DreamWorks kick off the Oscar race!

DreamWorks have wasted no time in kicking off the latest Oscar season with a For Your Consideration ad and website for their hit animated film How To Train Your Dragon. (Thanks In Contention for bringing this to our attention.)

We’re big fans of FYC ads here on the Quickflix blog. In the past we’ve documented the hopeful Best Picture pushes for films such as The Dark Knight and WALL-E, as well as the more dubious campaigns run for The Hangover, Mamma Mia, and, ahem, High School Musical 3.

How To Train Your Dragon, believe it or not, falls in the former category. Nine months into the year, and it is without a doubt a lock for a Best Animated Feature nomination, and even a contender for a Best Picture nom (Pixar’s Up last year scored a Best Picture nomination, becoming the first animated film to break out of the Best Animated Feature ghetto). HTTYD is one of the best reviewed films of the year (it holds an impressive 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). Ironically, the best reviewed film of the year is Toy Story 3, a film that is more likely to succeed in the major categories (yes, perhaps even take home Best Picture).

So, it’s no surprise that DreamWorks have kicked off their campaign the same week Toy Story 3 cracks a billion dollars at the box office. If they want to be a serious Oscar contender, they’ll have to begin the near-impossible task of stealing Toy Story’s thunder.

Intriguingly, Disney recently withdrew from the annual Annie awards – considered to be the most prestigious awards ceremony for animated features – due to some discrepancies in their voting process. DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda dominated the 2008 ceremony, leaving Disney Pixar’s WALL-E to go home empty handed. How To Train Your Dragon is likely to sweep this year’s ceremony, considering that Toy Story 3 won’t even be nominated. Does this mean HTTYD could surprise come Oscar time?

Let’s work our way to the nominations before we get all swept up in the actual awards.

Discuss: How does HTTYD’s campaign compare with that of the animated films of 2009?

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