Fantastic Mr Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
I don’t know that there is even much point in putting anything after the jump for this category. Though other studios in the animation world continue to put out good stuff for the most part, absolutely nobody is close to competing with Pixar on storytelling, complexity of characters or catering to a wide audience in a satisfying and stimulating way. Up will win and, probably, should win purely for the opening ten minute sequence, easily the finest piece of filmmaking in the past year.
From a personal perspective, the film would be my second favourite in the category. Fantastic Mr Fox was inventive and ludicrously fun and would win my vote for the prize, but it’s box-office won’t have helped too much and many may consider it slightly too adult (I would disagree) to compete with the family friendly adventure of Up.
The others are pretty much also-rans, though Coraline would be the only potential challenger to Up from the dark horse stable. The film was very well-reviewed and, being in 3D, fits into the modern animation mould. The Princess and the Frog and The Secret of Kells, which no one will see outside of the Academy until after the ceremony, have no chance and one should have been dropped in favour of the stupendous Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. As said from the start, though, Up will win.
Predicted Winner: Up