Thursday, January 17, 2008

Persepolis and the Oscars

Persepolis, the acclaimed French animated feature directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi based on Satrapi's graphic novel about life under the Iranian fundamentalist regime, has failed to make into the final round of consideration for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Persepolis remains one of the finalists for a nomination for Best Animated Film*, and some (but not all) in our community consider it a front runner for an award in that category. The proprietors of the Cartoon Brew website, Amid Amidi and Jerry Beck, have been agreeing to disagree as to whether the Best Animated Feature Film category has been a good thing, or whether it has "ghettoized" films that might otherwise have been contenders, not only for Best Foreign Film but possibly even for Best Picture.

Eighty years from the start of the Academy Awards and eleven years after the institution of the Best Animated Feature Film category, Beauty and the Beast remains the only animated feature ever to receive a competitive Best Picture nomination†. So the question is: is the feature animation biz better off with or without the separate Oscar category?

* This year's finalists are Alvin and the Chipmunks, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, Bee Movie, Beowulf, Meet the Robinsons, Persepolis, Ratatouille, Shrek the Third, The Simpsons Movie, Surf’s Up, Tekkonkinkreet and TMNT.

† In 1938, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs got a non-competitive Special Award.


Anonymous said...

Tough one. On one hand, it's good to see Animated films get their due, and to make sure they do, they have that category. But it does seem like the academy now gets a free pass in voting for them for the major awards, which is a shame.

If I had to choose, I'd say keep the category in. Some recognition is better than none at all, IMO. At least animated films have a better chance at getting noticed at the awards than live action comedies.

Anonymous said...

I think we are better off with the category. With the Animated feature category we now get three (or more) of the best animated pictures recognized and in the public spotlight.

Without the animated feature category would recent outstanding animated films , like for example: "The Incredibles" been nominated for a best picture award?

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