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Studio Ghibli, Wild Bunch's The Red Turtle Film Nominated for Oscar

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Competes with Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, Zootopia for Best Animated Feature

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated Michael Dudok de Wit, Studio Ghibli, and Wild Bunch's The Red Turtle for the Animated Feature Film category of the 89th Academy Awards. It is competing against Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, and Zootopia.

Takeshi Nozue's Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV CG-animated film, Keiichi Hara's Miss Hokusai, and Makoto Shinkai's your name. were also eligible for the Animated Feature Film category, but they did not receive nominations. X Japan's "La Venus" song for the band's We Are X documentary was eligible for nomination in the Original Song category, but it did not receive a nomination. No anime were under consideration in the Animated Short Film category for this year's awards.

The awards ceremony will be held on February 26.

Entertainment news website Deadline describes The Red Turtle:

The dialogue-free picture centers on a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds. When he builds a wooden raft, he is confronted by the titular turtle. The story then follows the milestones in his life on the island which include meeting a woman and starting a family.

The film is the latest work by award-winning Dutch animator and director Michael Dudok de Wit ("The Monk and the Fish," "Father & Daughter" animated shorts). Studio Ghibli co-produced the film with French film production and distribution company Wild Bunch (co-producers on The Secret World of Arrietty).

Director de Wit temporarily moved to Koganei in Tokyo (where Studio Ghibli is headquartered) to work on the film, completing the film's storyboards and the scenario in his time there, while Studio Ghibli director Isao Takahata checked them. Takahata also served as the "artistic producer" for the film. Pascale Ferran (Bird People) wrote the film's script.

The film screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and won the Special Jury Prize at the Un Certain Regard section of the festival. The film opened the 40th Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June. In Japan, the film opened on September 17 with the title Red Turtle - Aru Shima no Monogatari (Red Turtle - A Certain Island's Story).

Studio Ghibli and Wild Bunch's film opened on November 18 in Los Angeles for its one-week Oscar-qualifying run, and also screened in New York. Sony Pictures Classics began screening The Red Turtle in more North American theaters starting on January 20.

The film has also been nominated for an Annie Award in the Best Animated Feature - Independent category. The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) nominated the film in the Best Animated Feature category for the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards, but Zootopia won the award.

The director's "Father & Daughter" short won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2001. The Red Turtle is de Wit's first feature film.

Mamoru Hosoda's The Boy and The Beast, Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There, and the religious anime film The Laws of the Universe Part 0 were submitted for nominations last year, but only When Marnie Was There was nominated.

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