Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Weak Year for Animation?

The following 18 films have been submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the category of Best Animated Feature. With 18 submissions, there can be five nominees.

The Adventures of Tintin
Alois Nebel

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Arthur Christmas
Cars 2
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Gnomeo & Juliet
Happy Feet Two
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
Kung Fu Panda 2
Mars Needs Moms
Puss in Boots
The Smurfs
Winnie the Pooh

I have to admit to not having seen many of these films and some of them have not yet been released. Many of them are sequels or spin-offs. At least three contain motion capture (Tintin, Happy Feet 2 and Mars Needs Moms). And none have a strong buzz, at least so far as I've heard.

While it is great that this many animated features are being made, both from an employment and audience standpoint, it's disheartening that this year's Oscar winner will likely be something that won't stand the test of time.

My guess for the five nominations are: Cars 2, Tintin, Rango, Rio and Winnie the Pooh. The latter will be there only to maintain some visibility for hand drawn animation. The eventual winner will depend a lot on the critical and box office reception of Tintin. Should that film be a hit, I expect it to win, regardless of the fact that I think it's completely wrong-headed. If it doesn't have a strong showing, I would guess the winner will be either Cars 2 or Rango.

The nominations will be announced on January 24.

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