Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No Pixar, No Problem: I Talk Out the Animated Oscar Race.

This was posted this morning at the LAMB for their 'LAMB Devours the Oscars' series. You can check it out there, or check it out as you please...

I actually wrote a post about the animated film category a LONG time ago, and I was predicting that should The Adventures of Tintin be eligible, it would sweep this category. I received confirmation that it was indeed eligible, but once it came for nomination time, no dice. If that didn’t win, I was gunning for Winnie the Pooh to take the prize, just because it was so awesome, but nothing happened there, either. So now, we have an extremely weird and incredibly ‘meh’ line-up for this year’s animated Oscar...without any PIXAR (suck on that, Cars 2). Let’s get into it, shall we?

A Cat in Paris
This one was the only animated feature I didn’t get to catch in time for writing this post, even though it is out on DVD here (it just continues to elude me). I’d always had a feeling that this would get in, but only if they took five nominees, which in other words means it has no chance of winning. But you can see just how much the Academy loves cats – this is the first of two movies to feature a cat. Maybe if Snowy out of Tintin was a cat, it would have been nominated?
The Drawcard: Generally positive consensus. Cats.
The Drawback: Not seen by a wide enough audience, and there are better films nominated.
Chance of Winning: 25%

Chico & Rita
Let it be said that this is not animation for kids, this is animation for adults. In a lot of ways, I felt like this one would have been better as a live action film rather than an animated film, mainly because its story is so beautiful, but also so overdone. As for the film’s chances, they’re about next to none. While being a perfectly good film, A Cat in Paris definitely beats it to the punch for being the ‘better’ foreign animation, and this one still remains to be seen by a lot of people. However, whilst watching it I was remembering The Princess & the Frog...this is a very Disney style animation, just a bit more adult. That could work in its favour.
The Drawcard: Being an animation for adults.
The Drawback: Has anyone besides me actually seen it? It stands virtually no chance.
Chance of Winning: 10%

Kung Fu Panda 2
This one came as a bit or a surprise to me, as I knew it had been quite positively received but I didn’t think that it would be enough to get it in. However, I just watched this one and its predecessor the other day and I was quite impressed. Being a long time since I’ve seen Rango (which I loved), I’m very much in the Kung Fu Panda 2 camp at the moment, and see it as the only one that could possibly beat Rango. Because, of course, it has twice the awesomeness.
The Drawcard: Generally positive consensus, good box-office take, original also got nominated in this category back in 2009.
The Drawback: Rango.
Chance of Winning: 50%

Puss in Boots
I caught this one on the plane, so forgive me if I didn’t think it was so spectacular on a 10” low-def screen. But no, this was quite a good movie, bringing light to one of my favourite characters from the Shrek franchise. However, since Puss was in the whole movie, I could tell how insanely creepy he was. Like, seriously, should he even be fronting a movie for kids? He is...well...quite seedy. Anyway, does this have any Oscar chances? Well, for me it was a bit of a surprise nomination, and I can’t see it beating Rango at all. It was pretty run-of-the-mill, but an improvement of the last two Shreks.
The Drawcard: Spanning from a popular franchise, being genuinely beautiful to look at. Cats.
The Drawback: The lead cat being largely inappropriate for target audience. Rango.
Chance of Winning: 40%

It is pretty darn obvious that this is going to win. Despite the fact that it came out literally ages ago, it has held up this entire time and people seemed to like all of the Western references it has going on in it. Rango is a really cool movie, there’s no doubting that, but I’ve yet to physically meet someone who actually liked it – I either mix with really bad people who don’t have taste or they’re seeing something that I don’t. Perhaps it is one for us people who like our movie references and chameleons...and hopefully the voters are one of us, too. I won’t be grumbling if this takes the prize.
The Drawcard: Everything, from the references to the impeccable animation to Johnny Depp.
The Drawback: Slightly hesitant response from the people of Dannevirke, New Zealand. That should hurt its chances badly.
Chance of Winning: 95%

And this is what a year looks like without many more of these years are we going to see in our lifetime?


  1. I haven't even heard of the first two films. I'd be surprised if KFP2 won, what with it being a sequel.

  2. Should I feel bad that Rango is the only one I've seen? haha - well, Rango is pretty brilliant so I'm with you and will say it's almost definitely going to win.

    1. Haha, no! I only just caught up with the rest because they were nominated. So slack.

  3. A Cat in Paris, and Chico and Rita both played at European Film Festivals hosted by my cinema last year - and I missed both of them. :-( I might try and see them before the Oscars, though. I liked KFP2 - and I think it deserves its spot. Puss in Boots does not. I was surprised that Tintin missed out - but it still wouldn't have beaten my pick, and that is RANGO. I think if there is an upset, it will be one of the European films, because neither KFP2 or Puss in Boots are realistically good enough. Nice round-up though, Stevee!

    1. A Cat in Paris was at the NZFF and I remember having the chance to see it...I'm kinda sad that I didn't, now :( I can't find it anywhere! Puss in Boots doesn't really deserve a place, no. I'd love to see the European films get in, though!

  4. I am still convinced that Chico and Rita should not be in the race... Is it not a 2010 film? Anyway I am probably wrong, I generally am!!

    I loved the opening section of Puss, but I was not convinced by the second half...

    Rango FTW

    1. I think it is a 2010 film...but you know how these things work. It only just got released in America this past weekend.

      Same here about Puss. And yes, Rango FTW!

  5. Its a shame that Tintin was not nominated (bloody Oscars!), but I did find myself loving Kung Fu Panda 2, which was surprising, as I found the first to just be okay.

    1. Tintin should have been nominated! I thought the exact same about Kung Fu Panda!

  6. I'm hoping Rango doesn't win it, just because if that's crowned the best animation of the year, then well, it was a mediocre year of animations then... I'm hoping A Cat in Paris or Chico and Chita win so I have an excuse to check them out ;)

  7. I'm constantly amazed by the innovation in animation rigging techniques. It's a field that's always evolving.


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


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