It will undoubtedly seem strange to chase Michael's Pixar interview with another reminder that I have no patience for Cars 2, but I must. With the reveal of the Best Animated Feature submission list, we know that Pixar has a much better shot than ever at yet another Oscar nomination in this category. Pixar has deserved all of its Best Animated Feature Oscar wins and more still (Shrek over Monsters Inc.??? Yep, still embarrassing!) But Oscar nominations mean a lot more when you don't get them out of habit or loyalty to the brand. Will the nominating voters dare step out of Pixar's anthropomorphic vehicles this year to look at, say, an acclaimed racy animated romance among Cuban immigrants?
If at least 16 of these 18 pass the Academy's eligibility requirements, the nominating committee can choose 5 of them as nominees.
The 18 Submitted Toons Are...
- The Adventures of Tintin (opens Dec 21st)
- Alois Nebel (The Czech Republic's Best Foreign Film Submission so it could be nominated in two categories - see our TIFF review)
- Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (opens Dec 16th)
- Arthur Christmas (opens Nov 23rd)
- Cars 2
- A Cat in Paris (this one is a feline noir homage from Belgium)
- Chico & Rita (a music-heavy romance between a pianist and a singer)
- Gnomeo & Juliet
- Happy Feet Two (opens Nov 18th)
- Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
- Kung Fu Panda 2
- Mars Needs Moms
- Puss in Boots
- The Smurfs
- Winnie the Pooh
- Wrinkles (a Spanish drama about two old men, one with alzheimers)
It's strange that nearly 33% of eligible films can be nominated. Can you imagine if Best Picture worked like this. Would the Oscars mean anything at all if 91 films were nominated for Best Picture each year?!? That's how many there would be (approximately) each year if 33% of eligible films were nominated. The ceremony would never end just from reading all the names!
Seeing all the titles together you can't help but notice how much more flexible the animated film is in other countries: American cinema is still locked into the notion that the animated film is a genre (boisterous colorful family comedies) rather than an artistic medium capable of housing all genres; Across oceans and borders we get a drama about old men with alzheimers, a musical romance with nudity, a witty noir about a cat leading a double life, and a historically haunted black and white drama about a man in a sanotorium.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about the Best Animated Feature Oscar race.
It's not my strong suit as predictions or knowledge goes... though I'll start seeing more of these very soon.