Monday, March 3, 2014

Frozen Statues

Kudos to whoever made this...

Well, that big grand event was last night… You know, the event where they hand out meaningless golden statues to various motion pictures and categories pertaining to filmmaking. Yet it's still fun to watch for some strange reason.

So yes, Frozen won, which may explain why some of the US got hit with snow. (Elsa's psyched and she can't control herself!)

This film got Walt Disney Animation Studios its first Oscar for Best Animated Feature, though if you ask me, the wrecker should've been the one to win it first. (I'll save my brutally honest Frozen thoughts for another time on here. Fear not, I think the film is good.)

The film also crossed $1 billion at the domestic box office last night, and it is still the second highest grossing animated feature film of all time. Now if it goes over well in Japan, it may end up becoming the highest grossing animated film ever. The target to beat is the $1,063 million collected by Toy Story 3 nearly four years ago. Can it do it? Probably…

Disney Animation didn't take the animated short award home though, that statue went to an equally fantastic little production from France and Luxembourg, Mr. Hublot. The night before the Oscars, I took a trip to my local art house theater and checked out all five of the nominated animated shorts along with three honorable mentions. Anyways, Mr. Hublot was a nice piece, a simplistic story in a complex and quirky setting that made me want to see more. The character design and art direction popped, and the story had a lot of charm. Let me just say the rest is too precious to spoil…


Get A Horse! was great to experience again, I happened to love it because to me, this was the real Mickey on the silver screen and it was loaded with wit, slapstick, inventiveness and raucous energy.  The small audience I was with got a kick out of it, too. Feral was a visual masterpiece, as was the surreal and unpredictable Possessions. The former's story was no great shakes but its dramatic use of lighting, the music and the staging elevated it. The latter was definitely good, despite some questionable animation choices (the main character was a computer animated character, but cel-shaded, similar to a video game like Okami) and a somewhat hard-to-follow story.

The fifth nominee was a half-hour BBC television special, Room on the Broom. Based on a children's book and narrated by Simon Pegg, this whimsical piece perhaps went on for a little too long but the work in it was fantastic, it had a lot of charm and the character design was very appealing. It basically felt like story time. I'm not sure why it was nominated or submitted though, as it's really more of a TV special, plus it didn't come out in 2013. (Then again, Feral and Possessions didn't.)

The honorable mentions were The Blue Umbrella, A La Francaise and The Missing Scarf. The first of which was Pixar's 2013 short, of course. I like it, a lot. Others don't for some reason, it's very light on the story but how they integrate a face into everything was very clever and creative. The love story is nice and sweet, but yes, other than the visuals it is no great shakes. I still really like it, though. A La Francaise, a French student film, felt like an extended joke: The 19th French aristocracy… With chickens and pigeons! While it was nice to look at and some of the visual gags worked, it didn't do much for me. The Missing Scarf, an Irish short narrated by George Takei, was one of the smartest and funniest of the bunch. It's very surprising that it wasn't nominated, though considering the competition, I can somewhat see why. Its finale was utter chaos, but it was very enjoyable.

Gravity pretty much swept all the technical categories, but it didn't take home Best Picture. Like the Academy was going to give it to a sci-fi anyway, but 12 Years A Slave. Hard to beat. But yeah, think about it… An animated film took home several awards. Yes, I'm talking about Gravity!

(By the way, I don't know if I ever said on here that I saw Gravity. I saw it in theaters, IMAX 3D to be exact. Excellent film.)

Also, the Oscars showed an animation montage, though not without giving the art form a semi-insulting introduction. The montage also showed way too much Shrek. What was up with that?

'Let It Go' won Best Song, deservedly. I was afraid that U2 would snatch it from them like they did at the Golden Globes, but no, Disney won this time. Idina Menzel, oh I'm sorry… Adele Mazeem… Sang it, but the song was sped up (as in, sections were skipped) and she couldn't seem to keep up with it. They should've let her belt out the full song, but Ellen's monologue already took up too much time.

Speaking of which, Ellen was occasionally funny but at other times, the show wasn't firing on all cylinders. Seth MacFarlane by contrast, despite alternating between funny and offensive, at least kept it interesting. This ceremony kind of stopped being interesting from time to time, but it wasn't without highlights.

Also, it's surprising that Ellen didn't make any reference to Finding Dory

What's your take? Are you happy that Frozen won? Or did you have another film in mind? What did you think of the ceremony? Sound off below!

3 comments:

  1. I personally am very happy to see Frozen won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. C'mon, Disney hasn't won a single Oscar for any of their namesake animated movies in a long time, and this was their time.

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  2. I'm happy Frozen won, but still unhappy Despicable Me was nominated over Monsters U. I thought Monsters U was a better film than Frozen. And god, that intro was so awful!! Who was that woman standing next to Matthew? What an ego. I didn't get the chance to see the Let It Go performance, but I'm surprised they had to cut it short. I thought Pharrell William's song went on for three minutes at least.

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  3. I'm happy for Disney, even though I think Monsters U was the better film (and should have been nominated over Despicable Me). This is a big deal for them, considering the state the studio was in not too long ago.

    The only intro I saw for the animation categories was with Matthew McConaughey and that woman. Who was she? She was so rude! Matthew was saying something nice about how animation is imaginative and creative and interrupted him to tell everyone how happy she was to be there. What an ego.

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