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Furry Movie Award Watch: August

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

There are three big movie awards furries should be watching, or, at the very least, have somebody watching for them: the Oscars, the Annies and the Ursa Majors.

This year looks to be interesting in all three awards. With Pixar flopping and all sorts of new rules, the Best Animated Feature Oscar may be a surprise this year. The flop also affects the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature. Finally, the fandom’s own Ursa Majors’s Best Anthropomorphic Movie will see something entirely new; a movie made by the fandom.

crossie’s Current Guesses

Oscar for Best Animated Feature Annie for Best Animated Feature Ursa Major for Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
Winner Rango Kung Fu Panda 2 Bitter Lake
Nominees Kung Fu Panda 2
The Rabbi’s Cat
Winnie the Pooh
Cars 2
Rango
Rio
Winnie the Pooh
Happy Feet 2
Kung Fu Panda 2
Rio
Rango

The Front-Runners

 
Bitter Lake

I have a feeling this is going to be the Ursa Major winner, though hopefully they’ll get enough DVDs out so enough people can see it. The only real disappointment is that they chose a year full to the brim with movies actually featuring anthropomorphic animals.

Hop

First of all, Hop will totally count as an animated film, despite the fact it is mostly live-action. I don’t expect it to make waves at either the Oscars or the Annies, though allowing it and the other two live-action/animation hybrids in the list will allow the Oscar shortlist to expand to four.

Hop also has a decent chance of getting an Ursa Major nomination. I’ve got four picks that I’m pretty sure will be nominees, and the fifth’s up in the air; Hop could easily take it.

Kung Fu Panda 2

A good sequel to an awarded original, Michelle Yuh Nelson’s Kung Fu Panda 2 will make history for being the first Best Animated Feature nominee directed by a woman.

It has its best chances at the Annie Awards, however, where I expect it to win, also making history, which might give it enough momentum to overtake Rango at the Oscars, especially if my Best Picture theory is wrong. However, the original movie’s win at the Annies might hurt its chances, as that win over Wall-E was pretty controversial.

In the Ursa Majors, though an obvious nominee, it probably wouldn’t have a chance of winning since the original lost to Bolt. Still, as the Ursa Majors are based on popular acclaim rather than critical or even industry acclaim, it’s leading other contenders at the box office would make it my Ursa Major victor if it weren’t for Bitter Lake.

Rango

This is the one to beat at the Oscars; a funny animal flick for movie snobs, it has a better chance at a Best Picture nod than most give it credit for. The Animation branch of the Academy counts for six percent of the Academy; as long they pull together, that’s enough to guarantee one animated movie in the hunt for Best Picture every year. This year, Rango is the obvious choice.

What’ll hurt its chances the most is that this is the first animated movie for almost everyone involved; both the Animation branch of the Academy, and the animation community in general, may see them as “outsiders,” which may blow the movie’s chances at the Annies.

It’s an obvious choice for an Ursa Major nomination, but reminds me too much of Fantastic Mr. Fox and its lack of popular acclaim two years ago to win.

Rio

I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve heard it’s a decent movie with decent chances of Oscar and Annie nominations, but no real chance of winning those awards. In my current guess, it’s going to be the one left out in the cold by the lack of a fifth nominee slot at the Oscars.

A definite pick for the Ursa Majors, but may suffer from bird prejudice. (Hey, you know it’s true.)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Obviously not eligible for either the Annies or the Best Animated Feature Oscar, it has gained a bit of buzz for a possible Best Picture nomination, taking the spot filled by Inception and District 9 in the previous two years’ lists.

It’s a bit of a long shot, though, as the new Best Picture rules may have eliminated that spot and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has “last chance” nomination written all over it for that spot if it is available.

It’s also, like Hop, a strong contender for the fifth Ursa Major slot. Probably the better movie, but furries probably prefer bunnies to apes.

Winnie the Pooh

The highest reviewed animated movie of the year, and a traditionally animated Disney “classic,” it has nominee for both Annie and Oscar written all over it, though probably not win.

I haven’t seen it, but I wonder if the reviews are a bit inflated; giving Winnie the Pooh a bad review would be a bit like kicking a kitten. Even if it deserved it, you’d probably not come out looking like the good guy.

In the Ursa Majors, it is currently in my fifth slot, but mostly just because it’s easier to copy and paste that way. I really have no clue what that fifth slot will go to.

Yet To Come

 
Happy Feet 2

The original Happy Feet’s use of motion capture has cast a pall on its victory; rules against motion capture arrived later. The sequel may even be disqualified this year. The Annies aren’t known for supporting motion capture, either. They gave the original Cars the nod.

The Ursa Majors, however, are a different matter, and it’s yet another on the bubble fifth choice.

Puss in Boots

I’d say a long shot for the Oscar or Annie, but maybe it’ll surprise us all. Possible fifth choice for the Ursa Majors, as well.

