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Furry Movie Award Watch: February

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rangofyc.jpg The Annies are done and the Oscars were last Sunday. Rango inevitably won Best Animated Feature, so there is really not much reason to go on about it. Meanwhile, the Ursa Major nominees will be announced next month, so guess what next month’s column will be about.

For now, however, we might as well begin the process all over again; that’s right, I’m going to call next year’s Oscars and Annies right now!

I mean, everyone knows it’s going to be Brave, anyway.

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
Pirates! Band of Misfits
Rise of the Guardians
The Secret World of Arriety
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Frankenweenie
Hotel Transylvania
Ice Age: Continental Drift
ParaNorman
Pirates! Band of Misfits
Rise of the Guardians
The Secret World of Arriety
Wreck-It-Ralph
Bitter Lake
Puss in Boots
Rango
Rio

At this point in next year’s animated awards race, there is next to nothing to go on. To steal a bit from Donald Rumsfeld, about the only thing we have in the “known known” category is that 11 animated movies will be released to American theaters this year.

The known unknowns are much more obvious; we really don’t know much about all but one of these movies other than they exist. We don’t know which ones will end up stinking, and which ones won’t. We also don’t know what else will come to theaters; independents and foreign movies will probably show up, we just don’t know which ones. This also means the final number of nominees at the Oscars is still an unknown.

Finally, there are the unknown unknowns. Will AMPAS or ASIFA change the rules for their awards yet again? Will a frontrunner get tangled up in some bizarre scandal which shouldn’t affect the race, but totally will? Will the crazies saying the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world this year turn out to be right after all? Nobody knows.

That said, here are the eleven movies we know are in the race, some rough stabs at their chances at the Oscars and Annies, and, since this is a furry site, after all, how furry the movies are.

Brave

Pixar may have had an off year last year, but that’s no reason to bet against it this year. Brave will probably be another box office and critical juggernaut. Never mind Best Animated Feature, it’s already gotten buzz for Best Picture.

Not very furry, though. There’s a bear in it; maybe it’s more anthropomorphic than it seems.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

The second movie out of the gate, The Lorax will be hitting a theater near you soon. This is the first movie that is a total mystery; it'll either be quickly discarded, or be the first big surprise. Essentially, I’m not expecting much from this movie.

I guess it counts as furry, if you count anthropomorphized vague orange things as anthropomorphic animals. Sadly, vague orange thing is looking like one of the furrier characters of the year.

Frankenweenie

There are three dueling Halloween movies this year; this one seems like the safest bet to go to the Oscars, seeing as how Tim Burton has been there before. It is also one of three stop-motion animated movies this year, another one co-directed by one of the co-directors of the movie that beat Tim Burton last time.

The title character is a dog, but though he isn’t a particularly normal dog, he doesn’t seem to be a particularly anthropomorphic one, either.

Hotel Transylvania

Another dueling Halloween movie; sounds like a CGI pseudo-remake of Mad Monster Party? starring Adam Sandler. For some reason does not scream “Oscar” to me. Good chance of a werewolf and other such anthropomorphic animal supporting characters.

Ice Age: Continental Drift

The first movie was nominated for the Academy Award; the second and third were not. You do the math. Admittedly, Puss in Boots pulled off a similar feat this year, but the premise of the movie, about a sea voyage, seems to be about as close to “we’re desperate … have we done space yet?” as you can get in a franchise about prehistoric mammals.

On the plus side, uncontested anthropomorphic animals, so we’ll have something to nominate for the Ursa Majors.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

The first movie was not nominated for the Academy Award, and neither was the second. Once again, you do the math. I don’t even currently have it in play for the Annies, if only because DreamWorks has a better looking movie out this year, and I decided to give every distributor a shot.

Also once again, uncontested anthropomorphic animals, and they aren’t even extinct, to boot.

ParaNorman

The third Halloween movie, and also stop-motion. Laika had some success with the stop motion kiddie horror Coralinein the Oscar category, so a definite contender, though minus big gun (in animation, anyway) director Henry Selick and facing a similar movie from big gun (not just in animation) director Tim Burton.

Doesn’t seem the least bit furry.

Pirates! Band of Misfits

The third stop-motion movie, and Nick Park has won this award before, albeit with a different co-director. It's another obvious stop-motion pick – though the Oscars seem to like stop-motion, so I would not be the least bit surprised if all three were nominated.

Doesn’t at first appear to be very furry, but there is apparently a chimpanzee butler of some kind, so there is that.

Rise of the Guardians

I put forward a theory in my review of Puss in Boots that you can count on DreamWorks to put out a “prestige” movie every year to try and gain an Oscar nomination. And if they haven’t always been so successful at winning the Oscar, you can almost count on them to get nominations; with the double dose this year and Cars 2 no show, DreamWorks has tied Pixar for most nominees by a single studio. This year, Rise of the Guardians looks like the movie that fits the bill.

One of the titular Guardians is the Easter Bunny, so something for us furries there, though it must be disappointing for owl fans to learn this is not a sequel.

The Secret World of Arrietty

The only animated movie out so far, and it’s a contender. Even when not being directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli movies are major players. This movie has set the bar high for the beginning of the year. Also, already takes the obligatory foreign film spot at the Oscars.

I at one point thought the characters would have tails, which wouldn’t exactly make them furry, but would be kind of furry-esque. The guys with the tails are apparently the the Littles, not the Borrowers. Rookie mistake, I know.

