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Furry Movie Award Watch: April

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We are at a weird point right now; since the Ursa Majors will not be announced for another couple of months, we cannot just let 2011 slide. At the same time, 2012 is almost a quarter done, so it seems a bit stupid to keep hanging on to the past year.

There are in fact a couple of things left unsaid from 2011 that are still worth saying, so this will be the final round up of 2011 ramblings before I start plugging away at 2012.

crossie’s current best guesses

Oscar for Best Animated Feature (2012) Annie for Best Animated Feature Ursa Major for Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture (2011)
Winner Brave Brave Kung Fu Panda 2
Nominees Frankenweenie
Rise of the Guardians
The Secret World of Arriety
Frankenweenie
Hotel Transylvania
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
ParaNorman
Pirates! A Band of Misfits
Rise of the Guardians
The Secret World of Arrietty
Wreck-it-Ralph
N/A

A year of records

Furry movies scored a lot firsts and records in the three categories. Obviously, in the Ursa Majors, Bitter Lake covered some new ground.

I have gone on and on about how Jennifer Yuh Nelson, director of Kung Fu Panda 2, became the top grossing woman director for a single movie, taking the record from Mamma Mia’s Phyllida Lloyd. She also became the first woman to win the Annie for Best Director and the first woman to be a movie’s sole nominee for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Marjane Sartrapi was a co-nominee for Persepolis.

Rango’s win became the first time a traditionally live action director won the award for Best Animated Feature. It is traditional for a first time nominee to be invited into the Academy branch representing the award he or she was nominated for; this is less a rule than a guideline, however, and Gore Verbinski may be allowed into the Directors’ branch rather than the Animators’.

The two non-furry movies nominated for Best Animated Feature pulled together for their own first; this is the first time the category has featured two foreign language nominees, a rare occurrence in any category – outside of Foreign Language Film, obviously.

DreamworksIt was a good year for DreamWorks Animation. If you count Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit as a DreamWorks picture, they pulled ahead of Pixar as the most nominated studio in the category with their second two-nominee year, the first studio to pull off that feat. Disney’s home studio is the only other studio to have two nominees in a single year. However, it should be noted that DreamWorks is well behind Pixar for actual wins, and does still hold the record for worst reviewed nominee.

On the other hand, it was a terrible year for Pixar. Cars 2 had the dubious distinction of not only being the first Pixar movie to not be nominated for Best Animated Feature since the category began, but the first Pixar movie to not be nominated for anything at the Oscars.

How Rise of the Planet of the Apes may have won Rango the Oscar

For a while there, it really looked like The Adventures of Tintin might take the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Rango had the early lead, sure, but that was actually working against it as it was becoming old hat, while Tintin was the new hotness. I never really let on, but I was worried.

What cost it the nomination, which may have been the only thing costing it the Oscar, was obviously motion capture, but if the Annies could nominate it, what was the Academy Animators’ branch’s problem?

Well, in point of fact, the Animators’ branch do not actually solely nominate the Best Animated Feature award, and the Academy at large were being told by 20th Century Fox and Andy Serkis that motion capture was not animation, it was acting.

Serkis never had a chance to get a nomination for Best Supporting Actor (the fact that Caesar was the lead is beside the point), but a well-publicized campaign for his motion capture performance probably ended up killing any sympathy for motion capture in animation categories.

How Cars 2 may have cost Winnie the Pooh a nomination

A floating red balloon, by Jose Carlos NorteThe saddest thing about Cars 2 crashing and burning is how much director and Pixar head honcho John Lasseter wanted that nomination, darn it. In his defense, he totally does deserve not only a competitive Best Animated Feature nomination, but Oscar as well. Just for movies he made before the category existed.

Unfortunately, he seems to have forgotten that he was also executive producer on Winnie the Pooh, which totally deserved to be on that ballot.  A few pundits knocked its chances, saying it was long enough to qualify, but that was about it. Then A Cat in Paris, a weaker movie with an even shorter runtime, snuck in there.

Jon Lasseter had his priorities mixed up. If he had given up on a lost cause, and put his muscle behind the one good movie his name was behind in 2011, Winnie the Pooh could have been a contender, not just nominee-count padding.

The Razzies

Last month, I said 2011 was the furry movie anno mirabilis. But do not think that means that every furry movie out this year was peachy keen. I myself gave Happy Feet Two the dubious honor of second worst movie of the year.

