Everyone’s new favorite anime film “Your Name” may have recently smashed some box office records and earned fans across the globe but somehow, it still fell short of earning a nod from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Makoto Shinkai’s global hit, which became the highest-grossing movie for 2016 in Japan, has so far been replicating the success in each country it’s shown, setting records for Japanese-produced movies overseas.
Due to its multiple accomplishments, many fans were hopeful that the movie about the body-swapping teens Taki and Mitsuha might get noticed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Some were confident it could win the Best Animated Feature award, just like how Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece “Spirited Away” did back in 2003.
In fact, Your Name’s producers were so confident of the film’s chances of winning that it made an effort to set up a theatrical run in Los Angeles for it to qualify for this year’s awards considerations.
After all, unseating “Spirited Away” to become the highest-earning anime film of all time is by no means a small feat.
However, disappointing news arrived when the Academy officially released the five nominations for the Best Animated Feature category. “Your Name” is not among them.
The nominees this year include “Kubo and the Two Strings”, “Moana”, “My Life as a Zucchini”, “The Red Turtle”, and “Zootopia”.
The selection isn’t bad as all titles in the list are admittedly also impressive. However, an animated film as brilliant as “Your Name” comes quite rare and deserves a spot to be among the best.
As to why it was snubbed, RocketNews24‘s Casey Baseel provides a popular theory:
“The easy answer is ‘the Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn’t like/respect/understand anime,’ and it’s a theory that probably has some truth behind it. But in more concrete terms, Your Name probably wasn’t seen as being technically or thematically challenging enough. Moana and Zootopia, as lavish CG productions, can easily dazzle by virtue of obviously pushing the envelope of technology-intensive animation techniques, making them seem more ‘realistic’ in their depictions of their on-screen worlds and less ‘cartoony.'”
Hopefully, western audiences rectify the Academy’s short-sightedness and give” Your Name” the respect it deserves when it premieres in the U.S. and Canada on April 7th.