The British director of Oscar-nominated animated film Missing Link has said he is trying not to think about the forthcoming ceremony because it “makes me anxious”.
Liverpool-born Chris Butler is nominated in the best animated feature category for his film about a Sasquatch who travels to the Himalayas to meet his Yeti cousins, with the help of an English explorer, voiced by Hugh Jackman.
The film, which took a crew of 450 people five years to make, has already won a Golden Globe, beating a string of Disney box office juggernauts.
Butler told BBC Breakfast: “It was unexpected, it was definitely a surprise on the night.
“it is always a pleasure to get nominated for these things but I really did not think, against Lion King, Frozen 2, Toy Story 4 … I didn’t think (we would win).
“Not just the biggest animated movies, the biggest movies.”
Butler said he knew from a very early age that he wanted to work in animation, adding: “As soon as I got the opportunity I pursued that dream.
“I worked in London for a while and I eventually moved to the States and I have been working at Laika (animation studio) for the last 14 years now.”
He continued: “It is difficult; no movie-making is easy by any means, you have to be prepared to put the work in.
“But I do think now the movie landscape has changed and with streaming there are so many opportunities to do so many different types of animation, so it is possible – you just have to be prepared to work at it.”
Butler is now heading for the Academy Awards, where his film is nominated alongside How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I Lost My Body, Klaus and Toy Story 4.
He said: “I’m trying not to think about it too much because it makes me anxious, but that is the granddaddy of them all.
“It’s a thrill to get the nomination but getting the Globe is a nice treat.”
– The Oscars will be handed out on February 9 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.