TheWrap Screening Series: Best Animated Feature Nominees on Being ‘Dazzled by the Array of Different Styles’ | Video

Kemp Powers, Nick Bruno, Peter Sohn, Pablo Berger and Toshio Suzuki join us to talk about this year’s crop of animated features

2023 was an unprecedented year for animated features, when technology emboldened filmmakers to craft stories beyond imagination and audiences responded to those stories accordingly. (The second and third highest grossing movies at the domestic box office were animated features.) These breakthroughs are clearly evident in the crop of films nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar and TheWrap was lucky enough to sit down with filmmakers from each of those movies to talk about the state of the medium and how lucky they all were to be acknowledged. You can watch the full conversation here.

Kemp Powers, one of the directors of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse;” Nick Bruno, one of the directors of “Nimona;” Peter Sohn, the director of “Elemental;” Pablo Berger, director of “Robot Dreams;” and Toshio Suzuki, producer of “The Boy and the Heron” (and co-founder of Studio Ghibli) all spoke about the process of getting their films made – and the surprises along the way.

“So much of it has been getting to know the other filmmakers on this back end of the life of a film and it just feels like a privilege and an honor. And it’s also bittersweet. This is the end days of the journey of a film,” said Sohn about what it meant to get nominated. “And as lucky as I feel, I’m already holding tight to the hand of the film like, Oh, I’m going to miss you.

Powers even gave a shout-out to some of the other terrific movies that weren’t nominated but were really, really special: “I love all of these films. I’m a huge fan. And there’s actually several other films that weren’t nominated that I love just as much. I love ‘Suzume’ so much, I love ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.’ There were so many great films that came out this year.”

Powers, who also co-directed the Oscar-winning “Soul,” also said, “I found myself emotionally connected to and moved and honestly dazzled by the array of different styles in the animated films. I love that none of our films look like one another at all. It’s so cool.”

Berger, who had made three live-action films before pivoting to animation with the charming, heartbreaking “Robot Dreams,” said that he met Guillermo del Toro at Annecy last year and that now he’s totally hooked. “Once you try it, you cannot take it away. I’m with you guys. I’m one of us,” Berger said. “I want to keep making animated films. It really opened my mind.”

You can watch the full Q&A with the nominees here.

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