either two or three may be nominated. When 13 to 15 films are released during the calendar year, a maximum of four may be nominated. And when 16 or more animated films are in the marketplace, a maximum of five may be nominated.
In addition, the academy's Board of Governors decided Tuesday to eliminate the need to "activate" the animation category -- i.e. decide on a yearly basis whether to have the category at all -- a decision that in the past had to be voted on by the board. There will still need to be a minimum of eight animated releases for the category to exist, but the board will no longer be voting to determine whether the category will exist in any given year.
-- Nicole Sperling
Photo: From left, Woody, Mr. Pricklepants, Buttercup and Trixie in "Toy Story 3." Credit: Disney/Pixar