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Furry Movie Award Watch: December 2012

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Due to technical difficulties on my end, you get two columns this month to make up for the zero columns last month. Anyway, this month sees the Annies announcing their nominees, so this column will be all about that.

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 Wreck-it-Ralph Wreck-it-Ralph Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Nominees Brave
ParaNorman
The Rabbi’s Cat
Rise of the Guardians
Already announced Brave
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Rise of the Guardians
Ted

The Annies announced not five, not ten, but eight nominees for Best Animated Feature. Apparently, the Annies are following the Oscar's Best Picture lead, which is just adorable. Eight nominees are slightly less idiotic than ten, but oh well.

This year, despite the still-expanded list, DreamWorks was only able to get one movie on the board (unfortunately, it was the suck one). Pixar, despite having another off year, at least doesn’t look like a mercy nominee. Disney's home studio actually made the list this year, while its not home studio backup looks surprisingly weak. Sony squeaked in a surprise, while GKIDS only managed one of its multiple possible nominees. Oh, and Aardman and Laika are here, too.

Brave Brave

It looks good on paper, being in a three way tie for the most nominations at the Annies this year, and, hey, it’s Pixar. That’s got to be worth something, right? Really, that's about all they have going for them, because they still need a makeup win for those years they were boycotting.

Brave is, on screen, nowhere near the disaster Cars 2 was; it was more of a disaster off screen. Before, when a Pixar director got “replaced”, we ended up with movies like Ratatouille. Brave’s replacement director, Mark Andrews, is obviously no Brad Bird, however, so the end result just ended up mediocre. Luckily for Pixar this year, almost everything ended up mediocre this year (and everyone else wasn’t playing director shuffle), so they are still in contention.

Other nominations: Animated Effects in an Animated Production, Character Animation in a Feature Production (x3), Music in an Animated Feature Production, Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production, Writing in an Animated Feature Production, Editorial in an Animated Feature Production (10 total)
Oscar Chances: Nominee: Good - Winner: Okay
Fur Factor: Medium (Plot-relevant furry supporting characters)

Frankenweenie Frankenweenie

Seriously, this year’s more full of arbitrary twists and turns than a mediocre M. Night Shyamalan movie. Last month’s column (well, I wrote it last month), I thought this was the obvious second place, or possibly even winner if Wreck-it-Ralph got the Winnie the Pooh treatment. Now, I don’t even think it’s in contention for the Oscar nomination, with its mediocre five nominations at the Annies.

Personally, I thought it was, just like most everything else this year, pretty darn mediocre, with a frankly risible cop out ending. Some people thought it was in play thanks to director Tim Burton, but this is the year he decided to direct Dark Shadows, and the Burton hate that has been bubbling under the general public and critical love for the last couple of Burton movies in certain subsets of the Internet has exploded into the mainstream this year.

Other nominations: Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production (x2), Writing in an Animated Feature Production (5 nominations total)
Oscar Chances: Nominee: Okay - Winner: Low
Fur Factor: Low (Non-anthropomorphic or lightly anthropomorphic animals)

Hotel Transylvania Hotel Transylvania

How did this get in here? Actually, I think its pretty obvious how this one snuck in; director Genndy Tartakovsky. The Annies have a lot of television animators on their voting body, and Tartakovsky is a well respected television animator. The TV people voted for one of their own, despite the movie being one of the few I don’t consider mediocre; it’s actually quite bad.

In theory, the fact that it is only one of the four movies to share a Best Feature and Best Director nomination means it should be going to the Oscars, but, once again, I’m betting the strong contingent of TV voters are responsible. This contingent will not be able to back Tartakovsky at the Oscars.

Other Nominations: Character Design in an Animated Feature Production (x2), Directing in an Animated Feature Production, Music in an Animated Feature Production, Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, Voice Acting in an Animated Feature, Editorial in an Animated Feature Production (8 total)
Oscar Chances Nominee: Low - Winner: Nonexistent
Fur Factor: Medium (Various levels of furry character in roles ranging from lead to extras)

ParaNorman ParaNorman.jpg

Of the two horror themed stop motion animation movies out there, I would have to say this is my favorite. It is a choice, not like choosing between my own children, but like choosing my favorite child of a vague acquaintance, and oh, by the way, they’re twins. Fraternal rather than identical, but still. Really, it comes down to the fact that I laughed at the Halloween/Friday the 13th joke in ParaNorman.

