Monday, December 19, 2011

Why No Animated Feature Award?

Howard Fine of the New York Film Critics Circle writes about why the group declined to give an award this year for the best animated feature.

"To me, the key word in that award title is "feature." It's not an award strictly for animation -- it's for the whole movie, which happens to be animated. And I'm hard-pressed to think of an animated film this year that could make that claim, among the 18 recently announced as the animated titles that qualified for this year's Oscar.

"Because it's not about the animation -- it's about what's being animated. If the script is dumb or flat or just plain not funny (and, like it or not, the vast majority of animated films are comedies aimed at children), I don't care how spectacular it is visually -- it's not cutting it."


Anonymous said...


But in regards to the Oscars, the vast majority of voters are actors, and they're NOT interested in voting for a film that [they believe] threatens their existence.

Michael Sporn said...

You'll be pleased to hear that the Smurfs film was eliminated from the race today. I guess there wasn't enough animation in it. Only 17 qualify. Perhaps if they disqualify MoCap (or as Steven Spielberg calls it - Performance Capture) then we'll be down to 12 films. But I doubt they'd do that to Spielberg.

Anonymous said...

That guy sounds like a barrel of laughs.

Charles Kenny said...

This guy is surely a candidate for quote of the year, eh?

He does highlight a growing problem though. Plenty of studios (Pixar included) believe that visuals will carry a film. That's rapidly becoming not the case.

As animation proliferates the movie landscape, there's going to be much more emphasis placed on the other aspects that make a film a film.

Rodney Baker said...

" it or not, the vast majority of animated films are comedies aimed at children..."

...and if some of us like that?

Somewhere, somehow, someone has forgotten the definition of family entertainment or perhaps never knew it in the first place.

I really don't need another reason to discount these awards but this qualifies.

Rodney Baker said...

The thought does occur to me that I may be missing some important aspect to this. For instance, if the 'Animated Feature' award is seen as something intended for hand drawn animation the decision would make a little more sense. Not a lot... but a little.

I'd love to see pressure put on production houses to return to hand drawn animated features to rise to the achievement outlined in this award. Perhaps they could even rename the title or subtitle it to specifically target hand drawn work.