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FINAL OSCAR PREDIX - in podcast & written form

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Entries in animated films (420)

Wednesday
Feb062019

10th Anniversary: Laika's "Coraline"

by Timothy Brayton

Coraline, which opened in theaters ten years ago today, was groundbreaking in all sorts of ways. It was the first feature made by Laika, soon to become a cultishly loved, critically praised animation studio with an Oscar nomination for every one of its four films (a fifth, Missing Link, is set to open in April). It was one of the first films in the most recent 3D fad to demonstrate a real sense of the emotional and narrative possibilities of using stereoscopic effects, and it was only rarely equaled in the years following. It represents an extraordinary leap into a brand new mixed-media animation style that I refrain from calling "revolutionary" only because nobody else but Laika seems to be interested in experimenting with it.

The truly special thing about Coraline is not that it achieved any of these things. Plenty of films invent new stuff. What's special – downright miraculous, even – is that Coraline feels just as fresh and bold in 2019 as it did in 2009...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb032019

Annie Awards swing giddily into the "Spider-Verse" and might predict Oscar's Animated Short winner 

by Nathaniel R

The directors of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse had a great great night at the Annie Awards

Though Disney dominated the Annie nominations with huge tallies for both Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet  it was Sony Animation's all time biggest hit that proved the ultimate champ with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hogging the big prizes at the event. Other big winners were Disney's Mickey Mouse, and two series from Netflix: Hilda  and Bojack Horseman. The winners list and commentary including a few full winning short films and notes on Oscar's animated short race after the jump...

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Saturday
Feb022019

22 days til Oscar - Walt Disney and his nearest rivals (?)

by Nathaniel R

Everyone presumably knows that Walt Disney (1901-1966), one of the 20th century's most influential titans, holds the records of most competitive Oscar wins. He amassed a total of 22 Oscars in his career which broke down like so:

  • 12 animated shorts
  • 6 live action shorts *
  • 2 documentary shorts
  • 2 documentary features

A few notes on these achievements and Disney's nearest rivals in these categories (and whether or not the ranks might change) after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan212019

Shorts Predictions -- All Oscar Categories Complete!

by Nathaniel R

some of the shorts contenders we're most curious about after investigating the titles

For better or worse all of the Oscar predictions are completed including the last three hold outs: Live Action Short, Animated Short, and Documentary Short. Though we have yet to see the shorts (that'll have to wait until nominations) predictions were made via an unholy combo of hunches, IMDb ratings, plot descriptions, tea leaves, blind faith, coin tossing, and a teensy bit but not much of seeing what other people around the web are saying but never following that exactly because nobody ever scores 5/5 in all shorts categories. Including me, of course, but there's always a first time. Maybe? 

 Final Predictions All Categories
INDEX | PICTURE   | DIRECTOR |
ACTRESS | ACTOR | SUPP ACTRESS |
SUPP ACTOR | SCREENPLAY  |
FOREIGN FILM | ANIMATION, DOCS, SHORTS |
VISUALS | SOUND

Sunday
Jan062019

The 2018 Animation Contenders: On Happiness Road

Each weekend, Tim has been taking a look at one of the films submitted for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

Taiwan's animation industry does not have a particularly strong reputation, to put it gently. For many years, the country's animation studios have largely served as inexpensive places to farm out work from other, more well-heeled companies, or to produce short films and clips that are largely ephemeral and quickly forgotten. So perhaps the first impressive thing about On Happiness Road is that it exists at all: a Taiwanese-produced feature-length animated film, about Taiwanese history and the cultural position of Taiwan in the wide world. That it is largely good is even more impressive.

The film is the brainchild of writer-director Sung Hsin-Yin, making her first feature after a handful of short films. It tells the life story of Chi (voiced by Kwei Lun-Mi) a thirtysomething expatriate who returns from America to Taipei, where we immediately intuit she'd rather not be... 

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Saturday
Dec292018

The 2018 Animation Contenders: Two films by Masaaki Yuasa

Each Saturday, Tim has been taking a look at one of the films submitted for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Today, two of them by the same artist.

Masaaki Yuasa is, to my mind, the most interesting director working in animation today. Ever since his first feature, 2004's Mind Game, he has subjected himself to a nearly constant process of self-reinvention, with every one of his major projects shifting to a new style, genre, or most likely both. He's mostly worked in television, but he had a very phenomenal 2017 with two extremely well-received features. Both of those were released in the United States in 2018 by distributor GKIDS, and both are among the most stunning, even radical pieces of animation available on any screen of any size in the past twelve months.

The first one produced, though the second one released by GKIDS, The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl is also the more openly startling in pretty much every way. Stylistically and thematically, the film is a successor to Yuasa's 2010 television series The Tatami Galaxy, but this is no mere retread. It's a story of two nameless college students in Kyoto: an anxious boy who has a crush on a girl just starting to find her footing in the adult world. The film tells their stories using highly expressionistic animation, in which everything about the whole world bends itself around their subjective experiences of one incredible night that seems to stretch on for months...

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Saturday
Dec222018

The 2018 Animation Contenders: MFKZ

Every Saturday this month, Tim will be taking a look at one of the films submitted for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

For lack of a better place to start, it must surely be the case that MFKZ is the most globally-minded animated film released in the United States in 2018. The screenplay was adapted by French writer Guillaume "Run" Renaud, from his own 2015 comic book. The animation was done by Japanese company Studio 4°C, under the co-direction of Renaud and Shojiro Nishimi. The setting is saturated in a pop culture vision of Los Angeles that feels influenced more by the Grand Theft Auto video game series, the Fast & Furious movie series, and rap videos than the actual life of the city's black and Latino communities, and the story is a criticism of systemic racism in the U.S. and the worldwide corporate greed that has led to the impending climate crisis. Plus it's a crypto-remake of John Carpenter's They Live.

All of which is to say that the movie sure is… something. Something that is, frankly, quite a bit messy and confusing, possibly racist, and also exciting and startling in its originality.

Click to read more ...