It could be time to admit that I’ve slept on My Father’s Dragon when it comes to Oscar consideration. Based on the 1948 children’s book by Ruth Stiles Gannett, the 2-D fantasy makes its way to Netflix on November 11th. It had its unveiling at the London Film Festival. Dragon is the fifth animated feature from Cartoon Saloon and their track record is, shall we say, fire.
The Irish outlet is 4 for 4 when it comes to getting their pics nominated for Best Animated Feature: 2010’s The Secret of Kells, 2014’s Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner from 2017, and 2020’s Wolfwalkers. Despite their success rate getting their product in the final quintet, they’ve yet to win.
Dragon is directed by Nora Twomey, who co-directed Kells and solo helmed The Breadwinner. The sprawling voice cast includes Jacob Tremblay, Gaten Matarazzo, Golshifteh Farahani, Jackie Earle Haley, Whoopi Goldberg, Dianne Wiest, Rita Moreno, Chris O’Dowd, Judy Greer, Alan Cumming, Yara Shahidi, Mary Kay Place, Leighton Meester, and Ian McShane.
Reviews are just beginning to trickle out of London and so far so good. The initial buzz indicates this should be a contender. Like its earlier efforts, I’d say it’s a viable film for nomination and not a victory. My last estimates had it ranked seventh… pretty low for a production company with the aforementioned history.
Yet there could be roadblocks on the Saloon’s road to five in a row. The main one is internal competition from Netflix itself. Most prognosticators (myself included) have Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio from the streamer listed in first place. Even though that’s sight unseen, the pedigree would suggest it’ll be Netflix’s biggest push for the gold statue. Others that the company could be focused on include this summer’s acclaimed The Sea Beast and Wendell and Wild from Jordan Peele, which debuts later this month and nabbed positive feedback at the Toronto Film Festival.
That’s four legit contenders from Netflix and Disney (for one) will have something to say about them achieving four nominations (they won’t). Something’s gotta give and we’ll see how the next few weeks play out to determine which movies from the quartet don’t make the dance. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…