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Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Animated Feature - 'Frozen' has the heat

Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Animated Feature - 'Frozen' has the heat

Two critically acclaimed foreign titles are no match for the Disney phenomenon

In the lead-up to the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, HitFix will be bringing you the lowdown on all 24 Oscar categories with multiple entries each day. Take a few notes and bone up on the competition as we give you the edge in your office Oscar pool!

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<p>Is this the next big thing in family films?</p>

Is this the next big thing in family films?

Credit: Mojang

Could 'Minecraft' be the new 'Lego Movie' for Warner Bros?

That's certainly what the studio's got to be hoping right now

It's pretty easy to guess what the big conversation in development offices all over town has been for the last few weeks, since the moment "The LEGO Movie" hit theaters with nuclear force.

Right now, executives at every studio are asking their kids, "What do you like to play with?" And I am willing to bet that they are all hearing the exact same word in response.

"Minecraft."

At this point in the life of my own kids, computer games are not an option, especially if there is any part of those games that can be used to communicate with them from other people. Even so, thanks to their friends, they are just as "Minecraft" crazy as the kids who are actually playing it.

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"The Vampire Diaries"

"The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Will Katherine seduce Stefan?

Damon's vampire bloodlust creates new complications

While it wasn't pretty, kudos to Damon and Enzo for working out a system with which to handle Damon's desire for vampire blood. It took a little scheduling, sure, but turning a human so you have something to eat in eight hours is sort of like thawing out some frozen chicken breasts so you can make dinner. But that was clearly too tidy for "The Vampire Diaries," so Wes and his Happy Traveler Back-up Band had to show up to ruin everything.

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<p>&quot;The Great Gatsby&quot; looks poised to win two Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design...or does it?</p>

"The Great Gatsby" looks poised to win two Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design...or does it?

Credit: Warner Bros.

Tech Support: Is 'Gravity' set to dominate the Academy's crafts categories?

Can any of the other strong Best Picture hopefuls find room throughout?

Here we are. After months of seeing the films and seeing them campaigned, we’re 72 hours away from the winners being revealed.

In the crafts categories, we’ve already had a race for the ages, where highlights have included some legendary accomplishments ("Gravity's" visual effects anyone?), the makeup artists and hairstylists continuing to prove their eclecticism and the division between the costume designers and the production designers proving uneventful, with each branch pretty much behaving in the same manner as before. This isn’t touching the most bizarre element of this year’s race – the controversy in Best Original Song.

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<p>On &quot;Parks and Recreation,&quot;&nbsp;Jerry (Jim O'Heir)&nbsp;gets to tag along with Ben (Adam Scott)&nbsp;for an anniversary celebration.</p>

On "Parks and Recreation," Jerry (Jim O'Heir) gets to tag along with Ben (Adam Scott) for an anniversary celebration.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Anniversaries'

Leslie and Ben compete over presents, and Ron and April each write blog reviews

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I want a banana made of spiders...

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10 things you need to know about the 2014 Oscars

10 things you need to know about the 2014 Oscars

Just in case you've missed the past six months of coverage

We're less than three days away from the 86th Academy Awards. If you've followed HitFix and In Contention over the past few months you may think we've told you everyting about this year's Oscars race. But, have we really?

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<p>On &quot;Community,&quot;&nbsp;Britta (Gillian Jacobs)&nbsp;gets applauded.</p>

On "Community," Britta (Gillian Jacobs) gets applauded.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Community' - 'Introduction to Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality'

Duncan chases Britta, Buzz punishes Abed and Chang sees dead people

A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I know that the Prime Minister went to Oxford, not Cambridge...

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Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Animated Short - Does the Disney double start here?

Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Animated Short - Does the Disney double start here?

Rule changes favor the most-viewed nominee

In the lead-up to the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, HitFix will be bringing you the lowdown on all 24 Oscar categories with multiple entries each day. Take a few notes and bone up on the competition as we give you the edge in your office Oscar pool!

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<p>Ben Briley from Wednesday night&#39;s &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Ben Briley from Wednesday night's "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 13 Results

Candice Glover performs. She won last year, remember? And somebody heads home.

