April Foolish Predictions #1: Animated Feature
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 3:35PM
NATHANIEL R in Best Animated Feature, Frozen 2, Toy Story 4, aanimated films

[drumroll] It's Time! Our annual April Foolish Oscar Predictions have begun.

Please bear in mind that, though the predictions may actually seem foolish and will surely be out of date within a few weeks (if not sooner as more concrete news about the film year emerges), we are actually pretty good at this. Before each category we'll tell you what we generally score this far in advance. And if you think it seems low, that just proves to us that you haven't actually written down your predictions during the first week of april, not changed them with every scrap of news you heard, and then checked that hard copy nearly a year later to see how well it held up!

First up is Best Animated Feature where our traditional prediction score this early is 3/5. But 2019 might well hold more suprises than usual...

Every surefire box office behemoth, for example, is coming with a huge worrying question mark. Can Toy Story 4 feel non-redundant and actually resonate when Toy Story 3's entire gravitas sprung from the fact that it was so final, an actual gorgeous ending to a nearly perfect series. (But, sigh, franchises never end even when they announce that they have.)

Can Frozen 2 somehow be any good whatsoever as it chases the lightning in a bottle success of the original? The likelihood of coming up with another "Let it Go" for example is about .001% since crossover behemoth songs that culturally ubiquitous generally only happen about once every 10-15 years or so. And did you all see how terrible those post-win shorts were for both of these franchises a while back?

And what will Oscar's animation branch even do when most of their mainstream options are sequels but they haven't, in the past, shown all that much interest in franchise entries. The only traditional sequel (i.e. non spinoff or adaptation from other media or from short films) that's ever won the Oscar in this category is Toy Story 3. In fact 12 of the 18 years have had no sequels nominated at all... and that isn't from lack of animated sequels being available to voters.

And speaking of sequels since Disney has INSISTED on referring to their animated Lion King remake as a "live-action" film (and most of the public and the media has followed like sheep, despite, you know, facts) will they even submit it for consideration in this category even though it's 100% an animated feature?

Compounding the problem of sameness is this nagging feeling that Disney/Pixar can't actually maintain their strangehold on this category forever. There's going to become a point (whether soon or much later) when genuine fan or media (or both) backlash forms given that there are several fine studios that can't manage a win when the Academy always defaults to the Mouse House. Between the two companies they've had 23 nominations and 12 wins or 31% of all nominations and 66% of all wins.

If Oscar voters are looking for something new, Netflix might have a window if Sergio Pablos finishes Klaus in time and if Netflix gives it the theatrical push they're promising and if voters respond to Pablos's buzzy animation which is traditional 2D animation lit to appear 3D. But that's a lot of "ifs". Regardless Sergio Pablos has a bright future. He wrote the stories that the Despicable Me franchise and the Smallfoot film launched from and before running his own studio in Madrid, he worked as an animator on films like Tarzan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Rio. Klaus is his directorial debut.

KLAUS, supposedly due on Christmas day from Netflix, but we'll see.

Animation Studios with wins in this category

The most prominent nominated animation forces that have never won



Article originally appeared on The Film Experience (http://thefilmexperience.net/).
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