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Furry Movie Award Watch: October 2012

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This is a close year, ladies and gentleman. This year we are going to have to wait until November to know which movie will take the crown for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, as compared to the last five years, where it was Pixar/Pixar/Pixar/Pixar/the movie that came out in the spring. You could call it by February each of those years and not look completely stupid. Not so, this year.

crossie's Current Best Guesses

Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
Winner Rise of the Guardians Rise of the Guardians Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Nominees Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Rabbi’s Cat
Brave
Frankenweenie
From Up on Poppy Hill
A Liar’s Autobiography – The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
ParaNorman
Pirates! A Band of Misfits
The Rabbi’s Cat
Wreck-it-Ralph
Brave
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Rise of the Guardians
Ted

Front-runners

Rise of the GuardiiansRemember a year and a month ago, when I said that there were a lot of film festivals with absolutely nothing furry in them? Well, that was not the case this year, as Rise of the Guardians has managed to play some fairly important film festivals. So, what does that mean, anyway? Tim Burton's not actually furry animated film Frankenweenie also managed to open a festival of its own, and guess what? One or the other of these two movies will win Best Animated Feature. Unless something else does, of course.

Playing the festivals like this is the way the two studios are saying they are playing the game; it is kind of like having a couple of special college courses on your resume. They actually mean jack squat in the real world, but an Academy voter who does not really have a horse in this particular race might choose the candidate with the festival credentials, because at least they were doing something, right? It probably doesn't matter in the long run, but in a close race, it's a smart first step. Hey, I literally got my first job reporting because the editor confused my A.P. (for Advanced Placement) English high school course with A.P. (for Associated Press). Never corrected him on that misapprehension. Whatever works.

As far as the two movies are concerned, I haven't seen one and am not very high on the other. Frankenweenie was okay, but I guess I have been spoiled by the last couple of years of animation. It was good; I want great. Story of the year. Still, it seems to be the movie most people who are not me liked. It has the most buzz of released movies; if nothing else came out this year, it would win.

As for Rise of the Guardians, it still remains the most anticipated movie of the year for me. Okay, actually, Skyfall has recently surpassed it, but that's off topic for a furry site, so never mind. DreamWorks seems to be raring to go; it has been putting out consistently good to great movies for the last couple of years, if you don't count Shrek Forever After, and most people don't. Trying not to count my eggs before they hatch, but I have confidence it will not be terrible, and in fact will be good, or maybe even great.

But what really makes it interesting is that DreamWorks seems to be selling itself rather than just the movie; there was that exhibition earlier this year right in the middle of Academy country. When you add in the fact that DreamWorks has historically owned the Annies (some would argue literally, admittedly), this could be their year. At the very least, you have to know Jeffrey Katzenberg wants as many Oscars as he can get; he was the one who put his money on Pocahontas over some some funny animal movie with a farting pig for a possible second Disney Best Picture nominee. Seemed like the smart money at the time, but that's got to hurt in hindsight.

The rest of the field

So Frankenweenie and Rise of the Guardians are obviously in the nominee list, but what else? Well, last year, other Oscar pundits were shocked when Cars 2 was not given a spot on the ballot just for having the Pixar titles in front of it. Hey, here's one category where you don't get to just rest on your laurels. But, actually, this year, yes, Pixar is probably going to be allowed to rest on its laurels, and the weak Brave will probably have no problems making the cut, especially with all around weaker competition.

All last year, I kept saying they won't allow two "fill in the blank" movies on the final ballot, just one, the blanks filled in with "DreamWorks" and "foreign film." Then the nominees were announced, and we got two of each. So, this year, I doubt the Academy will have much trouble allowing the blank to be filled with "stop-motion Halloween themed." ParaNorman is not so much a "love it/hate it" movie as a "love it/okay, whatever" movie, but the love-its seem to really love it, so I guess it gets a shot.Madagascar 3

Finally, I think it might be a mistake to only have one of these, and you know I would love to knock Pixar out of the running two years in a row, but I just cannot do it. So, The Rabbi's Cat will fill out my ballot for this month, once again, just because it is the furriest of the foreign fare.

What about Madagascar 3?

The really sad thing about my list is that it leaves out my hands down favorite animated movie of the year so far, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. It just came out on Blu-ray and DVD, and I have gotten to watch it again, and this is one of my favorite movies of the year right now.

Honestly, if Brave's 78% on Rotten Tomatoes is a viable player, than Madagascar 3's exact same score is nothing to scoff at. I am not ready just yet to take the plunge and say this movie is going to the Oscars, but it could be a surprise dark horse nominee come January. I'm saying that based entirely on how much I like the movie; at the end of the day, you have to root for your own favorites a little bit. But, as mentioned before, DreamWorks still has a death grip on the Annies; that could be a big boost for this movie.

Could DreamWorks double dip for a third time in 2013? I can't see it happening, but I can see how it could.

Comments

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This is how one blog is calling the Animated Feature Oscar: http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/oscars-could-wreck-it-ralph-lead-a-disney...

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"Wreck-it-Ralph" may surprise us; it'll be a while before I get to see it. Trailers are not doing it any favors.