You know, I was a big Candice Glover fan last year. I was rooting for her almost from the beginning and I was pleased when she won. But when Ryan Seacrest mentioned during Wednesday's show that Candice Glover would be performing tonight, it took me way longer than it should have to remember who Candice Glover was. "American Idol" would also like you to forget that Nikki Minaj and Mariah Carey were ever judges.

Things were pretty tight after Wednesday's performances. I think Malaya Watson made the biggest mess of her song, but I don't think she's going home. I'm assuming that Ben Briley, one of my four favorites last night, is safe, so he's the guy in my picture.

Everything else is up in the air, so click through for my full live-blog!

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'Scandal' is back — and it has a lot of explaining to do

“Scandal” is back — and it has a lot of explaining to do
Here’s ranking the burning questions from most to least urgent, including what’s up with Mama Pope. PLUS: Life lessons from 2 1/2 “Scandal” seasons, Katie Lowes talks B613, Joe Morton says more people will become scary, introducing “Jazzy Snaps,” print out "Scandal" paper dolls, and Bellamy Young recalls being directed by Tony Goldwyn on “Dirty Sexy Money."


Amy Poehler nabs Ellen Burstyn for her NBC comedy pilot
She’ll play Natasha Lyonne’s aunt in the comedy about a reformed wild child who creates her own eldercare business.


HBO: We don’t do product placement, so T-Mobile didn’t pay for its “True Detective” cameo
An HBO spokesperson said “True Detective” bosses felt that the T-Mobile was an authentic brand for 2002.


How is ABC’s plan doing with its plan to split the seasons of “Scandal,” “Grey’s” and “Once Upon a Time”?
Has splitting the season in half resulted in better ratings?


Ailing Quantas hopes for a big financial boost from its “Modern Family” investment
The money-losing Australian airline spent $1 million in Aussie dollars to bring the show Down Under, including flying 80 “Modern Family” cast and crew members in a special “Modern Family Flyer” airplane.


ABC teaming with Twitter for Oscar coverage
Sunday’s broadcast will include 10 “Twitter mirror” photos from celebrities in the green room, plus a sponsored-tweet campaign.


Not long before auditioning for "The Daily Show," Jessica Williams was in a college class that showed Jon Stewart clips
Williams was just 22 when she joined “The Daily Show” in 2012. She recalls telling her professor, "Hey, so I need to reschedule midterms because I’m going to go audition for 'The Daily Show,' which you were showing in class earlier.”


Johnny Weir & Tara Lipinski get another gig: “Today” on the morning after the Oscars
They’ll talk fashion on Monday morning.


HBO's "Silicon Valley" poster spoofs Steve Jobs
“Where Everyone Wants To Be An Icon,” says the poster.


Stop trying to solve “True Detective” -- it's a “parody” of storytelling
The HBO series isn’t about trying to solve murder, it’s focus is on the storytelling in the cop genre, argues Pasha Malla. “The show clearly strives to remain aware of the familiarity of its  material—and to play around with that familiarity,” Malla explains. "Its  self-consciousness becomes evident when characters appear to be speaking directly to viewers—most obviously in Rust’s quasi-metaphysical interrogations of chronological narrative.” PLUS: Creator Nic Pizzolatto previews the remaining episodes, Alejandro González Iñárritu was originally on board as director, and how a former pro snowboarder ended up directing “True Detective."


Seth Rogen tells a US. Senate subcommittee he's a huge "House of Cards" fan
In testifying to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, Rogen said: "I came here today for a few reasons. One, I'm a huge 'House of Cards' fan. Just marathoned the whole thing."


Fred Armisen credits the editors for making “Portlandia” funny
They take everything that we’ve shot, says Armisen, and make it funny. “We’re not in the editing room at all,” he says. “They judge it on what they laugh at.” PLUS: Armisen and Carrie Brownstein go through the “Portlandia” process.


Mayim Bialik’s kids don’t know about her “Blossom” past
“The Big Bang Theory” star tells Howard Stern she has shielded her kids from her child actor past, even though they get to play with a “Blossom” doll. PLUS: Simon Helberg shows off his Nicolas Cage impression for Letterman.


OWN releases details of Lindsay Lohan’s first 4 episodes
In Episode 4, Lohan tries to revive her image by doing a sketch on Jimmy Fallon.


