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Furry Movie Award Watch: January 2013

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The Oscar nominees have been announced, and it is a weird year. It was so weird, most Oscar pundits had a better idea of what would win Best Original Song than Best Picture. Now that the nominees are out, it looks like Best Picture is finally clear, but most pundits (this one included) have a better lock on Best Foreign Language Film than Best Animated Feature. So much for “we’ll know come November.”

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 Already announced Already announced Brave
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Rise of the Guardians
Ted

No completely animated movie was nominated for anything outside the Best Animated Feature category. Partially animated and fairly furry Ted did manage a surprise nod in Best Original Song for “Everybody Needs a Best Friend.” While we’re on Ted, Seth MacFarlane, director and voice actor for the titular character, will be the Oscar telecast’s host, which is the first time the Oscars have been hosted by a man best known for animation.

In the Best Animation category, stop-motion animation dominated, with all three major studio stop-motion movies being nominated (one coming as a surprise). There were no traditionally animated movies, and in another surprise, no foreign language movies were nominated, making this the first time since the category started that Best Picture has had a foreign language nominee (Amour), but not Best Animated Feature. Meanwhile, Pixar has pulled back ahead of DreamWorks for total nominees, while Aardman and Laika have now officially become multiple nominee animation studios.

Well, here’s the rundown:

Brave Brave

After Pixar crashed and burned with Cars 2 last year, and next year’s pair of Monsters University and Planes being yet more sequels (actually prequel and spinoff, but same difference) to movies that failed to win the award the first time, Pixar really needed Brave, its first original movie in three years, to step it up. Instead, it became the third act in Pixar’s “just okay trilogy” with A Bug’s Life and Cars (Cars 2 being relegated to the position of “we don’t talk about Cars 2”).

That said, a just okay Pixar movie could still very easily win; it did tie for most nominations at the Annies, after all. I can see a decent number of Academy voters ticking off Best Animated Feature without actually watching any of the movies, and Pixar will probably get any of those votes. However, it has done surprisingly poorly in the critic’s awards circuit, so I’m still ranking it low. Oh, and I notice Brenda Chapman is still a nominee, because screw Jan Pinkava, apparently.

Likelihood of Winning: 4th out of 5

Frankenweenie Frankenweenie

I thought if anyone would get bumped off by the “surprise” fifth nominee, it would be Frankenweenie after its surprisingly low Annie nomination count and its not-quite-as-surprisingly low box office performance. The theory saying this one might win is that the Academy kind of likes Tim Burton, but also kind of does not like Tim Burton. In other words, no way is he ever going to win Best Director/Best Picture, but Best Animated Feature is possible.

Tim is the only director here who has gone to the show before; he was a nominee for Corpse Bride back in 2005, when he lost to Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. This year, he is up against that movie’s spiritual successor, but I don’t think this is really a rematch as I doubt either movie is going to win this one.

Likelihood of Winning: 3rd out of 5

ParaNorman ParaNorman

I still think this movie is going to come out second best. However, there are four movies in this year’s list that I would not be shocked to see win, and my brain is starting to see this movie as a real contender. The critic’s circuit has not been as cut and dried as last year in animated feature races, where it was Rango by a landslide, then The Adventures of Tintin in a distant but clear second, and the other wins by all other movies countable on one finger. However, if one movie can be said to have “won” this year’s critic’s circuit, it would be ParaNorman.

That said, critical success does not mean Oscar success; after all, neither Tintin nor Arthur Christmas (the only other critical winner) even showed up to the Oscars last year. I’m not ready to give ParaNorman the win just yet.

Likelihood of Winning: 2nd out of 5

The Pirates! A Band of Misfits Pirates: A Band of Misfits

Well, here’s a pleasant surprise. And this really is a surprise, unlike the nearly annual “surprise” of a foreign language picture getting in, which most Oscar pundits are only starting to realize is the norm rather than the exception. And it is a pleasant surprise; this is my third favorite animated movie of the year. Though I am listing these five movies in order, they also ended up being arranged from my least favorite to most favorite.

As I said before, there are four movies that I could see winning; but perhaps the other four will all cancel each other out, and in a surprise twist ending, The Pirates! A Band of Misfits will pull out a win? No. Unfortunately, being the pleasant surprise of the list is probably the best it will get.

Likelihood of Winning: 5th out of 5

Wreck-It Ralph Wreck-It Ralph

This year is so close that just about any movie could win it (except for The Pirates!, of course). I really am not confident picking Wreck-It Ralph to win, but I am really not confident picking anything else to win either. I’m also a little worried by the fact that this is my favorite is coloring my judgement. But, for right now, I’m sticking with Wreck-It Ralph.

So, if you’ve got an office Oscar pool or something similar, my advice would be just pick your favorite for the category of Best Animated Feature (unless it’s The Pirates!, of course). Then switch it to whatever wins the Annies next month.

Likelihood of Winning: 1st out of 5

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

Comments

Your rating: None

Planes is being made by Disney Toon Studios, not Pixar.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

Good catch! Though I think they need a snappier name. The acronym is also somewhat confusing.

Your rating: None

Yeah, it's confusing; Pixar franchise, anyway. You know what, it would actually be awesome if it really did beat both the Cars movies on Rotten Tomatoes, which is not impossible.

Of the two main televised pre-Oscar shows, the Critics Choice Movie Awards picked Wreck-it Ralph and the Golden Globes chose Brave.

Last year, the CCMAs picked Rango, while the Globes went with Tintin, so I'm not changing much.

The Globes also went with Argo for Best Dramatic Picture, while Ben Affleck doesn't have a Best Director nod at the Oscars, so, yeah, weird year.

Your rating: None

I'm so confused ... it is looking like Argo might be Best Picture after all, no Best Director for Ben Affleck nomination notwithstanding, at least according to an increasing amount of pundits.

However, it's only happened three times before that a movie has won Best Picture without a Best Director nomination, and two of them came in the first three years of the Oscars (when they hadn't really figured the whole thing out) and the only other example is Driving Miss Daisy, not a well-respected choice.

I was meh on Argo (of the movies I've seen, I'd rather Django Unchained or Zero Dark Thirty win). Sadly, of the 11 movies really playing for a nomination, the two I most wanted were the ones that faltered at the end (Skyfall and Moonrise Kingdom). Skyfall was not really surprising, but still disappointing. I did like Django Unchained better as a movie, but Quentin Tarantino already has 2 former BP nominees while Wes Anderson is still 0-fer, so I wanted it as a nominee more. With its single screenplay nom, you kind had to be paying attention to know it was even playing the game.

The Animation race is shaping up, however; looks like Wreck-It Ralph is the winner right now with no real competition.

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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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