Monday, February 09, 2009

The Oscar Derby

The Hollywood Reporter handicaps the Academy Awards as regards 'Toons:

And then there were three -- though there could have been five. Just three animated feature films have made the Oscar nomination grade, though 17 of them were released in 2008, enough to reach the threshold required for five nominations. But, for various reasons, only a relative handful of features were submitted for consideration.

... But perhaps the most interesting nomination this year for an animated feature was Israel's "Waltz With Bashir," which earned an Oscar nom in the best foreign-language film category. That's eloquent proof of what animators have been saying for years: Animated films are films first.

Gee, you think? Actual films?

The problem for animated features is that they don't have the political clout that live-action films possess, and never will.

On-camera actors will always trump thespians in front of a microphone, and they'll vote for awards accordingly.

Live-action directors will forever outrank their animated counterparts.

Directors of photography will pull more weight than than layout artists or animation art directors.

I'm not saying it's right, or just, or the American way. But it's the way it is, and short of industry-wide religious conversions (highly doubtful), it's how it will continue to be.


Michael Sporn said...

The question is why will animators not honor something as strong as Waltz with Bashir? Perhaps, they see their films as different, too, despite all the complaining.

Anonymous said...

Michael asks a good question. My thought is that while "Bashir" shows without question that animation is capable of telling complex, compelling, important stories that are not aimed at a young audience, animators also care about the quality of the work in the film. The animation itself in "Bashir" is really not that good. It serves the purpose of the story, but as an objective example of quality animation, it falls short.

Anonymous said...

Not only is most of the animation not that good, much of it begs the question of whether or not it actually is animation at all.

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