In a move that could end up benefiting animated films, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that they are doubling the number of nominations for Best Picture at the Academy Awards from five to ten. AMPAS president Sid Ganis said, “After more than six decades, the Academy is returning to some of its earlier roots, when a wider field competed for the top award of the year. The final outcome, of course, will be the same – one Best Picture winner – but the race to the finish line will feature 10, not just five, great movies from 2009… Having 10 Best Picture nominees is going allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories, but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize.” In the past two years Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille and WALL-E were considered possible Best Picture nominees in the smaller field but came up short. With this announcement their latest film, Up, could have a better than long shot chance at a nod. So far, Disney’s 1991 film Beauty and the Beast is the only animated film to have picked up a Best Picture nomination.