This is the one I’m guessing is going to the Oscars, because it has the Director nod, plus it has six other nominations. That’s really about it.

Other Nominations: Animated Effects in an Animated Production, Character Animation in a Feature Production, Character Design in an Animated Feature Production, Directing in an Animated Feature Production, Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production, Writing in an Animated Feature Production (8 total)
Oscar Chances Nominee: High - Winner: Okay
Fur Factor: Nonexistent (Had to remember if there was even an animal at all, never mind anthropomorphic)

The Pirates! Band of Misfits Pirates! Band of Misfits

This is the one, besides Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, that I was hoping would get the biggest boost for the Oscars from the Annies. Unfortunately, both are looking to be no-shows at the Oscars. Pirates! took in a lackluster list of nominations, minus the critical directing nod. Hotel Transylvania has a better chance, and that’s sad.

Back in the spring, when this came out, I remember watching it and thinking it was a decent opening to the animated race (that’s forgetting The Lorax, of course, but then everybody does), but the real good stuff would come later. Turns out, it actually wouldn’t get much better. This is one of the best animated movies of the year; I’ll even go so far as to say I think its better than the Aardman movie that won the Oscar, Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Other Nominations: Character Animation in a Feature Production, Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production, Writing in an Animated Feature Production (5 total)
Oscar Chances: Nominee: Low - Winner: Nonexistent
Fur Factor: Low (one furry supporting character)

The Rabbi’s Cat The Rabbi's Cat

Well, that takes care of the obligatory foreign spot for the year. Looks like going with the furriest contender actually worked. Seriously, this movie was all over my predictions last year. Now that it will finally go to the Oscars, I’ll finally get a chance to see it.

As the only movie I haven’t seen on the list, I can’t really say much about the quality. However, I will add that, despite being the little movie no one’s heard about (unless you’re writing a monthly column about these things or are actually French, of course), it is also the single furriest movie on the nominee list by a wide margin.

Other Nominations: Directing in an Animated Feature Production (2 total)
Oscar Chances: Nominee: Guaranteed - Winner: Okay
Fur Factor: High (title character is anthropomorphic animal)

Rise of the Guardians Rise of the Guardians

Well, this movie sucked. Yes, I’m still sore about that. Actually, I’m still probably grieving a bit. Oh, well. Better luck next year, DreamWorks. I’m sure Turbo will go the distance.

The second movie in the three way tie for most nominations, it and Brave are technical monsters. The movies are made well, that’s for sure. But as for the actual movies; well, there is a reason neither of these two movie’s gargantuan nomination counts don’t go to eleven. They didn’t get the Director’s nods because they stink. Heck, of the two, this is probably the worst one. It didn’t even get Brave’s writing nod. To be sure, I'd have to actually watch them both again, so I'll just take the Annies' voters word for it.

Other Nominations: Animated Effects in an Animated Production, Character Animation in a Feature Production (x3), Music in an Animated Feature Production, Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production, Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production, Editorial in an Animated Feature Production (10 total)
Oscar Chances: Nominee: Good - Winner: Okay
Fur Factor: Medium (notable furry supporting character)

Wreck-it-Ralph Wreck-it-Ralph

And we save the best for last; it is the second best (wide release American) animated movie of the year in this reviewer’s opinion, after the understandably overlooked Madagascar 3. Of course, I still haven’t seen The Lorax, but … what was I talking about? I forgot. Anyway, Wreck-it-Ralph is the odds on favorite to win both the Annie, and the Oscar, mostly for being one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal year.

It is in a three way tie for most nominated movie of the year at the Annies, but unlike the other two double-digit nominees, this one actually managed directing (and writing) noms, so you can take this one to the bank. Probably.

Other Nominations: Animated Effects in an Animated Production, Character Design in an Animated Feature Production, Directing in an Animated Feature Production, Music in an Animated Feature Production, Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production (x2), Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production, Writing in an Animated Feature Production, Editorial in an Animated Feature Production (10 total)
Oscar Chances: Nominee: Guaranteed - Winner: Best
Fur Factor: Low (some furry extras and cameos, most characters are anthropomorphic non-animals)

Final thoughts

Will Win: Wreck-it-Ralph
Could Win: ParaNorman
Should Win: Wreck-it-Ralph
Should Have Been Here: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

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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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