Why is the 1st breakout star from “Girls” a guy?
What does say Adam Driver’s reported casting on “Star Wars” say about gender biases in TV vs. movies?


“The Vikings” returns — its boss was surprised fans loved the intellectual aspect of the show
"I always assumed they would be interested in the visceral side of it -- by the battles and things -- but in fact people really got into the human saga and the human story and the gods,” he says. But "people responded strongly to the more intellectual parts of the show,” he says, adding: "I was pleased by that.”


Sarah Drew tells whom she’d pick for her “Grey’s Anatomy’s” April
"I were playing matchmaker, I would set her up with Matthew,” she says. "They are on the same page about big life things, the way they look at the world and the way they share the same space.” PLUS: Why it’s hard to quit “Grey’s,” and Jessica Capshaw and Camilla Luddington on the midseason return.


Check out "Community's" animated “G.I. Jeff”
Jeff “Wingman" will get a special episode.


See “Game of Thrones’” brutal deaths animated as 8-bit gifs
Including the King’s Landing battle. PLUS: Hand-carved “Thrones” wood action figures are for sale.


Jimmy Kimmel puts Ellen on his back in Oscar promo
Who is he wearing? Ellen!


“Sharknado” producer: Syfy will "be very aggressive in making things look like things are naturally happening” on Twitter
Unlike the original movie, “Sharknado 2” will have a orchestrated social media presence that will include the entire cast live-tweeting.


Chelsea Handler will be live-tweeting the Oscars
The E! star will be live-tweeting for The Huffington Post.


Sarah Jessica Parker: TV’s portrayals of female friendships have devolved since “Sex and the City”
“It’s kind of surprising to say, but in a way (‘SATC’) was a more innocent time,” Parker recently told British GQ "… I think so much reality television – and the women that dominate culture today – are pretty unfriendly towards one another. They use language that’s really objectionable and cruel and not supportive. I like to remember that Carrie and the other
women in 'Sex and the City' were really nice to each other."


“From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" posters revealed
El Rey Network and Robert Rodriguez have released posters for each of the main characters.


Another “Vampire Diaries” alum is joining the “Supernatural” spinoff
Stephen Martines is the 3rd “Vampire” veteran to join “Supernatural: Tribes."


Canadian TV renews “Lost Girl”
No word yet if Syfy will pick up the 5th season.


Meet Jerry Seinfeld, the Muppet
“New Material Seinfeld” was introduced on Pete Holmes’ TBS show.


“Orange is the New Black’s” Pablo Schreiber wants a divorce
After his wife filed for separation, Schreiber is requesting an end to their marriage.


“Downton Abbey” costumes are on display in a Delaware museum
Why Delaware?


“The Red Road” wastes its fascinating premise
The Sundance series, starring Jason Momoa, premieres tonight with a compelling story, but a weak script. PLUS: Sundance ends its streak of creating quality shows, there’s some excellence in it you’re patient, it’s like a flashback to 1990s Indie films, and why Jason Momoa calls it the “most challenging thing” he’s ever done.

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<p>Could Alexander Payne&#39;s &quot;Nebraska&quot; get some big love in a few unexpected areas?</p>

Could Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" get some big love in a few unexpected areas?

Credit: Paramount Pictures

5 longshot Oscar predictions that could make you look like a smarty pants

If you're looking to shake up your office pool, give these a whirl

The Oscars are coming Sunday and as you look around the web, you can see that all the pundits are getting their final predictions in just under the buzzer. What's fascinating to me is how, really, everyone seems to mostly agree. The degrees of fluctuation in those who might disagree on this or that category is minimal. And where some might diverge in one category or another, there are certainly others there to back them up.

Basically, no one is way out on any limbs alone and we're all more or less expecting the same range of activity. That means we're all, of course, WRONG — at least somewhere. So what will the surprises be? That's the question I keep hearing, even from publicists and strategists who have their ear closer to the ground than us lowly pundits.

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<p>Pharrell</p>

Pharrell

What incredible feat will Pharrell's 'Happy' achieve if it wins the Oscar?

No other Oscar-winning song has done this

What neat feat could Pharrell Williams achieve if “Happy” wins the Oscar for “Despicable Me?”

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