Animated Feature Oscar 2015: The Nominees

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.
Let’s be real, folks, we know who’s going to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature this year. Just like Frozen scraped all the awards last year, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is on its way to do the exact same thing, as it already won The Golden Globes and pretty much half of the Annie Awards. The only difference is that this time, I am not exactly part of the hype. You may remember that as much as I loved Frozen, I had some objections to raise last year regarding the Animated Feature Oscar. I won’t make too much of a fuss about it though: the Academy is what it is and since the ceremony will take place at the end of this week, there’s really no use in arguing about it. Still, the more I think about Dragons 2, the less I like it. I really wish it wasn’t so: the first How to train your Dragon is probably Dreamworks’ best film, period, and I am utterly frustrated not to be able to feel the same admiration for the second one. This is not the first time this has happened, though. As I mentioned in a piece last July, I tend to get slightly annoyed when original, one-of-a-kind movies get sequels that make them take a 360° spin on their message and head right back into conventional territory in the process. In the end, How to train your Dragon 2 is not really a bad movie, but it did commit a crime: it wasn’t anything more.

What about the others though? With the Lego Movie out of the picture, how does the competition look this year?

Let’s have a look.

Big Hero 6

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I am as surprised as you are that Big Hero 6 is not my personal champion of the year. After all, it technically has everything to get me going: super heroes, a touching message, and even pretty people to swoon all over. (I know they’re probably under 20, but it’s okay: they’re cartoon characters.) When all was said and done though, Big Hero 6 came off as too polished and safe. I know that sounds hypocritical coming from a Frozen groupie, but I usually expect more from a Marvel than from a classic Disney fairy tale. Big Hero 6 has engaging characters and could have been a really great movie, but it suffers from a very rushed pace and a simplistic plot. In the end, it touched upon a lot of things, but never dared to go deeper. It is yet another victim of the lack of credit the industry gives kids, and that’s really a shame. Oh, well.

Song of the Sea

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I haven’t seen it. I’ve been trying to see this movie for a while, but I missed it while it was on the big screen and haven’t been able to find it anywhere yet. Now I kind of want to die, because Tom Moore is a talented filmmaker and this should both have a chance to win and an occasion to transform me into a trembling heap of feelings.

The Boxtrolls

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Dear Academy, you really don’t have to nominate everything Laika does. I have nothing against them, butThe Boxtrolls is not Oscar-worthy. The movie has a lot of creativity, that’s for sure, but Seven Hells, am I the only one who thought that the story didn’t make much sense? Or that the whole movie was kind of mean-spirited? Granted, I’m not saying that was the filmmaker’s intention, but watching The Boxtrolls felt strangely unpleasant. I don’t get why the bad guy is a tranvestite, nor how that ties in his badness. Or maybe it was supposed to make him sympathetic? I don’t know. I don’t get why that annoying little girl was constantly around ruining everything, nor do I understand why said girl’s father suddenly realized he was a douchebag after spending the whole movie being only distracted by cheese. If the Academy wanted creativity and didn’t want The Lego Movie around, they could have gone with The Book of Life.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is this year’s Studio Ghibli’s Oscar champion and, once again, a much more mature movie among a bunch of kids’ films. It’s very stylish (there’s notably that one scene around the middle of the movie that’s almost too gorgeous for its own good) and it also has a lot of heart. I love myself some bittersweetness, and this particular little jewel has all of it. It spoke to me as a woman and still took some time to make my eyes sparkle in wonder. I know it’s not going to win, but I still support it with all my heart.

– Anais L

Some say she’s French. Some say she’s a voodoo witch. What is certain is that Anais left her awkward print on all things artsy at one point or another in her life, performing as a singer and a pianist, exhibiting photographs and paintings, and leaving an embarrassing amount of visual proofs of those events on the internet. Anais’ dream is to be an animation writer. She thinks everything should be animated and she is more than half convinced that she is herself a cartoon character. She hopes that one day, Pendleton Ward or Jennifer Lee will read her screenplays and say they’re neat.

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