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2017 Oscar Voting Guide: Animation & VFX Contenders Vying for Academy Awards

With voting for the 89th Academy Awards closing on Tuesday, take a final look at AWN’s coverage of the contenders for Feature Animation, Short Animation and Visual Effects.

With voting for the 89th Academy Awards closing on Tuesday, here is a round-up of all of AWN’s feature stories covering the Feature Animation, Short Animation and Visual Effects contenders in this year’s Oscar race.

Comprising major Hollywood studio and independent filmmakers alike, the nominees in each category represent a broad and formidable range of talent. This year’s Animated Feature race is especially competitive, with hand-crafted stop-motion artistry and traditional hand-drawn 2D animation up against some of the latest and most advanced CGI innovations. The short film nominees also dazzle, utilizing both handcrafted and computer 2D animation as well as 3D techniques and bold, new mediums and distribution platforms.

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While the VFX race has habitually been won in the past by big-budget blockbusters, recent years have seen a shift in that trend, with the gold statuette going home more often with films that use visual effects employing innovative and novel tools and techniques, such as last year’s winner, Ex Machina. This year’s field also includes an unusual nod for supporting visual effects, and, for the first time in more than two decades, a stop-motion animated feature has also been recognized for its VFX artistry.

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It’s anyone’s guess which of the talented teams will bring home the trophy in each category. In the meantime, here are AWN’s feature stories from over the past year delving into art and technology behind each Academy Award-nominated project.


Kubo and the Two Strings

GALLERY: LAIKA’s ‘Kubo’ Visits China’s Forbidden City

Deborah Cook Receives Costume Designers Guild Nomination for LAIKA’s ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

Travis Knight Talks ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

Laika Studio Site Visit: ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’


‘How Far I’ll Go’: The Incredible Journey Behind Disney’s ‘Moana’

LOOK: ‘The Art of Moana’ Delves Behind the Scenes of Disney’s Latest Animated Feature

The Irascible Ron Clements and John Musker Talk ‘Moana’

My Life as a Zucchini

Claude Barras Delivers Heartwarming Oscar-Nominated ‘My Life as a Zucchini’

GKIDS Unveils New English-Language Trailer for ‘My Life as a Zucchini’

Claude Barras’s ‘My Life As a Courgette’ Opening Fantoche 2016

The Red Turtle

Michaël Dudok de Wit Talks ‘The Red Turtle’ and Partnership with Studio Ghibli

Watch New Trailer for Michael Dudok de Wit’s ‘The Red Turtle’

LOOK: New Images from Michaël Dudok de Wit's ‘The Red Turtle’

Studio Ghibli Unveils New Trailer for ‘The Red Turtle’


Byron Howard and Rich Moore Talk ‘Zootopia’

Clark Spencer Talks Disney’s ‘Zootopia’

‘Zootopia’s Judy Hopps: A Unique Female Protagonist in a World of Animated Men

Meet the Women Innovators Who Helped Bring Disney’s ‘Zootopia’ to Life

GALLERY: Concept Art for Disney’s ‘Zootopia’


Blind Vaysha

The Past and Future Torment the Present in Theodore Ushev’s ‘Blind Vaysha’

Theodore Ushev’s ‘Blind Vaysha’ a Modern Parable About Living in the Present

Narrative Shorts We Watched and Loved at OIAF 2016

Borrowed Time

Directing Duo’s Five-Year Passion Project Lands Oscar Nomination

Animated Short ‘Borrowed Time’ Makes Online Debut

WATCH: Trailer for ‘Borrowed Time’ Short Now Online

Pear Cider and Cigarettes

‘Pear Cider and Cigarettes’: How a ‘Passion’ Project Became an Academy Award Contender


2D and VR Come Together in Patrick Osborne’s Oscar-Nominated ‘Pearl’

Pollen Creates Ambisonic Soundscape for Patrick Osborne’s ‘PEARL’

Patrick Osborne Lends His Talents to New VR Experience ‘Pearl’


‘Piper’ and the Development of Pixar’s Presto Sculpting Brush

Explore Concept Art & Stills from Pixar Short ‘Piper’

Adrian Belew and the Musical Genius of Pixar’s ‘Piper’

The Captivating Magic of Pixar’s Newest Short ‘Piper’


Deepwater Horizon

ILM Delivers Photoreal Invisible VFX to Tell the Tragic Story of The Deepwater Horizon

Iloura Heightens the Intensity in ‘Deepwater Horizon’

Doctor Strange

ILM Works its Magic for ‘Doctor Strange’

Visualizing the Fantastic Worlds of ‘Doctor Strange’

Luma Pictures Rewrites Physics for Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’

Stephane Ceretti and the VFX of ‘Doctor Strange’

Method Studios Gets Psychedelic for Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’

Framestore Returns with More VFX Magic for Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’

The Jungle Book

Creating a Photoreal Masterpiece: Rob Legato on the Virtual Cinematography of ‘The Jungle Book’

Jon Favreau Looks Back at ‘The Jungle Book’

Brigham Taylor Discusses Producing ‘The Jungle Book’

Adam Valdez Talks ‘The Jungle Book’

Staying in Focus: Rob Legato Talks ‘The Jungle Book’

Here Are 42 Amazing Pieces of Concept Art from Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’

Kubo and the Two Strings

Integrating VFX and Stop-Motion: Steve Emerson on Hybrid Filmmaking Approach of ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

Explore the VFX of LAIKA’s ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

WATCH: New Featurette Delves into the VFX of LAIKA’s ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

Stop-Motion and VFX Converge in the Vast Oceans of ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The Visual Effects of ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’: ILM Artists Take Us Back to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Immerse Yourself Inside the ‘The Art of Rogue One’

Final ‘Rogue One’ Trailer Drops More Footage, Highlights Epic Scale

WATCH: The Death Star Returns in New Trailer for ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.