The Rabbi’s Cat

Historically, the Academy has liked to award one foreign animated film the last slot for the Oscar; this is the one getting the buzz this year (and not A Cat in Paris, which apparently isn’t even anthropomorphic, as I implied in an earlier article).

Its problem is that it needs to find a US distributor to to get it into a Los Angeles theater for one week in order to qualify. This is has already become a frequent strategy of foreign animated films, with a limited release one year with the hope that a nomination will give it some free publicity for next year. And The Rabbi’s Cat needs to get out this year, since next year it’ll have to go up against Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty the Borrower for the foreign slot.

This isn’t a concern for the Ursa Majors, though I don’t see the American-biased Ursa Majors voters even nominating it.

Non-Furry Spoilers

 
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Probably ineligible for the Oscar due to motion capture, but the rule is really untested, and this is a Stephen Spielberg movie, after all. If, when the Academy releases the list of eligible submissions, it makes an appearance, all bets are off.

It may also be a Best Picture nominee. The Animation branch may rule it ineligible, and then give it the Best Picture nomination as a way to have an animated Best Picture nominee without spoiling the Best Animated Feature race.

However, Spielberg already has the we’d-call-it-furry-if-it-was-an-off-year War Horse, which is already the odds on favorite for next year’s Best Picture, so Rango still seems to be the safe pick for a possible animated Best Picture nomination.

Arthur Christmas

It’s from Aardman animation, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and it doesn’t have mo-cap problems, so this is the one that could really spoil everything.

Cars 2

Mo-cap rules and Pixar crashing and burning are the two big stories of this year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar. Still, I’m guessing it’ll get a pity nomination at the Annies, especially since Disney just announced they’d stop boycotting the award.

Comments

Your rating: None

There's a couple more obscure foreign animated movies this year too, such as Legend of a Rabbit (China) and Leafie, a Hen into the Wild (South Korea). For non-furry movies, I'm curious about Arrietty.

Your rating: None

Leafie doesn't look like it'll ever come to theatrically to America, so it's out for Oscars or Annies. Seriously though, that is some damn pretty animation. Unless there's a bigger furry presence in South Korea and China than I'm aware of, probably lucky somebody over here was paying attention and it got onto the "Recommended List," nevermind Ursa Majors.

The Legend of a Rabbit is such an obvious Kung Fu Panda rip-off it's not even funny; still it looks like an Alpha and Omega oh-crap-I'm-liking-this-stupid-thing-unironically movie for me. If the vaguely fox-looking thing in the trailer is actually a fox, I'm sold. It probably has a better chance of coming to America than Leafie, since it may be a pride thing for China.

I also totally forgot about the new Muppet movie; yet another possible fifth choice.

Your rating: None

If Bitter Lake doesn't win then the whole award is pathetic. Obviously in terms of a movie it won't be as good, it's not exactly funded by a major movie studio but it's pretty much the embodiment of what the award should be striving to foster.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

Well, would it be fair to vote for a movie nobody's seen?

I deleted a line in the article before submission saying it may end up a headache for the Ursa Majors either way. If Bitter Lake wins, people'll complain it was voted for by a lot of people who hadn't actually seen it. It it loses, it'll be a "snub." Probably a lot of the same people will be complaining either way.

I don't know, just seems to be something that should be said in comments, rather than in the actual article.

Actually, in researching this article, I've become a lot more forgiving of even the Avatar catastrophe two years ago, seeing as how disastrously the Academy has screwed up in the past. The big question with awards like this is whether they are worthwhile or worthless. To quote one of my favorite Best Pictures that has been a lot of Oscar critics favorite whipping boy, "I think it's a little bit of both, happening at the same time."

I think people get so hung up on who wins, they forget it really is an honor just to be nominated. Nine times out of ten, even if the Best Picture isn't really the best picture, it was at least nominated.

Speaking of which, in case the "August" didn't clue you in in the headline, I'm going to update my list monthly, and I'm kind of hoping for you guys to clear me up on that fifth slot, by, you know, posting your own guesses.

HINT. HINT.

WINK. WINK.

Your rating: None

I don't follow any awards, don't really care for them, but out of your whole list I've only seen Rango. It might be bad if people vote for something they haven't seen but they probably vote without seeing what the other contenders are. That's not fair either. I think a lot of people will only see one or two entries and then vote for their favourite. But there's no way for the award to make sure that every voter watches every film first so they all be compared.

If people are only voting for what they've seen, not a proper comparison by merit then it doesn't make sense why it would be wrong to compare them just by watching trailers or reading up on them. The very fact that the award is self-described for "excellence in the furry arts" means that Bitter Lake is the best contestant. The other films are going to be more professional but they weren't made by furries or even for furries, they just are incidentally furry. Bitter Lake is by furries, for furries and using one of the most visible aspects of the furry fandom, fursuits.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

So I shall write you down for Bitter Lake to win, then?

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About the author

crossaffliction (Brendan Kachel)read storiescontact (login required)

a reporter and red fox from Hooker, Oklahoma, interested in movies, horror, stand up comedy

Formerly Wichita's only furry comic.

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