Furry Movie Award Watch: September 2013
Well, enough of the doom and gloom, it’s a brand-new, shiny awards season. This month, let’s look at how the race is shaping up at the Oscars. Maybe we’ll even spare a thought for the Annies.
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||The Wind Rises||The Wind Rises||Monsters University|
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
|Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
New rules for the Oscars
The Academy has recently announced that they have revamped the rules for the nomination process a bit. Previously, the nominees for Best Animated Feature were voted on by Academy members who had seen most (80%, or 17 movies last year) of the submissions for the award either in a theater during its theatrical run or in a special screening by the Academy. In other words, they had to prove they had seen most of the movies they were voting for, and that they had seen them theatrically.
This year, however, the second part has been dropped; Academy members can vote for the nominees in the Best Animated Feature category if they have watched the movies submitted on screeners; basically copies of the movies they can watch at home (they can’t go out and buy or rent a copy and have that count; it has to be provided to them as a screener, making it a bit easier to verify the member at least got the opportunity to watch it, though this does use the honor system a bit more than the old system). They also only have to see 66% of the movies now.
The obvious take away is that more Academy members will qualify to vote for the nomination of the Best Animated Feature; it’s unclear if this will affect the outcome in any significant way. There is a possibility that the bigger studios will have a bigger advantage with the lower percentage, as Academy members are naturally more likely to see the movies with the big campaigns first; however, the fact that the members no longer have to see everything theatrically (and a lot of the smaller movies are only in theaters for a week in one location plus the handful of Academy screenings) may give the smaller movies a plus. So, I’d say it’s pretty much a wash, and keep expecting a nice mixture of big, brand name studios and little foreign and independent surprises in the category.
Speaking of the big, brand name studios…
This year, as I went on about last time around, is incredibly weak in the big, brand name studio side of the equations. The Croods was a box office success for DreamWorks, if not a critical, while Turbo was a failure on both counts.
Reigning champs Pixar put out a sequel to one of the few movies of theirs that didn’t win the first time; it also didn’t exactly light the critics up like their halcyon days. Though it probably won’t matter this race, Pixar is fast getting a reputation for troubled production; the removal of Bob Peterson from The Good Dinosaur (causing it to be bumped to 2015) makes it the fourth Pixar movie in a row to be completed by a different director than the one that started it. If they keep this up, there’ll be a backlash.
I suppose you can’t judge a movie by its trailer, but the reaction to Disney’s’s first Frozen trailer wasn’t exactly pretty. Of course, I might be biased by the fact that I viewed the second trailer for Frozen embedded in an article explaining why the trailer doesn’t bode well for the movie, but the second trailer wasn’t a great improvement. Right now, we’re talking about Despicable Me 2 as a genuine contender for nomination. That’s not a good sign.
A biopic to win an Oscar? Who’da thunk it?
I said earlier that Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises is a problematic proposition, what with it being an animated biopic about the guy who designed Japan’s WWII warplanes. However, it’s gone on to gain pretty good reviews, and it has done pretty well in the festivals it’s played in, so it may make it. Plus, this is supposed to be Miyazaki’s swan song; he’s going into retirement after this. I’m guessing he’ll join Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton in the double Best Animated Feature Oscar club next March.
Maybe he’ll even show up this time. Perhaps most telling is that Studio Ghibli is not waiting around for Disney to dub it; this is the first time they’re submitting the movie in Japanese. They sense weakness in the field, and they’re going for it. Well, good for them.
If anything, it will surely win the Annie; recently, the Annies and the Oscars have rarely agreed, and I must say, when they don’t, the Annies always get my vote. The only Oscar/Annie split I’m not nodding my head in agreement with is Cars over Happy Feet, but only because I can’t make myself care enough about either movie to have an opinion. Meanwhile, the Oscars are going to have to work a little after last year.
What I'm saying is The Wind Rises should probably win the Oscar at this point, but if Monsters University wins, I’ll roll my eyes, mutter “figures” under my breath and be really, really disappointed, but not particularly surprised.