Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jun. 17-19, 2022

We had one films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Lightyear

The latest Disney/Pixar animated release came out this weekend and it was a box office weakling. Further, its IMDb rating is currently a dismal 5.3. That’s the lowest a Pixar film has ever scored. Even The Good Dinosaur and Cars 2 did better with audiences. That number may increase over time as more people see the film, but it’s clearly not the best result Disney could have asked for, especially on a tentpole film like this. The film scored a decent, though not outstanding 7.3 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 61 at MetaCritic. On Rotten Tomatoes, the audience score is a more robust 86%. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film is ranked higher than all the Cars films, but is tied with The Good Dinosaur. On MetaCritic, the audience results are anemic with only a 4.4 rating. They don’t have an easy way to search for all Pixar films, though.

Having said all that, it seems very much that this is one of Pixar’s weakest films in several years. And while it seems original in terms of its style, it’s undoubtedly a prequel, which will inhibit its chances at the Oscars. While new and inventive Pixar titles almost always get nominated at the Oscars, The Good Dinosaur being a major exception, they are not so gracious to prequels and sequels. Matter of fact, non-Pixar/Disney prequels/sequels do better with the Academy than do actual Pixar/Disney ones. That hasn’t hindered the Toy Story sequels, which have always been nominated, but it looks like this film’s weakness could end that streak. Even if it is not an Animated Feature nominee, it could have a chance in Original Score, Adapted Screenplay, and Sound as those are the few categories where animated films have secured nominations before. Since the film is doing poorly with audiences and is satisfactory only with critics, Adapted Screenplay will be out. Sound is not Sound Effects, which is the category Pixar had done well in before and Original Score remains the film’s best pick-up opportunity, but that seems unlikely at this juncture.

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