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Furry Movie Award Watch: March 2013

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After last month’s setback wherein I failed to predict the Academy would prefer a not very good movie over a movie that Skrillex contributed to the soundtrack (obvious in hindsight), I feel a little better this month when the Ursa Major nominees matched my predicted list perfectly for the second year in a row. A little better, because, seriously, what else were we going to nominate?

crossie’s current best guesses

I’ve got my first rundown of picks for next year’s Oscar and Annie nominees. I’ll go into more detail next month, but for now, here’s the more or less sight-unseen super early edition.

Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
Winner Frozen Frozen Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Nominees Epic
Ernest and Celestine
Monster University
The Wind is Rising
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
The Croods
Epic
Ernest and Celestine
Monster University
Turbo
The Wind is Rising
N/A

Last year, there were four nominees that I could argue with myself were going to win it, and Rio. That can’t be said about this year. It was terrible for animated movies in general, which is the lifeblood of this category at the Ursa Majors. What we ended up with is a category that only has one movie that was nominated for both the Ursa Major and the Oscar Best Animated Feature after last year’s three movies in common, though lone live-action representative Ted managed to squeak into the Oscars with a Best Song nomination.

Though last year's race left many decent movies out of the running in the category, this year, well, I already said it. I suppose Hotel Transylvania would have been a decent alternative; I at least liked it in a guilty pleasure sort of way. Less surprising in its lack of nomination considering that it never got on board the Recommended List is the movie that should have won the Oscar, Wreck-It Ralph. It is a likeable movie, and it featured anthropomorphic video game sprites, which fit under the Wall-E clause, I guess you could argue; I’m kind of shocked no one did. With the weak field, it also would've been nice to see works like The Rabbi’s Cat, Adventures in Zambezia or The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki sneak in, but alas.

Oh, well, enough about the losers; let’s look at the potential winners.

Brave Brave

Right now, this is the only movie I see competing for the win with Madagascar 3. I mentioned in an earlier column that Pixar usually must feature a furry lead for it to win; Brave is an unusual case. Merida, the main character, is not furry, though her accidentally furry mother, while a supporting character, is the main focus of the story.

While Up featured the talking dog character Doug in a supporting role, it was not a movie about the lead characters discovering a talking dog; it was just something that happened along the way, so it didn’t win the Ursa Major (though, like it was going to win anyway; this is maybe a stupid point to make). In Brave, the lead is non-furry, but it is the story of how said non-furry lead once turned her mother into a bear, which is a furry story. So, it could win.

I think most of the trashing I took for trashing the movie (it’s mediocre at best, guys) was directed from over-defensive Pixar fans who need to lay off the Google instead of actual furries; I predict it will be an obvious second after the votes are revealed, but I still don’t think it has the win. Though, that could just lead to a situation where this piece of … wholesome family entertainment upsets me twice.

Other awards: Wins, Best Animated Feature Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, Iowa Film Critics Association Award
Wins, Annies - Production Design/Production and Editorial in an Animated Feature Production
Wins, Visual Effects Society - Outstanding Animation/Animated Character/Created Environment/FX Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Wins, Other - EDA Female Focus Award for Best Animated Female, ACE Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Animated, Cinema Audio Society Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures – Animation, Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Animated Females
Runner-ups - Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Feature
Nominations, Best Animated Feature - Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award, Annie Award, BFCA Critics’ Choice Award, Chicago Film Critics’ Association Award, Houston Film Critics’ Society Award, Indiana Film Journalists Association Award, Satellite Award, Online Film Critics Society Award, Phoenix Film Critics Society Award, PGA Award, San Diego Film Critics Society Award, Saturn Award, St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award, Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award
Nominations, Annies - Best Animated Feature, Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production, Character Animation in a Feature Production (X3), Music/Voice Acting/Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Nominations, Best Song - BFCA Critics’ Choice Award, Houston Film Critics’ Society Award (X2), Satellite Award
Nominations, Other - International Film Music Critics Association Award for Best Original Score for an Animated Film, MPSE Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR in an Animation Feature Film
Flayrah review: Brave illustrates my problem with Pixar
Rank on crossie’s Top 10 list: N/A

Ice Age: Continental Drift Ice Age: Continental Drift

Should be a clear second, but probably isn’t, simply because — well, I don’t know why. It is better than Brave. And, for that matter, Frankenweenie and ParaNorman. It is by no stretch of the imagination a great movie, and you might even be stretching to call it good, but it was at least entertaining. If you like this movie, vote for it. You’re not being stupid. At least it is a funny animal movie, which is about as furry as you can get.

Ice Age was never going to win critics’ awards or Oscars because it is the fourth installation of a movie franchise that makes a lot of money by being entertaining first, “important” second. And it made a lot of money; it became the highest grossing animated movie of last year (Brave took first in America, but it was third worldwide after Ice Age 4 and Madagascar 3). That said, the franchise has a spotty history at the Ursa Majors; the last movie wasn’t even nominated.

