Furry Movie Award Watch: November 2012
You know how you don’t judge a book by its cover? Well, in the same vein, you don’t judge a movie by its trailer. So, anyway, Rise of the Guardians went from winner to not even showing up on my Oscar guess list, while Wreck-it-Ralph pulled the opposite trick. On one hand, this is a disappointing year; on the other, it’s a fun year to predict, because nothing is certain.
Note: Obviously, this is a bit late and out of date, but I was unable to post this last month due to computer issues, and the opinion part of it is still mostly valid, so I’m submitting it late. If you’re reading this, the editors decided to let it in; if you’re not, well, uh, you’re not.
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|
The Rabbi’s Cat
From Up on Poppy Hill
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Pirates! A Band of Misfits
The Rabbi’s Cat
Rise of the Guardians
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Rise of the Guardians
Why DreamWorks won’t be going to the Oscars
In a nutshell, because Rise of the Guardians doesn’t deserve to go to the Oscars.
The story so far this year has looked like DreamWorks Animation taking its second undisputed Best Animated Feature Oscar (technically, Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit could also count as a DreamWorks win, but if you don’t want to give it to them, I won’t argue) after a hiatus of over a decade. They were on top of the world, with three nominees in the last two years. Then they put out a trailer for Rise of the Guardians that basically screamed, “Just give us the Oscar already!”
And therein lies the problem with Rise of the Guardians; the finished movie seems to be more about winning an Oscar than being a, well, finished movie. It feels like animated Oscar bait, and it doesn’t work. Pixar could get away with this, because, well, it feels genuine when they do it. Rise of the Guardians feels … a bit icky, actually.
Pixar makes real good movies; DreamWorks makes real good cartoons. We had two distinct but great flavors of animated movies, and the world was good. Unfortunately, the Academy is obviously going to prefer one flavor over the other. DreamWorks can’t win unless Pixar flops. Pixar flopped last year; DreamWorks had two movies that could have done the trick, but then some live action punk came in and walked away with the prize.
Then, miracle of miracles (depending on your perspective, obviously), Pixar flops again this year! And this year, DreamWorks movies are a holdover from the pre-Kung Fu Panda years (which I really like, but that's beside the point) and a blatant attempt to copy the competition’s style without understanding it.
All DreamWorks had to do was just do its thing, and they would have won. Unfortunately, they tried to be what they weren’t, and they won’t.
Why Pixar won’t be going to the Oscars
In a nutshell, because Brave doesn’t deserve to go to the Oscars.
In all fairness, “flopped” is a pretty strong word to use in conjunction with Brave. It wasn’t a disaster along the lines of Cars 2, which was just a terrible movie that even the greatest Pixar fan should recognize as a sad moment for Pixar, except it turns out Pixar fans are pretty loyal, and they still can’t figure out why it wasn’t even nominated last year. But that’s beside the point; Brave was a ridiculously average movie, and for the animated feature awards race, that’s terrible.
But it’s not like Pixar has any right to complain; after all, it’s their own darn fault. I mean, they were the ones who were putting up high nineties on the Tomatometer when the competition was Surf's Up. Okay, I liked Surf’s Up, but you put that movie up against the competition today and see how far that goes.
When this category started, Ice Age was a nominee. Ice Age: Continental Drift is not even a footnote in the race this year, and not because the Ice Age franchise has decayed; the movies have maintained their level of polish, but the competition has gotten real. Because if you want that Oscar, you had better want that Oscar. You can’t bring a Madagascar to a Toy Story fight.
Pixar is a victim of its own success; Brave being “good enough” is not good enough. And this category does not let you rest on your laurels; Disney's home studio still has yet to win the category despite, you know, practically inventing it. Which brings me to my final point.
Why Disney will finally win this stupid thing
In a nutshell, because Wreck-it-Ralph deserves to win the Oscar.
Some people think Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie might win the Oscar. Apparently, some people thought it was a really good movie, but I wasn’t one of them. It was, to go back a point, “good enough.” I wonder if people were just proud of Burton for making a movie without Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter for once.
Most people think ParaNorman will be a nominee, and I don’t disagree, even though it was just “good enough” for me, as well. And this is the reason Frankenweenie won’t win. Because you have two stop-motion kiddie horror movies up for Best Animated Feature, they will cannibalize votes off of one another. Heck, there will probably be some voters who are unaware that these are two different movies.
I’ve still got reservations about Wreck-it-Ralph, though quality is no longer one of them. Winnie the Pooh disappearing off the face of the awards season early on is one of them. I feel like head of both Disney and Pixar John Lasseter is going to put the campaign pressure behind a weak Pixar movie again, because he’s still the Pixar guy at heart. And the video game subject matter is not the Academy’s bread and butter.
But when it comes down to it, Disney was the only real game in animated features until the 1990s. Bad luck that the studio went into a slump right around the time that the Best Animated Feature Oscar was introduced. But, hey, they’ve had slumps before. They’ll be back. Heck, they are back. Wreck-it-Ralph was one of the few highlights from a pretty meh year for animated features.
It’s been over a decade; give them the Oscar already!