STUDIO CIRCUIT: Walt Disney Pictures Going ‘Big’ with ‘Woods’



Last year, Walt Disney Pictures had a slate with a ton of potential. A biopic about their titular founder based off one of the most successful and beloved movie musicals of all time. A billion dollar animated musical phenomenon. A Pixar movie. And a movie with production design by Robert Stromberg. Oh, and The Lone Ranger. All of that resulted in zero Best Picture nominations, a total of only 5 Oscar nominations, and a mere 2 wins for Best Original Song and Best Animated Feature. Needless to say, Disney is hoping to do much better in 2014.

The “Studio Pitch” (if available) is listed along with their “Most Likely Mentions In Awards Season.” That pertains to the entire season, NOT just the Oscars:


Muppets Most Wanted
Director: James Bobin

After opening to mixed reviews and a lackluster box office, the sequel to the highly successful Muppet reboot doesn’t seem quite poised to wreck awards season. Indeed, 2011’s The Muppets only managed one Oscar win from one nominations. Nevertheless, it was widely considered a frontrunner for Best Original Song for the entirety of awards season. What about 2014? Well, Bret McKenzie is back writing songs. So it’s got that going for it.

Best Original Song – “Interrogation Song”
Best Original Song – “We’re Doing a Sequel”
Best Original Song – “I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)”



Director: Robert Stromberg

While neither audiences nor critics were really bewitched by this retelling of Disney’s most iconic villain, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get any awards season attention. Indeed, if Unbroken is successful, the industry might want to throw a bone to this feminist summer release. As 2010’s Alice in Wonderland proved, even bad movies can win a tech Oscar or two.

Best Costume Design
Best Production Design
Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Best Visual Effects



Big Hero 6
Directors: Don Hall & Chris Williams

After a heartbreaking loss for Best Animated Feature in 2012, a non-Pixar Disney animated film finally won this category last year, when Frozen took down a Pixar-lite field. This season, Disney brings us (along with the kiddie-loving, but Nowhere Close To Oscar Planes: Fire and Rescue) Big Hero 6. Unlike the typical Disney animated effort, Big Hero 6 is adapted from a Marvel comic, the first cinematic cross-over between the two sub-Disney branches. Will it work? In a field already containing The LEGO Movie and How to Train Your Dragon 2, who knows?

Best Animated Feature
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing



Into the Woods
Director: Rob Marshall

Have you heard about this movie? Rob Marshall’s musical remains one of the few remaining mysteries in Oscar season. Will it go the way of Chicago? Or the way of Nine? Or split the difference and go the way of Les Miserables? One of the unspoken narratives in this awards season is the strength this film will probably show at the Golden Globes. Will this adult spin on your favorite fairy tales work for a modern audience? Has Disney cut out the adult portions as many feared? So many questions remain.

Best Picture
Best Director
Best Actress – Meryl Streep
Best Actor – James Corden
Best Supporting Actress – Anna Kendrick
Best Supporting Actress – Emily Blunt
Best Supporting Actor – Chris Pine
Best Supporting Actor – Johnny Depp
Best Ensemble Cast
Best Costume Design
Best Production Design
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Best Sound Mixing

What do you think of the Disney slate?