Sunday, February 24, 2013
Well, it's official. Pixar's beautiful, moving fairy tale took home the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. That's right... Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews' Brave. Pixar has won again at the Academy Awards. It was a tight race with some great competition, but it won just like it did at the Golden Globes last month.
To be honest, I'm not satisfied with this and a good many people aren't. Now hear me out, I loved Brave. Like I've said on here many times before, I don't think it's the extremely flawed film that others made it out to be. I felt it was a well-made, well-told spin on the typical fairy tale conventions with two very likable leads, some good humor and lots of heart. I'm not part of the "Brave is garbage"/"Pixar is no longer good" bandwagon. Not at all. I loved the film.
That being said, I felt it had some problems, but overall I think it's a very good film. Now you probably know what film I was rooting for. That's right... Wreck-It Ralph. Wreck-It Ralph was, to me, 2012's greatest animated film. It had so much good in it and very little bad. It had a confident screenplay, a very creative story that isn't in your typical animated film, excellent characters all around, a killer score and soundtrack (sans "Shut Up and Drive"), loads of references that never felt like they were thrown in to pander to gamers and of course, stellar animation and design. It was the kind of film that I want from Disney.
Walt Disney Animation Studios knocked it out of the park if you ask me. Wreck-It Ralph was risky and conventional enough for audiences, it toed the fine line between trying something new and satisfying moviegoers. Creative idea, familiar but well-done story and some twists and turns along the way. To me, it should've won, plain and simple...
Why Brave won, we may never know. Theories will probably be thrown around over the next few days. Some will say that it won because the Academy automatically awards Pixar (except if their film involves anthropomorphic vehicles) every year or because Brave was an animated film with a female lead and is a "feminist" film. I won't go into that, but some may see it that way. Why would the Academy NOT give the award to Ralph? Let a thousand theories spring forth.
My theory is that the Academy saw Ralph as a loud, noisy "video game" movie. Video games, like animation, aren't seen as an art form by many. So maybe that could be why the film didn't win. Brave on the other hand was about human beings, magic and adventure. Perhaps the mother-daughter story of the film appealed more to the Academy voters. Just look at Ralph and then look at Brave. I can see the Academy not feeling that Ralph was "Best" material. If you ask me, it would be the equivalent of them giving the Best Picture award to an action-heavy (but well-written and heartfelt) film.
ParaNorman and Frankenweenie didn't have much of a chance getting the award, because the Academy does think of box office when it comes to awards. ParaNorman and Frankenweenie didn't double their production budgets. The Academy most likely saw them as out-of-the-way flops, which is wrong because... What if those two were far superior to everything else? The Pirates! Band of Misfits? Out of all the nominees, that had the least chance at winning. Again, popularity and box office does play a part in what wins and what doesn't. Sad fact.
I will say though, it was nice to see Brenda Chapman being on stage and accepting the award with Mark Andrews. She wasn't present at the Golden Globes, and if I can remember correctly, she wasn't even invited. But to see Chapman on stage was good, so now she'll get the recognition she deserves for the film.
I am overall upset. I felt that Walt Disney Animation Studios was going to get the Oscar, one they deserved. They never got an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature before, since the category was created when the studio was being run into the ground. During its rebirth (2007-2009), it had tough competition. Bolt didn't stand a chance against WALL-E, ditto The Princess and the Frog against Up. Tangled wasn't nominated for 2010, ditto Winnie the Pooh for 2011. Here I thought this film would get it and finally prove to everyone that they are back. But to paraphrase Doc Hudson, it's just a golden statue. That being said, I wanted the win to boost Disney Animation's reputation...
Best Animated Short Film? By contrast, I was very happy with the results. Who won? Paperman... That's right, John Kahrs' beautiful and innovative meshing of hand-drawn art and crisp computer animation. While some of the competitors were impressive (particularly Adam and Dog), I was really happy to see Disney take home the award they deserved.
So... Were you satisfied with the Oscars? Are you happy with the winners? Or not? Which film deserved the award in your opinion and why? The same goes for the Best Animated Short Film category. Sound off below!