Oscar Ramblings 2012: Best Animated Feature

The Biggest Awards for Cinematic Arts is showing on February 26 est/pst and I thought I'd shout out my ideas about it on to the internet. 

Best Animated Feature is always an interesting mix for the Oscars. It usually puts together the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed pieces with the more obscure -mostly not American, not Pixar- productions. It has  among the past winners is Hayao Miyazaki for Spirited Away.

This years nominees are:

Upon hearing the details of the production I was interested to at least give this movie the benifit of the doubt. Johnny Depp teaming up with another director that was not his usual collaborator to work on an animated movie. I enjoyed this film upon viewing. It is nowhere near what most people are used to expect from animated feature. Visually, it stands apart from all the animated films. The choice for the lead himself is designed to go against the grain of the cuddly colourful cartoon character. It took the realism and highlighted the grim and soot.  And it has an amazing action sequence choreographed that left me glue to the action and would have had me applauding in the cinema if  I did not think that was weird.  It is darker in look, tone, humour, I am happy that this got a nomination.

Puss in Boots

Now this movie I like though it did slow down a lot in between the movie. It took the everything the lead character had in the Shrek movie and surrounded him with other characters to interact with. While the idea I agree with the execution, not so much. I would have love to see more of Puss doing more in the movie because most of the side characters did not interest me at all. I am quite surprised that this got a nomination. 

Kung Fu Panda 2

People loved the first but seamed mixed on this instalment. I had the opposite reaction. I loved the visuals of this movie. I thought I could have done without the 3D honestly because some of it was lost on me. I probably didn't notice it or it wasn't that good to begin with. The artwork immediately hooked me. The character design and the colours the were used to ton full effect, to give mood to this movie is amazing. The design of the main villain Shen is beautiful and brought to life with the animation and Gary Oldman's voice work. The patterns of his colours and the way he moves shows great care in execution especially in the fight scenes. I just wish there was more of it.  

Chico and Rita

It is amazing what music does to a person, it had me loving this movie from beginning to end. The music actually is only a back drop to the story of the two title characters, a story we have heard many times before. The story its self is very grown-up for what most are used to in animation. It is sexual, violent and real. The animation moves to the music with organic camera movements and a very realistic movement for animation. I hope more poeple would see movies like this to show them animation is a medium not a genre only for children. 

A Cat in Paris

The last and by no means the least. Far from it, this is my pick to win the Award. The art is again something that most would not be easy to warm to. It has a hard edge, which most would compare to expressionist art. It's a film inhabited by humans but starring a Cat. The characters though drawn two dimensional are well rounded, except maybe for the antagonist who seems to have only one setting. The story never goes where you would expect, and then throw in a sequence in the dark. The movie is equal parts fun, suspenseful, funny and heart warming. I do hope this is a win, if not I have already been treated to a fun movie and will certainly  be watching this again.

All the other catigories in this years Oscars cab be seen here.

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