BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – Japanese picture “When Marnie Was There” has been nominated for an Academy Award for best animated film, it was announced in Beverly Hills on Thursday.
The film, by Studio Ghibli, will go up against “Anomalisa,” “Boy and the World,” “Inside Out,” and “Shaun the Sheep Movie” for a coveted Oscar when the awards ceremony takes place on Feb. 28.
It is the fifth time a Japanese animated film has been nominated for the award. Studio Ghibli films have now secured nominations three years in a row.
“When Marnie Was There,” or “Omoide no Marnie” in Japanese, is based on a 1967 children’s book by British writer Joan G. Robinson.
Anna (voiced by Sara Takatsuki), is an unhappy 12-year-old orphan who calls her kindly adoptive mother “aunt,” while Marnie (Kasumi Arimura), is an outgoing, if mysterious, blonde-haired girl who Anna befriends while spending a summer on the Hokkaido coast with her mother’s relatives.
It is the first Ghibli film to bear neither of the names of the studio’s iconic animators, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, both of whose films were nominated in the past.
The movie was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who left the company in 2014. The movie’s English version was released last year.
Survival thriller “The Revenant” topped the Oscars nominations list on Thursday with 12 nods, including for best picture, actor and director.
In second place was dystopian action film “Mad Max: Fury Road” with 10 nominations, followed by “The Martian” with seven.
The Academy Awards will be hosted by Chris Rock for the second time.