Golden Globe Surprises with "Wish" and "Suzume" Nominated for Best Animated Feature

Nominees for this year's Golden Globe Awards were announced today, and in the animated feature film category, big-budget American studio productions will face off against the best films from Japan.

Since the major U.S. awards ceremonies have largely ignored animated films in the past, it was easy to imagine a scenario in which voters would select only one film from the region. In fact, the Globes have never nominated two animated films in the same year, so it came as a pleasant surprise that Makoto Shinkai's "Suzume" was nominated. Nevertheless, given the film's critical, audience, and box-office acclaim, its nomination is entirely deserved.

In addition to its selection for Best Animated Feature, "The Boy and the Hare" received a second nomination when composer Joe Hisaishi was nominated for Best Original Score. The further we get into awards season, the more this film seems like a prime candidate to win most of the big animation awards.

The other four nominees this year were all from major Hollywood studios, meaning that there was a void of independent films from the United States or anywhere else in the world. In a year with so many animated films to choose from, this is especially disappointing.

Perhaps the most surprising nominee this year is Disney's "Wishes," which has been heavily criticized by critics and ignored by audiences. It is one of the most critically acclaimed Disney animated theatrical films of all time and is sure to be one of the studio's biggest box office flops. It is difficult to know what Golden Globe voters saw in "Wishes" and what audiences did not see in it.

Peter Sohn's "Elemental" received a mixed critical response when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. However, incredibly strong word-of-mouth led to a phenomenal revival and the film became one of the most impressive box office hits of the year. Audiences genuinely loved the film, making it the most streamed title of the year on the platform in just 10 days after its release on Disney+.

Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, and Kemp Powers, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was the sequel to the 2019 Golden Globe-winning Into the Spider-Verse, which was a critical and commercial success both critically and commercially. Reviews largely agreed that the film was a step forward for the franchise, with audiences flocking to theaters to see the film, which grossed more than $300 million more than its predecessor. The film's composer, Daniel Pemberton, along with Hisaishi, was nominated in the best score category for the year.

Illumination's Super Mario Brothers Movie, directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenick, was the biggest commercial animated hit of the year, grossing $1.36 billion. But the beauty of Mario goes beyond box office receipts. The film was skillfully animated and had a tremendous cultural impact around the world. Hovas, Jelenic, Jack Black, Eric Osmond, and John Spiker were also nominated for Best Original Song for "Peaches."

"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" and "Super Mario Bros. Movie" were also nominated for the new Cinematic and Box Office Achievement Awards, which recognize the year's most box office-busting or most-watched films worldwide The award is given to the film with the highest box office grosses of the year. The category is open to films that grossed $150 million or more worldwide and $100 million or more in the United States. Streaming-first titles can also qualify for the award by reaching certain milestones tracked by industry sources.