Thursday, January 10, 2013

Stop-Motion and Disney: The Nominations

The Academy Awards have announced all of their nominations today, so what animated films made the cut? 4 out of 5 my predictions came true. How many of yours came true?

The Nominations
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

I had thought that the French-Austrian hand-drawn animated film The Rabbi's Cat would get a nomination, given the Academy's usual routine. Ever year, they try to get an animated film (usually hand-drawn) from another country (with the exception of the UK and Japan) in there somewhere (2009 with The Secret of Kells, 2010 with The Illusionist and 2011 with A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rito), so I was pretty sure they would nominate that film or another French animated film called The Painting.

Nope, that slot went to The Pirates! Band of Misfits, a very good film. What's more important is that all the stop-motion films released this year were nominated. Wreck-It Ralph made it, deservedly, as I was hoping for. Brave also made it too, and I was somewhat convinced that it wouldn't. All three Disney releases got nominated.

So, who will take it home? Frankenweenie was a critical darling this year but not a box office success (the Academy Awards do think of box office, whether it's right or wrong). Brave got good but not great reception, but it's generally seen as a good Pixar film and not "bad" like the previous one. The Pirates! Band of Misfits got very positive reviews, but it only did moderately well at the box office. Aardman took home the award before (in 2005 with Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit), so I'm not sure if this will win.

ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph are the two that I think will take it home. It's going to be close, that's for sure. ParaNorman was innovative, bold, daring and pushed the envelope for what a PG-rated family film could do. Wreck-It Ralph is one of Disney's best and an overall great film, with lots of creativity, a strong screenplay and a concept that is thankfully out of Disney's comfort zone. I'll be happy if either one wins, but I'm rooting a little bit more for the nine-foot-tall colossus.

For me, I think Walt Disney Animation Studios needs a Best Animated Feature Oscar since they never got one. Being a studio that was there since the Golden Age and one that delivered some of the greatest animated films of all time, I think they are overdue for one. Laika on the other hand didn't get an Oscar yet, Coraline was up against very tight competition in 2009. It'd be nice to see them get it too.

On a side-note, it's too bad DreamWorks was left out of the race, considering how impressive their fare has been lately. Rise of the Guardians getting a slot would've been nice, but maybe next year, DreamWorks can score a spot. Everything else that was up and running for a nomination didn't seem like Oscar material to me, aside from the two Japanese animated films: From Up on Poppy Hill and The Mystical Law. When will a Japanese animated feature ever be nominated again?

Who do you think should win?

1 comment:

  1. I think Wreck-It Ralph should get it. It's the best animated film of 2012, and like you said The Walt Disney Animation Studios is long overdue. In 2002, Lilo & Stitch had a good chance, but Spirited Away took it.

    I think the award will go to either Wreck-It Ralph or Frankenweenie.

    I'm glad The Pirates got recognition, but sad that Rise of the Guardians didn't.