Kristopher Tapley of "In Contention" was cool on "Rise of the Guardians;" he's watched everything but "Dino Mom" or whatever; he even watched the friggin' Tinker Bell movie. He still likes "Brave;" I uh, didn't, but expect Pixar to really push it; they need a win after last year and before next year when they also are putting out a sequel to a movie that didn't win the first time.

I think next year may finally be Disney's year; "Frozen" sounds good on paper, and both Pixar and Dreamworks look weak, though I am lookinf forward to "The Croods", uh, "Turbo", anyone?

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Wild Children's link eventually lead me to this article on the $100m "Empires of the Deep", with the reviewer savaging the movie's trailer. It's got mermen in it, so there may be some minimal furry interest.

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Hey, due to ongoing home computer issues, I was borrowing a local school's computer; I kept trying to submit the December Previews list, but it kept saying "validation error: email the site administrator," so, I went to my email account to try and email Green Reaper about it, but learned the school's computer system's sonic wall blocked email sites (which may or may not account for the "validation error." I don't know computers like that.). So, sorry for spamming my article's comments with this, but, well, I don't have an alternative form of communication at the moment, so bear with me, here.

So, there goes the My Little Pony: The Movie and My Little Pony "Friendship Express" DVD review having any semblance of timeliness (though they will still come out; one is supposed to be a "retro review" anyway, though I may hold off on the DVD review until the other two DVDs come out at the beginning of December to give it a fake timeliness).

In other news, that Littlest Pet Shop review is looking like a no show; I thought I had gotten the Hub on my satellite provider, but there was just a big confusion between me and my provider and a free preview month (so I guess I'll just have to watch the third season online like the last two) because I'm an idiot and really actually don't get technology at all.

While I'm here, and finally on topic, Wreck-it-Ralph is highly recommended for most furries only because most furries are nerds; there are some furry characters, but no furry leads or even supporting; they are mostly extras and cameos. However, the movie is a lot of fun for fans of video games, and is actually a pretty good movie; I finally found an animated movie this year besides Madagascar 3 I can actually root for rather than just respect. That being said, I still don't see the Academy going for it; the animators could very well nominate it (but if they didn't nominate Winnie the Pooh, they may not go for Wreck-it-Ralph, either), but no way it will win; Academy is too "old white guy" for a movie about video games. Okay, so the "white guy" part isn't really a problem, but the "old" part is (with apologies to Fred).

Also, I saw Skyfall last night; I'll just say a minor bad guy is eaten by a Komodo dragon, and Bond quips, I shit you not, "Circle of life." Best Bond one-liner EVER!

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The only real feud that I have gotten into was with Bill Scott, the writer/voice of Bullwinkle J. Moose with Jay Ward. Scott dissed Japanese anime in the early 1980s, saying that it was really technically of very low quality. I said, "You should talk! Rocky and Bullwimkle may be brilliantly imaginative, but its animation is done by one of the cheapest studios in Mexico City and it sucks! Similarly, Japanese TV animation may be cheap but it employs animation techniques that are fresh to American audiences, and much of the visual direction is very imaginative for cheap animation." I did not win any supporters among the American professional community at the time; they all chanted, "Cheap animation! Cheap animation!" along with Scott. Talk about old white guys ,,, Anime did not come to be considered seriously by the American animation community until new animators began to replace the Old Guard in the 1990s.

Fred Patten

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I saw Disney's Wreck-It Ralph today, October 20. Based on what I have seen so far, here are my picks for the best animated feature of the year, not counting anthropomorphic characters: 1. Wreck-It Ralph. 2. Ted. 3. Frankenweenie. 4. Madagascar 3. 5. The Pirates! Band of Misfits. 6. Hotel Transylvania. 7. Brave. 8. ParaNorman. Rise of the Guardians is not released yet (it comes out tomorrow), and I have not seen The Lorax or Ice Age: Continental Drift or Dino Time yet. (Or Skyfall.)

In virtually every case, my enjoyment was dependent upon the film's story quality. The better the story, the more that I liked it. I was bored stiff by Ted's macho drinking-&-partying story, but I spent time in college in a fraternity and I recognize this culture as realistic. So the story felt realistic to me, and the CGI teddy bear character was marvelously believable; a live plush teddy bear in the real world. In the setting of Wreck-It Ralph's video-games-come-to-life world, the story seems believable. Brave, on the other hand, has exquisite CGI animation, but the story only works if you assume that everyone in it is an unbelievably self-centered idiot. Similarly, the stop-motion animation in ParaNorman is impressive but I felt throughout it that the story was insulting my intelligence.

Fred Patten

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I am on the road (not driving, of course! Don't text and drive, kids!) headed to Rise of the Guardians, review will be late due to computer issues.

Agreeing with Wreck-it-Ralph; now I think this may finally be Disney's home animation studio's year, since it is my pick for second best animated movie of the year after Madagascar 3, and Rise apparently bombed with the critics at a pretty pitiful for Oscar nominees 75%. Frankenweenie is probably second choice for Oscar winner at this point, so Disney looks good.

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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.