CalArts alumni nominated for 2017 Oscars

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Signal file photo California Institute of the Arts.

Three California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) alumni are nominated for an Academy Award for their work on animated films this year.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 89th annual awards show during a live stream Tuesday.

CalArts alumni are all nominated for their work as directors in the “Animated Feature Film” category.

Alumnus and director John Musker, who graduated from CalArts in 1977 with a degree in Film/Video, is nominated for his work on “Moana” with his fellow director Ron Clements and producer Osnat Shurer.

The film follows Moana, the daughter of a Polynesian tribal chief, as she searches for an ancient artifact with a demigod named Maui to save her people.

This is Musker’s second Oscar nomination.  He was also nominated in 2009 in the Animated Feature Film category for his work on Walt Disney Picture’s “Princess and the Frog.”

Alumni and directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore, who both graduated from CalArts in 1987 with degrees in Film/Video, are nominated for their work on “Zootopia” with producer Clark Spencer.

“Zootopia” tells the story of investigation of a rookie bunny cop and a con-artist fox as they work to solve a mystery in their city of anthropomorphic animals.

The film won the 2017 Golden Globe for Best Animated Motion Picture Jan. 8 and the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Animated Feature Dec. 11, 2016.

It has been praised by critics for its ability to address diversity and prejudice through animation and story themes.

This is the second nomination for both Howard and Moore.  Howard was nominated in 2008 in the Animated Feature Film category for his work on “Bolt” and Moore was nominated in 2012 in the Animated Feature Film category for his work on “Wreck-It Ralph.”

Both “Moana” and “Zootopia” were also nominated for Annie Awards, an award for accomplishments in animation, this year.

The films will be going up against “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “My Life as a Zucchini” and “The Red Turtle” for the Oscar.

The Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the first time, will air live on ABC Feb. 26.

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