The only reason I sat down and watched The Nut Job was in the very unlikely situation that it managed to break into the Oscars' Best Animated Feature category. Just a heads up, it won't.
The Nut Job has a respectable enough premise. A group of animals plan to pull off a heist of a local city nut shop in order to feed their park through the winter. It has really interesting animation and a very respectable cast... Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl... and an endless list of other name actors too long for this review. But the film is also overtly formulaic. It uses every trick in the book even commenting on how predictable it's going to be at one point.
And while I respect Peter Lepeniotis' ability to get this film made with the level of quality it does have, I just can't imagine it actually getting into the category. The animated scene has been impressively loaded this year without a Pixar flick in sight. And even if The Nut Job miraculously got in, it certainly has no shot to win. Just too many better products out there this year.
Sure, this film may actually be pretty good for kids. But it's not really for the whole family.