The animated film “Kubo and the Two Strings” has advanced to the 10-film shortlist in the race for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, the Academy announced on Friday.
That makes the stop-motion “Kubo” the first animated film to reach the semifinals in the Oscar VFX race — although you could argue that past winners like “Avatar” made such extensive use of computer-generated images that they were essentially animated films.
So is much of this year’s “The Jungle Book,” one of the frontrunners in a category whose contenders also include “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Doctor Strange,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Arrival.”
Also on the list: “The BFG,” “Deepwater Horizon,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Passengers.”
The field of 10 was narrowed down from a 20-film shortlist released by the Academy earlier this month. “Warcraft” and “X-Men: Apocalypse” were among the films that didn’t make the cut after being on the longer list. Members of the Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined both that longer list, and the current shortlist.
The 10 finalists will now screen 10-minute excerpts for members of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch, who will vote to nominate five of the films.
Nominations will be announced on Jan. 24, with the Oscars taking place on Feb. 26.