ONTD Original: Talking About (4) of the Oscar Nominees for Best Animated Feature
The 90th Oscars are in one week! And while it will never be as legendary as the 89th (actually this one is shaping up to be pretty boring), there are some shakeups among us in the nominees.
For your remembering pleasure, here are the five pictures nominated for Best Animated Feature, courtesy of this post;
The Boss Baby
Everyone's first reactions were basically - "Really? The Boss Baby?", and mine was too. At the time of the announcement, I had only seen Cocothree times, so I felt the need to watch as many of the others as I could to give a fair shake before Oscar night.
Or, a reasonably fair shake. Ferdinand was the only one that was removed from theaters before I had a chance to see it, and it hasn't been available for rent as of this writing.
But four out of five isn't bad, is it? To make up for that, I'll have an animated movie I did see that didn't get nominated - that I feel deserved to. Any guesses as to what it is?
So let's talk about the artistic impressions - and chances - each of these movies have to take home the gold.
Spoilers will be kept to a minimum.
From Cartoon Saloon, the people who brought us The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, Parvana is an eleven-year-old girl, who takes it upon herself to masquerade as a boy to provide for her family when her father is wrongfully imprisoned. With her perseverance that pushes her to be just a little bit braver than the day before, you quickly begin to like her.
CS films have always faltered in their third act to me, and were never able to recover in the final stretch. The Breadwinner thankfully, mostly, averts that.
Can it (bread) win?:
Let's pretend that the Academy loves the capability of the medium to tell creative stories and not just the most commercial movie when it comes to this category search your heart, you know it to be true.
One thing all four of the nominated movies I'm talking about today are either wholly in a new art method or use art shifts prominently - I think this is the film that uses it most effectively - and consistently well done - to illustrate the vivid story Parvana tells throughout the movie.
The "mystery" surrounding the death of Van Gogh that I'm not sure anyone was really curious about.
The heart and soul was truly put into the technique of the visuals - the live action cast filmed against a green screen, then oil painters painted each frame to make the animation. It's definitely an incredible accomplishment, though sometimes aspects are so stylized, it's a bit difficult to tell what's happening.
Will the Academy love it?: The story is a little too unengaging, a passive, painted role playing game than something you're really itching to discover. This was nominated on style alone, and rightfully so.
The Boss Baby
We were all kind of shocked at this one, weren't we.
A little boy is jealous of the new baby in the house...that turns out to be a spy for a rival corporation than the one his parents work at.
The sole nomination of this film is what makes me believe someone is looking out for how well a cartoon just acts like a cartoon. The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent are two movies with fairly serious subject matter that just happen to be animated - animation is a medium, not a genre after all.
This movie doesn't take itself seriously. That's not to say the other movies shouldn't, but this knows that it's animated and wholly has fun with itself, being both funny, disturbing, and visually clever with it's style changes that harken back to the 50's and 60's.
Will it be the Boss?: No. Is there really a need to say more than that? No again.
Miguel wants the blessing of his ancestors to follow his dream to play music in a family that hates it.
Just seeing the trailers should be enough to see the effort that was put into this - animated thousands of marigold petals, millions of lights, and clothing over bones. Bones! As well as giving skeletons a variety of expressions?
So much of the lighting was wonderful, so many things have an internal glow, or has stark contrast that lights up the Land of the Dead, this is an astonishingly beautiful movie. It is rather conventionally styled - there's an art shift in the beginning but that's it - but the movie isn't the worse for it, Coco takes this limits of what we consider 'ordinary' CGI to a new and beautiful level.
This is a movie that could only really be done with animation to not look...very strange. And slightly disarming.
I can't make a pun here - Is it gonna win?: Yes. Not only because the Academy is in Disney's pocket, but because it genuinely deserves it. I put this one semi-last because we all know what is going to win.
Onto the one movie that was not nominated but really could have been:
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
"It should have been Lego Batman!" That was never gonna make it considering the OG Lego Movie didn't.
The red-headed step child of the distribution deal between 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks Animation (as well as the last feature to be released by 20CF before Dreamworks moved to Universal) focuses on two boys and their creation - a half naked man fighting crime.
With puppets, hand drawn CGI (if that makes any kind of sense), there's a lot of variety in style in this movie. Most importantly, it didn't make all the characters look hyper-real from their book counterparts, which were just crude, 2D drawings.
Can you imagine these characters looking as humanoid as the other CGI animated movies with people? Absolutely terrifying.
Enough about what I think, what do you think about the animated movies nominated this year? What did you want to see nominated?