Rango a worthy winner

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.


I would like to thank the Academy…

So, the Oscar nominations are in and already the press is filled with a slew of ‘Tin Tin snubbed’ comments. I, however, would like to thank The Academy for not bowing to popular pressure and public expectation.

The basic fact is, last year The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences pinned their colors firmly to the pole when it comes to animation. If you read my last post, on this subject, you will already understand. For those of you who missed it, take a quick pause and head over there just now.

In that last post I cited the official Oscars® ruling on animated films which, to cut a long story short, rules out motion (or performance) capture from qualifying as animation. The Adventures of Tin Tin is almost entirely performance capture and so, quite rightly, cannot qualify for the Best Animated Film category.

This year’s nominations are; . A fairly large group this year compared to the 3 from last year, which included our very own (as in, the film both my wife and I worked on) The Illusionist.

I am slightly ashamed to confess that I have not seen a single one of these. However, I am to rectify that over the next couple of weeks and I will return to give you my thoughts on how these measure up and which I think should get the little golden fella for their mantlepiece.