LOS ANGELES: With a win at the Annie Awards, Disney Pixar’s movie “Coco” maintained its incredible form ahead of the 2018 Academy Awards.
Barring any titanic upsets over the next four weeks, “Coco” looks like a lock for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.
It already had a clutch of sought-after accolades from other well-respected ceremonies, and on February 3 added an Annie to its haul.
Academy Award predictions are often about tracking prior awards ceremonies that indicate eventual Oscar success.
For example, the Directors Guild Awards are linked with the Oscars’ Best Director, and the Producers Guild Awards with Best Picture; the Screen Actors Guild is a crystal ball for the Oscars’ acting awards.
These awards not only show general trends, but also specific voting preferences among knowledgeable and enthusiastic groups of Academy voters.
Even before the Annie Awards, wins at the Producers Guild Awards, Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards helped make “Coco” a frontrunner; top honours from the prescient New York Film Critics Circle and Chicago Film Critics Association did its perceived chances no harm at all.
Like other narrowly-focused industry events, the Annies are decided by a group of select professionals, in this case members of the International Animated Film Association’s Hollywood branch.
However, the Annies are either a little more nuanced: over the last 10 years they’ve lined up with the Oscars a little more than half the time, and, strangely, have only been reliable in even-numbered years.
After the Academy introduced its Best Animated Feature category in 2002, it was in lockstep with the Annies for five consecutive years.
But since 2006, when the Annies plumped for “Cars” and the Academy chose “Happy Feet,” the two ceremonies have matched up only every other year.
That trend continued for over a decade until “Zootopia” broke the streak and collected both Annie and Oscar statuettes in 2017.
Nevertheless, “Coco” remains the favourite for an Oscar victory.
Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences cast their votes from February 20 to 27, 2018, with the 90th Academy Awards presentation taking place on March 4.