The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) has announced a list of 16 films which are expected to compete for the animated feature Oscar this year. Since the category allows five nominations if there are 16 eligible films or more, 2006 could be the first year since 2002 to have a five-film face-off.

The announcement included a proviso that three of the films - Arthur And The Invisibles (the French film originally known as Arthur And The Minimoys), Happy Feet and Paprika from Japan - have yet to be released in Los Angeles. If any one of the 16 films were not to meet that requirement, the category would only have three nominees.

The announcement, however, removes any doubt that Arthur And The Invisibles would not qualify for this category since its live action/animated mix was at one time considered weighted towards live action.

The 16 films are (in alphabetical order) The Ant Bully, Arthur And The Invisibles, Barnyard, Cars, Curious George, Everyone's Hero, Flushed Away, Happy Feet, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Monster House, Open Season, Over The Hedge, Paprika, Renaissance, A Scanner Darkly and The Wild.