We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.
The SpongeBob Movie – Sponge on the Run
With so few films in release, we’re left to wonder what the chances are of some titles that might normally have been ignored by the Academy. Like The Simpsons Movie and The Lego Movie, the SpongeBob SquarePants films haven’t been taken very serious likely because they are considered kids movies. Most of what the Academy has recognized since the Best Animated Feature category was created have been adult-friendly films. Further, the origin of the animation is also important. Both the Simpsons film and the SpongeBob movie were big screen adaptations of television programs, with art that has been perfected over years of animation. The Academy tends to love its creations made originally for the screen. That is likely a similar reason for why they ignored The Lego Movie, which originated from numerous video games and direct-to-video animated films.
Not only is television often ignored, but sequels are as well. This falls into the category of a sequel simply because there has been a prior version of SpongeBob on the screen. Just think about films like Finding Dory, Monsters University, and Puss in Boots among others. While the Academy has nominated a handful of sequels, those are exceptions rather than rules. Here, the derivative nature of the film might be the main reason it doesn’t get nominated. If it were the first time the character had appeared on screen, it might have stood a better chance, but with sequelitis and origin source issues, the film’s double negative will not likely turn into a positive.