Sunday, October 9, 2011

What About the 'Animated Feature' Category at the Oscars?

It may be only October. But let's face it, we're getting some glimpses of the films which are sure to be nominated at the Oscars, and awards season will kick off in less than two months. So, it's never too early to start predicting...or get excited. Personally, awards season is my favourite part of the year.

Now everybody has been predicting the Best Pictures and Actors and Actresses, particularly because there have been some really good films coming through the several film festivals. But what about the animated feature category? Naturally, we'd expect a PIXAR flick to take it out, but they will probably be having a break this year since Cars 2 didn't exactly fare too well with the critics. In fact, there haven't been any real 'stand-out' animated features this year...just some good ones, and quite a few terrible ones. Then again, not every year can have a Toy Story 3.

Let's look at our possibilities:

The ones that definitely deserve a chance:


The Adventures of Tintin - Now, for some reason, I keep thinking that this movie isn't going to be eligible for the category. I don't really know why this is, and there's this sneaking feeling that I really can't lock this film in as the winner. I mean, what if this movie isn't really that great? What if, for whatever reason, the film isn't eligible? Gosh...I don't know. I still can't see this movie in that particular category, but it doesn't seem to have that much competition keeping it out. You're probably thinking now that I wrote this post for no reason at all, considering that, y'know, this one seems like 'the one', but I'm not convinced. And even if I were convinced, there isn't really the 'competition' to back it up, like we had last year with How to Train Your Dragon and The Illusionist. I'm not crazy...yet.


Rango - This film seems to be loved by most film bloggers, mainly because of the many references to pop culture and Western films. Rango was a cool film, but I haven't really heard a lot of love from people outside 'film world'. I think it's a film that has a very specific audience: the kids will find it funny because of how ridiculous it is (in a good way) and some adults who know their stuff will get a lot of the jokes. This might hurt it's chances, but come on. The technical side of the movie is almost flawless, since the vocal acting was done so realistically and the attention to detail in the animation was so good. If Tintin doesn't get a look in, then this will probably be the one that wins.


Rio - While this film performed well critically and financially, I still feel like this movie just 'slipped by'. It was a cool movie, very colourful and funky, but perhaps it was a little too simple. There was this feeling that everything about this movie was 'just there'. It was good, but not excellent. Perfectly adequate, really. A couple of impressive musical numbers, nice vocal acting and an excessive amount of colour should pull this movie in. I just hope that voters haven't forgotten about it by the time awards season really gets going.


Winnie the Pooh - There are unfortunately so many things riding against this otherwise excellent little film that may see it not get a nomination. The film failed to earn it's (exceptionally high) budget back in America, so it didn't perform as well as it should have. It got brilliant reviews (a 91% Tomatometer), but the reviews weren't amazingly raving. The fact that it's only 52 minutes long (excluding the credits) makes it a lot shorter than your average film. But hey, this movie is nostalgic, simple and whimsical...it's truly old-fashioned Disney at it's best. If, for anything, the voters choose this film, then it should be for the glorious hand-drawn work. 3D is so over-rated.


Kung Fu Panda 2 - The first was nominated in this category back in 2009, and this one is apparently just as good. But I'd probably put this one behind the other four, so I doubt that it will get a nomination unless they open the category up to five nominations. Yet, I wouldn't dismiss it, because it's sheer popularity could see it coming out over Winnie the Pooh or Rio.

They haven't been released yet, but they may have a chance:


Puss in Boots - Considering the last couple of Shrek's weren't that fantastic, dear old Puss in Boots may have lost a bit of traction and this movie could totally flop. But I doubt it, since Puss in Boots was definitely the awesomest character in the Shrek series after Donkey. I just don't see it getting a nomination. I'm sure the box office won't be a problem for it, but the critics might. We don't have long to find out, though!



Happy Feet Two - Well, my cat is named after Mumble, so this will have to get nominated! Haha. The first won the award in this category, but the movie itself received mixed reactions from what I can remember. I doubt this will get a nomination...and I doubt that it will be that great. Mind you, I was one of the ones who absolutely loved the first one. It must be just my shaky attitude towards sequels.


Arthur Christmas - Jeez, didn't the trailer for this come out last Christmas? I don't know how well Christmas movies fare at the Oscars. And for that, I'm willing to leave this out of my predictions. Unless, of course, there's some miracle and it gets rave reviews. Even then, I doubt it has enough pull to get nominated.

The Wildcard:


Cars 2 - Yes, it didn't get the best reviews. But I'm sensing that there will be some sort of sympathy towards PIXAR's only failure. And hey, Cars got nominated back in 2007, even though it wasn't the best of films. I wouldn't completely dismiss the film. Oscar is known for being unpredictable. Maybe that's a bit too unpredictable, but not too out of the ordinary.

