Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One Category at a Time: Best Animated Feature

In what has been something of a banner year for feature animation, the number of entries was high enough (thanks to some suspicious qualifying releases for films like Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure) for the field to be expanded to five.

The obvious frontrunner is Up, Pixar's first Best Picture nominee. Deserved though it may be, I will continue to gripe that the studio should already have several Best Picture nominations to their name, and for better films at that. Still, Up is the best of the field, and it is Pete Docter's turn, so I'll be pleased to see him win here.

In a perfect world, Adam Elliot's wonderful Mary and Max would be here for the win, but instead, the surprise slot went to Tomm Moore's dazzling The Secret of Kells, a little Irish gem with a distinct cultural flavour and unique artistic approach, which makes up for its lukewarm narrative. The nomination is a delightful surprise, but without a proper release, it seems unlikely that enough Academy members will have seen it for it to pull off a win. If there is a surprise winner in the cards, it may well be stop-motion treat Fantastic Mr Fox, or perhaps Coraline. The Princess and the Frog is the weakest of the five, and should just be happy to be there.

Will win: Up
Should win: Up

Should have won: Mary and Max

3 comments:

Amir said...

i'm glad you mentioned 'Mary and Max'. On my personal list of the year's best, (which i will post on my blog tonight or tomorrow) i have it ranked at number 3, third only to iran's "about elly" and france' "a prophet".
it was a wonderful film. i don't understand how it was snubbed. does that mean it didn't even have as big an audience as "the secret of kells"?

The Oscar Nazi said...

No, that just means it wasn't marketed as craftily as The Secret of Kells, whose distributor set up screenings at animation studios and sent out screeners to initiate a word-of-mouth campaign.

Michael Stypulkoski said...

I've seen (and enjoyed) all five nominees, but haven't seen Ponyo, Cloudy With a Chance of Metballs, or any other contenders. Up will win, hands down, but my vote would go to Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I believe was the second-best film of the year. The first twenty or thirty minutes of Up are probably the best of any film this year, but there was a sharp drop-off after that. It went from transcendent greatness to very good (although 'very good' is the least one would expect from Pixar).