Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

For the films of 2015
Heksagon
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby Heksagon » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:41 am

There have been surprisingly few nominees in this category that have been based on TV shows. Even The Simpsons Movie didn't get nominated. I think the only other TV adaptation in this category has been Jimmy Neutron, one of the first and worst films ever nominated here.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:02 am

OscarGuy wrote:Shaun the Sheep started out as a TV show, hence why it's called "Shaun the Sheep Movie"


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Re: Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby OscarGuy » Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:03 am

Shaun the Sheep started out as a TV show, hence why it's called "Shaun the Sheep Movie"
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Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:39 am

This post isn't so much an analysis of the race -- it's virtually a fait accompli -- but a chance to discuss the nominees in one of the few categories this year that had me thinking voters really thought for themselves. I wouldn't have recommended all these nominees to Damien, but for those who aren't animated-phobic, I think every one is at least worth checking out.

When Marnie Was There would probably be my least favorite of the entries. It has the tenderness and poignancy one has come to expect from Studio Ghibli's efforts, with subject matter -- a lonely young girl struggling to find her place in the world -- that's right in that studio's sweet spot. But narratively, I didn't find it one of their strongest works. There's a portion in the middle where the plot sort of sits there, where I started to wish I were getting more information about the central mystery than the film was giving me. Then, there's a moment where the script just unloads a pile-up of exposition...and yet, the protagonist doesn't reach the conclusion the audience does. So by the time she learns the reveal later on, we're already way ahead of the story. Again, it's a good-natured film, but a bit thin in the story department for my taste.

I enjoyed Boy & the World mainly as a visual experience. There's not really much plot, but it's the kind of film that could only have been told using animation, because the way the hand-drawn images burst with color and and invention, and morph from one into another along the protagonist's journey makes for total visual eye candy. I didn't think the content of the movie was particularly deep -- it's basically a simple expose on the effects of industrialism on the common man -- but it's very clever visually and has a pleasing sad streak to it.

Shaun the Sheep Movie (as opposed to, what, Shaun the Sheep Musical?) is basically a gag factory, but it's pretty entertaining on those terms. The folks at Aardman have long been masters of the kind of visual humor popularized by silent film comedians, and while I didn't think Shaun quite achieved the heights of the best of Wallace and Gromit, it's a zippy piece of fun. More a confection than a meal though.

I reviewed the remaining two nominees in their respective threads, but to recap, I think Anomalisa has a lot of strong elements, from the drollness of its humor to the imagination of its visual style. It's the clear adult entry of the bunch, but I would say only the second best -- for all the imagination on display, I didn't think the film's elements had really cohered into anything concrete by its conclusion.

Inside Out seems like the biggest Oscar lock this side of Leonardo DiCaprio, but I think it's a pretty deserving choice nonetheless. It's full of joy and sadness (literally), a really inventive concept taken in thematically rich directions, and eye-catching animation. Sometimes the obvious choice is also the best.


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