Wreck–It-Ralph

Disney’s home studio has got to be a contender, right? Seriously, it has been over a decade since the category was started, and though Disney has distributed a fair number of winners and nominees, it has frequently struggled to even gain nomination for its own studio. Unfortunately, a CGI movie about video games does not sound like the sort of movie the Academy would embrace.

Although the titular character is human, it’s about video game characters. At least one furry supporting character has to appear, right?

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

If "Koochie Koochie Hota Hai" is finally released this year in India, it may qualify for the Ursa Major Award even though it won't stand a chance for the Annies or the Oscars. http://www.moviewood.net/bollywood/upcoming-movies/koochie-koochie-hota-hai

Fred Patten

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Speaking of Brave, when its newest trailer came out just recently, the sentiments of science fiction and fantasy book readers were wildly different from professional animators and animation fans.

Your rating: None

So, too anti-Scottish for one, not feminine enough for the other, and I had an Oscar pundit saying "looks ugly." Please let this be Cars 2 ... 2.

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I forgot I meant to do this; I was saving this for the comments because it isn't furry newssite story appropriate, but comments are whatever. I went 14 for 24 on my Oscar predictions this year, which is ... not terrible. My (wrong) guesses are in parenthesis. This is what I had:

Best Picture: "The Artist" – Correct
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist" – Correct
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, "The Artist" – Correct
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady" – Wrong (Viola Davis, “The Help”)
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners" – Correct
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, "The Help" – Correct
Best Adapted Screenplay: "The Descendants" – Correct
Best Original Screenplay: "Midnight in Paris" – Correct
Best Art Direction: "Hugo" – Correct
Best Cinematography: "Hugo" – Wrong (“Tree of Life”)
Best Costume Design: "The Artist" – Wrong (“Hugo”)
Best Film Editing: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" – Wrong (“Moneyball”)
Best Makeup: "The Iron Lady" – Correct
Best Music (Original Score): "The Artist" – Correct
Best Music (Original Song): "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" – Correct
Best Sound Editing: "Hugo" – Wrong (“War Horse”)
Best Sound Mixing: "Hugo" – Wrong (“War Horse”)
Best Visual Effects: "Hugo" – Wrong (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”)
Best Animated Feature Film: "Rango" – Correct
Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation" – Correct
Best Documentary Feature: "Undefeated" – Correct
Best Documentary Short: "Saving Face" – Correct
Best Short Film (Animated): "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" – Correct
Best Short Film (Live Action): "The Shore" – Wrong (“Tuba Atlantic”)

Best Actress should have gone to Viola Davis; I wasn't ever going to be crazy about "The Help," and I haven't even seen "The Iron Lady," but even Streep looked surprised and kind of upset at the announcement. Also, "The Iron Lady" became the only movie besides "Hugo" and "The Artist" to win two Oscars, and it was a critical flop, so that's sad.

"Hugo" winning Cinematography was my second guess, but it really deserved to go to "The Tree of Life," because I will freely admit I did not get that movie at all, but it sure was pretty to look at (and also was the only Best Picture nominee to feature dinosaurs, so there is that in its favor).

Was kind of surprised by "The Artist" winning Costume Design over "Hugo," not because of deserving (like I really know who deserved the Costume Design Oscar), but because "Hugo" was burning through the craft categories at that point in the show, and I did pick it for that category, after all.

Best Film Editing was a total surprise; "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was the movie happy to be nominated going in. It did lead to the best acceptance speech of the night; "We didn't really expect to be up here tonight" followed by a few perfunctory thank yous, then the other guy going "Let's go, we're just film editors," in a wonderful moment of self deprecation.

In Best Sound Mixing and Sound Editing (for those of you who have no clue and have always wondered, Mixing is all sound, including sound effects, dialogue and music, mixed together, while Editing is only sound effects) I was banking on "War Horse" being a war movie with the added bonus of featuring a horse as the major character to add even more unique sounds, but, apparently, the Academy really liked "Hugo" this year, because I don't remember the sound in that movie at all.

The real snub of the night (and a furry movie snubbed, at that) was Visual Effects for "Hugo" over "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." Seriously. What the heck, Academy?

I cannot believe I got two out of three of the shorts (like I saw any of all fifteen of them), though I have heard from a couple pundits the one I missed, "The Shore" for Best Live Action Short, kept "The Iron Lady" from being the worst film of the night to win an Oscar.

Your rating: None

And, back on topic, The Lorax is at 57% at Rotten Tomatoes. For those of you keeping track at home, knock it out of the Annie guesses and substitute Madagascar 3 (or your favorite foreign animated movie from last year not actually submitted to the Academy last year).

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Probably doesn't help that the movie has been pretty much used marketing campaign for all the Once-lers of the world to milk until the message of the movie's morale is as empty as the valley is of truffula tree.

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I feel like they're ruining The Lorax by turning into a love story between two big-name celebrities and adding too much cutesie "oh look, funny bears!" crap. (The latter I got simply from ckmmercials, but seriously?) I feel like people will split into three groups: a) they'll hate it, b) they'll think it was "cute" and completely miss the allegory I was able to understand perfectly when I was 11, or c) they'll grumble to anyone who'll listen about how it was ruined. Guess which one I fall under?

Furry Pariah

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Did you see it (either of you) because this sounds like an interesting review in embryo; I'm going to sit this one out. I've got a "definition-of-furry" purist reputation to keep, and, you know what, I'm not forcing this one.

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And, finally, since I've been tracking all year the number of occurences of the mention of furry in movie audio commentaries (so far, you can count the number on no hands), I found that Puss in Boots ... has no audio commentary.

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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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