They're never gonna get a nomination:


There has been a surprising amount of bad animated movies coming out this year. At the very start of the year, there was Gnomeo & Juliet. Shakespeare wasn't always meant to be adapted into an animated flick with garden gnomes playing his famed star-crossed lovers. Mars Needs Moms was a huge flop, despite it's cool motion-capture animation style. But come on, after it was made for $120 million, and it only earned just over $21 million at the USA box office, can you really expect it to get nominated? Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil is unlikely to get a nomination, as the first one wasn't even that great and the animation looks scarily cheap. Plus, Anne Hathaway didn't even wanna come back for it.

My final prediction, as of 09/10/11:

If Tintin is eligible/good, then I'd be inclined to pick that, Rango and Rio. Excluding Tintin, I'd go for Winnie the Pooh to take the final spot. I think Rango is a definite lock, and I'd be surprised if it didn't get nominated.

So what do you think will get nominated? And what have you thought of 2011's animated feature selection?

10 comments:

  1. I'm going to have to check this, but I don't think TinTin is actually eligible because it was created using motion capture :( I'd be very happy to hear that I'm wrong, I'm looking forward to seeing it! One of my friends is taking an animation course and all the animation students can talk about is Tintin (though its mostly debate on how the film looks aesthetically, haha)

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  2. Buuut Tintin must get nominated. I hate the Academy's stupid rules sometimes. But I really do believe that they will let this one pass, seeing that Spielberg and Peter Jackson are involved and they have some 100 Oscar noms between them (or so it is widely believed). Ofcourse my main thing is that it's written by Edgar Wright, and he deserves to be part of something this big.

    I don't think Rio will get nominated. I mean I'm pretty sure Cars 2 will get the nomination over it. As you said Rango looks like the only sure one, though I'm personally not a fan. I loved Arthur Christmas's trailer. I think it will adorable, Oscar nod or no Oscar nod. I have to check out Kung Fu Panda 2 some day.

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  3. I think RANGO definitely deserves to win. It was awesome and the others can suck it!!!!!

    Sorry, got a little carried away there.

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  4. Aside from Tintin, I don't expect to see another animation in theater this year. I saw Rango and thought it was relatively average in terms of entertainment. Nonetheless, it could easily be nominated given how weak the field is this year.

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  5. Agree with the consensus that Rango is probably the favourite, but also agree with Castor that this is more by default than because it deserves to win 'best' anything.

    This - http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/rules/rule07.html - is the official rules page for the Oscars. The second sentence reads that 'Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique'. In this article - http://www.digitalacting.com/2010/07/13/new-oscar-rules-deem-motion-capture-not-an-animation-technique/ - that statement is interpreted as meaning Tintin (and other mo-cap films) will heretofore not be eligible for the Animated award.

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  6. I think if TinTin is as good as it should be it'll win. I think the filmmaking talent behind it will definitely get Academy voters on side.

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  7. Great post!

    In theory the rule that Film Intel mentioned should disqualify Tintin, but even that rule is subject to interpretation by the animators' branch, and Spielberg & company have already begun trying to explain why the rule shouldn't apply, so we'll see.

    I also think that this might be a year when one of the foreign films slips in. Possibilities that I've heard include Arriety, The Rabbi's Cat, Chico & Rita, The Prodigies, The Dreaming Machine, and A Monster In Paris. No guarantee on any of these, of course, but if they get a qualifying run they could easily steal the third or fourth slot... And then if they're seen they might even pick up the prize in a non-Pixar year!

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  8. Winnie and the Pooh is ADORABLE. It's still easily in my top 5 of the year. It's just beautiful loveliness.

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  9. Ruth - I'm looking forward to Tintin, too. According to the Academy rules, it won't be eligible. But something tells me that Spielberg and his team will be able to bend the rules since it is still technically animation!

    Nikhat - Yeah, I think that Spielberg and Jackson will be able to get it nominated. Mind you, I think they'd be pushing for Best Pic more than Best Animated, haha. And yes, Edgar Wright! Always been a fan of his!
    You never know. I think the last spot in this category (with the other two being taking up by Rango and Tintin - of course if it's nominated) is wide open, but there are very few options.

    Tyler - If Tintin isn't eligible, I think Rango will definitely win!

    Castor - Well, there is Puss in Boots, Arthur Christmas and Happy Feet Two still to come. I doubt that these films will get a show in the category, though. Now that I think of it, Rango was relatively average in terms of entertainment, but I did like it a bit.

    Film Intel - Yes, Rango will probably win by default.
    Thanks for those articles! That's cleared everything for me!

    Dan - The talent there will definitely get the voters on side. Which is why I worry that Cars 2 will get a nomination.

    NeverTooEarlyMP - Thanks! I think Spielberg and co will be able to bend the rules. I wouldn't put it past them.
    I was thinking about the foreign ones, especially seeing as the last spots in the past couple of years have been filled up with The Illusionist and The Secret of Kells. I think Arriety is classed as a 2010 film, though, but apparently it is quite good. We'll have to just wait and see!

    Andrew - I know! It was so adorable!

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  10. Think Cars 2 will certainly get nominated - the Academy won't snub Pixar. Even if it deserves to be snubbed...

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

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