Could Wild Things Snag the Babe Slot at the Oscars?

After a long period of time where it seemed that everything was going wrong for Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, now, finally, everything seems to be going right. At each juncture, its footage has turned viewers into true believers; there was that first teaser, then a surprising, rapturously received chunk of scenes at Comic-Con, and now there's a gorgeous new trailer (below the jump). Should we toss Wild Things into the wild rumpus that is the Oscar derby?

Certainly, there's a precedent for this sort of ostensible kids' film to make it to the end of awards season. I'm thinking most specifically of Babe, another talking critter movie whose warm heart and carefully calibrated cinematic modesty turned it into a Best Picture-nominated sleeper hit. Babe also netted screenplay and director nominations, and the Wild Things crew could conceivably do the same, especially since Jonze (nominated once before for Being John Malkovich) is already well-regarded by the Academy. Additionally, it couldn't hurt that Wild Things is already being pitched to discerning adults, reducing the hurdle some Academy members might feel about nominating a picture that's potentially out of their demographic.

Still, the film shouldn't necessarily expect its awards dogpile to be a romp. The big question is whether WB wants to look past the film's tortured inception (which saw the movie endlessly delayed) and sink more time and cash into Wild Things -- though its spot-on marketing has so far indicated that the studio has no plans to dump it. Then there are those twin concerns of how it will do at the box office and, of course, whether it's actually a great film. Still, when has not knowing the answer to either question ever gotten in the way of a little Oscar prognosticating?