Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Best Picture"

Back in 1992, I thought Beauty and the Beast was easily the best picture of the year. But of course it lost out to Silence of the Lambs.

Big honking surprise.

As more than one animation veteran has said to me: "Animation is the bastard step-child of motion pictures." And no matter how much a given animated feature might deserve to be voted "Best Picture", there is just too much opposition among the live-action majority of the Motion Picture Academy for it ever to happen.

... studios’ reluctance to advance their animated wares as candidates for best picture is enforced by a perception that actors, the academy’s largest branch, with about 20 percent of the membership, are reluctant to honor movies without live performances. Additionally, the academy has a definite allergy to family fare, like the G-rated “Ratatouille”: 28 R-rated films have been nominated for best picture in the last 10 years, while only two PG-rated movies — “Finding Neverland” and “Good Night, and Good Luck” — have. And none with a G rating have made the cut ...

Color me cynical, but I don't think we'll see a feature without live actors pick up the top prize during this millenium ... or the next.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

The very same industry is at fault. Keep people thinking that the only good films are those with sex and violence, married with gratuitous computer animation, and that is what people will come to expect. I'm not sure if the rating has much to do with it. Make an Indiana Jones using modern techniques and stuff, bet you'd get a winner (it was rated PG in 1981, probably would class as G in 2007).

Anonymous said...

What? I can't make heads or tails out of that last comment. Has an Indiana Jones type of film ever been likely to be nominated for Best Picture. Not that I'm aware of.
They live in the same un-nominatable land as Pixar and most Disney films. Not serious filmmaking.
It has nothing to do with whether it has actors in it or not. That's a little paranoid and kind of like a conspiracy theory if you ask me.

DCHall said...

I agree with the most recent Anonymous post.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I think that if Ratatouille had sex and violence, it would be a strong contender for winning the academy award.

As is, I think Persepolis has a better shot at the Best Animated Feature because it looks "more serious."

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the first comment. The Temple of Doom and Gremlins were the two pictures that forced the MPAA in 1984 to create a new rating in between PG and R. The result was PG-13. Besides Atlantis, Lilo & Stitch, and The Incredibles were all PG. Indiana Jones would never get a G rating today.

Anonymous said...

Do you suppose the Academy looks at something like Ratatouille with over $200 million BO and says "you've got your award, let the under performers have a chance for glory."

Anonymous said...

You nailed it...that's exactly what the Academy does! Oh, wait...I guess that doesn't explain big box office films like Titanic winning. Damn! Back to the conspiracy drawing table.

what now toons said...

In the past the Academy did not have a seperate catagory for animation. Well now it does, so animated movies don't have to be up against Ghandi or Silence of the Lambs. so Ratatouille does stand a chance this year.
Having said that, i must thank all responsible for this wonderful picture. My family, a lot of us, all watched it for Thanksgiving, and we all enjoyed it.
Thanks to Brad and the whole crew for this gem.

Anonymous said...

I stopped watching the academy awards a long time ago. its always over powered by the kooky minority pushing non-family values agenda films.

I'll be watching my DVD's of classic animation that night for sure.

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote:

"Make an Indiana Jones using modern techniques and stuff, bet you'd get a winner (it was rated PG in 1981, probably would class as G in 2007)."

I assume you're talking about Raiders of the Lost Ark. A film where the word "shit" is uttered in both English and German, and features among many, many instances of bloody and bloodless violence, a man being shot point-blank in the head with a revolver, and slumping dead over a steering wheel.

The film also has the explosive destruction of a meat-filled human head, another man melting away as if his head was made of bloody wax, and numerous deaths of people killed in grusome ways just off-camera, including a man run over with a truck (we see his arms and legs as he gets run down) and a man chopped up by the propeller of an airpane (we see his face splattered with blood and then we see his blood splattered across the windshield of the plane and the tail of the plane.)

Not anywhere NEAR G material.

Indiana Jones said...

The second anonymous poster above asked: "Has an Indiana Jones type of film ever been likely to be nominated for Best Picture."

Raiders of the Lost Ark *was* nominated for Bext Picture - http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Academy_Awards_USA/1982

It didn't *win*, of course... but it (like Star Wars) did get nominated....

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot the eyes open dead impaled face of Satipo with spikes coming out of his head.

Among other brutalities.


"Adios, Sapito!"

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