Other awards: Nominations, Best Animated Feature - Satellite Award
Nominations, Annies - Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production, Music/Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
Flayrah review: Ice Age: Continental Drift is worth the heatstroke
Rank on crossie’s Top 10 list: N/A

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Hands down favorite to win, unless pretension rears its ugly head. That’s why Brave might win, and why it won at the Oscars, by the by. See, though this is an award voted on by anyone, you don’t pick the “lowest common denominator” choice, which this movie certainly looks like it could be. Because people know “lowest common denominator” is a bad thing; people don’t say “lowest common denominator” as a compliment, you know. So, sometimes you have to look for the second lowest common denominator. Puss in Boots versus Kung Fu Panda 2 is a good example.

That said, though it lost to Ice Age 4 at the box office, it still beat its most likely competitor, Brave (seriously, coming in as third highest grossing animated movie for Pixar means Brave might as well have flopped). All previous Madagascar movies have been nominated, unlike Ice Age. Plus, DreamWorks Animation has won the last two years running with Kung Fu Panda 2 and How to Train Your Dragon. Oh, and speaking of “lowest common denominator,” it was also the only movie out this year to pass the fchan /toon/ board test (no link there, though it was a very short lived thread anyway).

On the other hand, I honestly believe it is the most deserving nominee this year, which may in fact have doomed it; my choice never wins!

Other awards: Nominations, Best Animated Feature - BFCA Critics’ Choice Award, Indiana Film Journalists Association Award, Satellite Award
Nominations, Annie Awards - Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production, Character Design/Production Design/Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
Nominations, Other - Satellite Award for Best Original Song
Flayrah review: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is Furry Jesus
Rank on crossie’s Top 10 list: 2

Rise of the Guardians Rise of the Guardians

Well, how the mighty have fallen. When the trailer for this thing came out, it was a thing of beauty. There was no way this was not going to sweep the Annie, the Oscar and, well, it would probably not win the Ursa Major because it would be so great that furries wouldn’t get it, and besides, there was just the one furry character in a supporting role, and it wasn’t a story about the finding of the Easter Bunny, though the rules about Pixar haven't always applied to DreamWorks Animation in the past. Then, I actually sat down to watch the movie, and, uh, well … hmmm.

So that sucked. The Easter Bunny has a great character design, I’ll give it that. I guess that’s worth a nomination. Doubt even the biggest bunny fans will think it’s worth a win, though.

Other awards: Wins, Best Animated Feature - African-American Film Critics Association Award, Black Film Critics Circle Award, Indiana Film Journalists Association Award, Satellite Award
Wins, Annies - Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production, Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
Ties - Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Family Film (with Life of Pi)
Nominations, Best Animated Feature - Annie Award, BFCA Critics’ Choice Award, Golden Globe Award, Houston Film Critics’ Society Award, St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award, San Diego Film Critics Society Award, PGA Award, Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award
Nominations, Annies - Best Animated Feature, Character Animation in a Feature Production (X3), Music/Production Design/Voice Acting/Editorial in an Animated Feature Production
Nominations, Visual Effects Society - Outstanding Animation/Created Environment/FX Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Nominations, Other - EDA Female Focus Award for Best Animated Female, ACE Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Animated, Cinema Audio Society Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures – Animation, International Music Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Score for an Animated Film, MPSE Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR in an Animation Feature Film
Flayrah review: Rise of the Guardians is not furry Jesus
Rank on crossie’s Top 10 list: N/A

Ted Ted

An interesting movie, but what made it a bit of a cultural touchstone for the year will probably be the same thing that turns furries off. Scroll down and you’ll see seven nominations for this movie in the MTV Movie Awards; probably not many furries’ favorite film awards. It appeals to the sort of “bro” community that most furries are fast to distance themselves from.

I submitted the review for this movie and Brave on the same night; I mentioned in the first paragraph of my review of this movie I was biased against it, yet no one shouted at me for being mean to Ted. Leads me to believe that, cultural touchstone or not, no one cares much for this sort of thing in the furry fandom, so probably not a big player here. Either that, or potheads have more of a life and/or sense of humor than Pixar fans.

Other Awards: Wins - Jameson Empire Award for Best Comedy
Ties - St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Comedy (with Moonrise Kingdom)
Nominations, BFCA Critics' Choice Awards - Best Comedy, Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy
Nominations, MTV Movie Awards - Movie of the Year, Best Female Performance/On-Screen Duo/Shirtless Performance/Kiss/Fight/WTF Moment
Nominations, Other - Academy Award for Best Music (Original Song), ACE Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy/Musical, International Film Music Critics Association Award for Best Original Score for a Comedy Film, Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Breakthrough Performance Behind the Camera, Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film
Flayrah review: Ted was bearable if you are into that sort of thing
Rank on crossie’s Top 10 list: N/A

Final thoughts

Will win: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Could win: Brave
Should win: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Should have been here: Abstain

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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.