It must be award season already. How do I know? For one, the latest issue of Animation Magazine that came through the letterbox when I was away is the annual ‘award’ issue, which means it jammed full of ads asking me for my ‘consideration’. Which would be great, if only my consideration counted for something, which right now, it does not much of anything.
So let’s take a quick peek at what animated films are
grovelling for requesting consideration for the various accolades that will be handed out in the coming months.
Toy Story 3
Beginning with the one on the cover, we see Woody sitting on a toilet bowl with the words
Not since On the Waterfront…
Now I’m no cinematic genius, but I know that said film is well known as one of the best ever made, it was also our film study in Levaing Cert Higher Level English, so I am familiar with the intricacies of the plot and the characters. And still, how Toy Story 3 compares to it and the Academy Awards is quite beyond me. It’s well known at this point that it is gunning for the Best Picture Award, so perhaps that is what they are attempting to compare themselves to.
The only problem is that if you are comparing yourself to a true classic like On The Waterfront, you’d better be darned sure that your film is up to par, which sadly, Toy Story 3 is not. As good of a film as it is, it can’t even hold a candle to the original in terms of character and story quality and I’m afraid to say that at this point, Pixar is starting to trade on a lot of the public (and Academy member’s) goodwill.
How To Train Your Dragon
There’s a special insert for How to Train Your Dragon that is really just a mini-issue with the articles on the film that have been published in previous issues. It’s a clever ploy as it gives the reader much more detail about the film and its background than does a simple ad, which is found on the back page.
My fondness for this film is well documented, so let’s just say that I am eager to see this one succeed. There is no listing for which honours it is chasing, but as mentioned here previously, the Best Feature Award is within DreamWorks’ sights. Personally, I think Dragon stands a much better and more deserved chance of winning than Toy Story, but that’s just my personal preferences.
Next up is Despicable Me, which wisely sticks to the animated feature, song and score categories. Despite it being a still from the film (which I thought would have been a lot sharper), it depicts Gru and the three girls coming in the door from the fair, their faces covered in silly paint (Gru is a rabbit).
This film, I think, stands a good chance of one-upping the establishment. it’s proven to be popular with audiences, and although I have not seen it myself (I know, I know, the shame, the shame), I am pretty sure that it has the solid storyline and characters to back it up. This is certainly one to watch over the season.
The original film was the nexus point for CGI theatrical films and this one is perhaps the ultimate blurring point between animation and special effects, although I believe it falls much more into the latter as a result of using live actors (Jeff Bridges aside). Comments will have to wait until another day, although it again, wisely chases the technical categories.
And that’s it for part one. Come back tomorrow for the conclusion to this thrilling, two-part post!