The Golden Raspberry Awards, a.k.a. the Razzies, were nicer to that movie, but they did a number on sort-of-furry (it has werewolves) Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, with nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Screen Ensemble, Worst Director, Worst Prequel/Remake/Rip-Off/Sequel, Worst Screen Couple and Worst Screenplay. Zookeeper also managed a Worst Supporting Actor nomination. However, neither movie actually won …, uh, received an award; Jack and Jill apparently managed to sweep the Razzies!

The Razzies also got competition this year in the form of the Soilies. However, their award names all consist of poop jokes, so they lost all right to judge anyone, and I did not even bother to check if they nominated anything furry.

Note: Higgs Raccoon contributed research to this section of the article.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Just got back from The Pirates! A Band of Misfits!; not furry enough for a full review, so I'll just rundown a few points in comment form.

Decent enough movie; made me laugh a few times. Not as deep, storywise, as most Oscar nominees these days, but an outside bet, depending on the amount of nominees and what crashes and burns. The animation is top notch, and it would merit inclusion on that front alone. It has decent enough reviews, but it really needs to to pull in the rabble to keep on the radar, which I, uh, didn't see tonight.

Your rating: None

I hear it was originally "The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists" and was renamed in Australia and the US. We should be criticising the title change if it is because America is anti-science. There's no need to retitle books and films when they move from country to country (translations aside). On the positive at least there's The Big Bang Theory to attract people to science.

"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 Average: 5 (1 vote)

On the positive at least there's The Big Bang Theory to attract people to science.

Ew...no thanks.

Your rating: None

You don't like The Big Bang Theory? How is that even possible?

"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

I just don't like it. I mean it's great that they're making both science and asexuality (even if they don't call it by name) more mainstream, but the few episodes I've seen haven't been incredibly impressive. Give me How I Met Your Mother any day.

Your rating: None

In fact I think they've vehemently denied that Sheldon is in fact asexual, but you can't fool us. Plus, when they deny it they make the mistake of confusing gender with sexuality:

"If touching other human beings of any gender is irrelevant to him, why label the thing? Why can’t there be a third gender — male, female and Sheldon?"

But enough of that; it had nothing to do with me not liking the show. (I was just ranting because I'm butthurt about finally having a popular ace character, but they decide to go against that. ffs.)

Your rating: None

I wouldn't criticize the title change, if they feel a target audience is "anti-science" what better way to give them scientific ideas then sneaking up on them rather then scaring them off? A person is more likely to listen to you if they think you are like them, if the first thing you do is say "I disagree with everything you stand for." they will turn you off immediately and your ideas will fail to spread.

Your rating: None

You know, they retitled the Captain America last year in two countries because of anti-American sentiment. This was the American studio's idea.

They are also retitling the Avengers movie in England this year, but that's because they already have Avengers over there.

Your rating: None

I really don't get retitling. They might retitle Captain America but his name is the same and it's still about a guy wearing the American flag and being all American. I don't see how that's fooling anyone. What are they putting on the posters and previews?

Retitling because there's already something with the title is understandable. Though I'm still iffy about it. It just gets even more confusing, especially as everyone now uses the internet, which is international. Instead of just risking confusing two movies you risk confusing one movie as two different things and then still confusing two movies as the same thing. I almost bought the same book twice because I got either an American or UK version first and then saw the other version in the shops a few months later.

"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

Here is the news item about "Captain America" being retitled. In Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine, the movie will be titled "The First Avenger".

Sort of like the retitling of "Puss in Boots" in Israel as "The Cat from Shrek" to take advantage of the popularity of "Shrek 2". Or as "The Cat in Boots" in the United Arab Emirates because, you know, the word "puss" is naughty ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/nov/25/puss-in-boots-cat-uae

Or the retitling in Britain of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" as the "Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles" because ninjas are criminals and it's wrong to glorify them. Never mind that it makes the TMNT nickname meaningless.

http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/news/a328548/captain-america-to-change-title-in...

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

My sister took me out in my wheelchair to see "The Pirates!" yesterday. I enjoyed it more than I expected to, but I agree that it is non-Furry except for Polly the dodo's body-language and the non-speaking-except-by-signs Mr. Bobo, Charles Darwin's chimpanzee manservant. (You have to see the movie.) One of the reviews, I think in/on Wired, said that one viewing is enough for the plot/story which is simplistic, but the movie is worth seeing three or four times just to look for all the stuff in the backgrounds. The theater that I saw it at was pretty well filled, and the audience was laughing steadily. The stop-motion animation is superb; it makes Aardman Animations' earlier Wallace & Grommit films look clunky.

Fred Patten

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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.