I love that Rango won the best animation oscar. Finally a worthy winner! (no, I’m not bitter from this time last year). We managed to catch Chico and Rita and Kung Fu Panda 2 as well as Rango in the last 3 days. Chico and Rita is worth seeing for the music alone; beautiful, soulful and so evocative of a period. Personally, it isn’t my favourite technique for animation, I prefer the more classic kind found in The Cat in Paris, another nominee. Or indeed, the great, passed-over-for-Toy-Story3!- The Illusionist . (I believe in this movie, our artists created something really beautiful, that I haven’t seen done so well in a long time, The Secret of the Kells, being another lovely example).
But Chico and Rita was not my favourite, neither was Kung Fu Panda, not because the animation wasn’t amazing, but in the latter case, the story just wasn’t original, too many set pieces – we’ve seen it before. The Cat in Paris is hard to find in the US, so I’ve not seen it, neither Puss in Boots, which appeals, but again, I think we’ve seen it before.
I think animation Oscar winners should push the boundaries a bit, be exceptional in their technical ability, which all nominees were, but have that little bit extra, that bit that makes a movie resonate. Although Rango was predictable in one sense – a hero goes on a journey and eventually makes good – its dialogue, voice actors and storyline all brought that something extra special for me. And certainly, it kept my, Justin’s and Wee Man’s attention for 107 mins, which is a rare thing in our household and a huge feat for an animation production.
But all in all, it’s great to see that there is a good variety of great animation being made, with 5 great movies being nominated, 2 of which weren’t from Hollywood, another great sign. Looking forward to what the next year brings.