When it comes to categorizing, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been marching to its own beat. It nominated Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black in the drama field for the show’s first season in 2014, which was designated as a comedy at the Emmys later that year. The TV Academy re-classified the series as a drama, starting with Season 2, when the HFPA started calling OITNB a comedy for the rest of its run.
For that reason, every year, there are Golden Globe nominations that raise eyebrows, like the forgettable thrillerThe Tourist‘s 2011 Comedy or Musical nominations for best film and stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
This year, some were surprised by The Lion King’s nomination for Animated Feature. It marks the first recognition for Jon Favreau’s remake of the Disney animated classic as an animated film.
The 2019 Lion King is part of the wave of live-action remakes of iconic Disney animated movies, joining Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Favreau’s The Jungle Book, Dumbo, Aladdin and the upcoming Mulan and The Little Mermaid.
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But while all of the films feature extensive CGI, the others feature on-screen performance by actors, while The Lion King does not.
Favreau incorporated some live-action elements into his The Jungle Book reboot. But The Lion King does not have any humans or real animals, with all characters and backgrounds generated by computers.
Asked this past summer whether the new Lion King should be called an animated or live-action film, Favreau himself could not give a definitive answer.
“Well, it’s difficult because it’s neither, really. It depends what standard you’re using,” he told reporters.
“Because there’s no real animals and there’s no real cameras and there’s not even any performance that’s being captured that’s underlying data that’s real. Everything is coming through the hands of artists. But to say it’s animated I think is misleading as far as what the expectations might be.”
Disney has opted to treat The Lion King as a live-action movie, Encouraged by The Jungle Book’s Oscar success, winning the special effects category, the studio is making a similar push for The Lion King in the visual effects categories.
The film was not among the 32 films submitted for the 2020 Animated Feature Oscar and was not among the Annie nominees announced last weeks.
Four of the five Best Feature Annie nominees matched the Golden Globe Animated nominees: Frozen 2, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Missing Link and Toy Story 4.
The HFPA, which told Deadline that The Lion King complies with its Animated Feature rules, and the Los Angeles branch of the International Animated Film Association differed on the fifth film, with the Globes going for The Lion King while Annies nominated Netflix’s Klaus.
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