Not only will there be ten Best Picture nominees this year, but for the second time in the history of the award, there will be five Best Animated Feature nominees as well. The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences sets the number of nominees based on the number of submissions, and earlier this week the Academy received a list of 20 names, which is enough to expand the category. The 20 names vying to be nominees are:

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
Astro Boy
Battle For Terra
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Disney’s A Christmas Carol
The Dolphin: Story of A Dreamer
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs
Mary And Max
The Missing Lynx
Monsters Vs. Aliens
Planet 51
The Princess And The Frog
The Secret Of Kells
Tinker Bell And The Lost Treasure
A Town Called Panic


It's been an unusually good year for animated films, and here's hoping that the Academy looks beyond the big studio releases and gives due consideration to some oddities like Mary And Max (a stop-motion film about the friendship between a luckless Australian woman an an Aspergers-afflicted New Yorker) and A Town Called Panic (another stop-motion film about the reckless misadventures of a plastic cowboy, a plastic Indian, and their conscientious horse). Add those to Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ponyo and/or Up and you'd have a slate of movies that might end up rivaling the Best Picture category for quality and entertainment value.