Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Jefforey Smith
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby Jefforey Smith » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:50 pm

I don't really post often (I'm more a reader here) yet in all my years it's seldom a foregone conclusion seems cast in stone. 8)

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby Franz Ferdinand » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:23 am

dws1982 wrote:For anyone still looking for a way to fit The Breadwinner in before Oscar night, it unexpectedly dropped on Netflix.


Thanks for the heads up!

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:32 am

dws1982 wrote:Tee, I know that as of a couple of years ago you didn't do streaming, but you were the first person I thought of when I saw it.

As it happens, I got access to Netflix steaming literally today, so thanks for pointing this out to me. I'd already figured to watch Icarus and Strong Island in between my party prep, and now I'll squeeze this one in, too.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby Okri » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:46 pm

Pretty much. I liked The Breadwinner a good deal more than Coco, but Coco will be a solid winner (I do think the former should've been nominated ahead of most of the adapted screenplay category).

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby dws1982 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:45 pm

For anyone still looking for a way to fit The Breadwinner in before Oscar night, it unexpectedly dropped on Netflix. For an Oscar-nominated movie--which they know some of their subscribers will be wanting to watch--it definitely didn't seem to be widely advertised, and it wasn't listed in one of the money categories like "New Releases" or "Trending Now". Instead it was way down in something obscure like, "Dark Movies Based on Books". (Not Oscar-related, but I also noticed that Wind River is up on Netflix, which kind of made me mad that I wasted money renting it on Amazon, and ended up disliking it.)

Tee, I know that as of a couple of years ago you didn't do streaming, but you were the first person I thought of when I saw it.
Last edited by dws1982 on Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby Franz Ferdinand » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:13 pm

Mister Tee wrote:I wrote about Coco in its own thread, and I remain enthusiastic about its pending win. Expectations probably played some role here, too: I guess Coco, objectively, might not be as good as Inside Out was -- but the latter was so over-sold to me that I found it a tad disappointing, whereas Coco had been presented to me as something middling, and I found it way better than that.

In any case, I don't think anyone doubts it's winning, which I assume is so why so few people have weighed in here.


This sums is up pretty well. Pixar seems to be in an accepted slump (or rut, or rough patch, whatever term is appropriate) since their decision to turn to sequels, and so Coco, while garnering solid reviews, never really screamed "classic" or "return to form", and that kind of ho-hum advance word tamped expectations, allow it to over-perform (in my mind, at least). It's not much fun to see a studio dominate its field for so long, but there could be worse winners than Coco.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:49 am

Since The Breadwinner isn't coming available in DVD till the utterly useless date of March 6th, and since I feel no need to sample Ferdinand till Disney deigns to to send it to my home, I know as much as I'm going to know pre-telecast about this category.

I think I may have liked The Boss Baby more than BJ...or it could simply be that, my expectations being so low, my level of pleasant-surprise exceeded his. From the one trailer I'd seen, I expected 90 minutes of Alec Baldwin in baby avatar being foul-mouthed, smoking cigars, etc. So I was surprised from the start that the film had cohesion, a halfway inventive premise, and a plot that went places I wasn't expecting. It had the feeling of something based on a book (which it was), not churned out in a studio animation factory -- more Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs than The Croods. This sense of novelty didn't endure for the entire length of the film -- things eventually turned in a pretty standard direction. But, still...if we're going to have studio films competing for this award -- and, barring limiting the field to Pixar and Ghibli, I don't see any way around that -- I'd much rather have this film than many of the titles that have been listed in the near two decades of the award. (Oh, and, this may be just a personal thing, but I got an enormous kick out of the characters being trapped inside Mousetrap, a game I got for Christmas when I was 11 years old.)

As I was watching Loving Vincent, I found myself thinking, this is a bit like a police procedural -- someone goes nosing into a suspicious death, only it's 150 years ago and the guy's famous. I'd only recently re-watched Lust for Life, so I found it engaging enough to follow (mentally comparing how the two films treated some of the same material), but at some point I did decide, as BJ intimates he did, that my interest might have waned were this being played out by actors in real settings; it was only the animation that truly kept me aboard. Actually, let me amend that to half the animation -- all the usage of van Gogh paintings was pretty spectacular, but I truly don't get/appreciate looking at animated characters who are clearly just sketch versions of the actors playing them. I know this has been a tradition going back to early Disney (at least there, the actors were unfamiliar, not Saoirse frickin' Ronan), but I've always felt the technique is a betrayal of the true art of animation. Anyway, the film is overall okay, not nearly enough to win.

I wrote about Coco in its own thread, and I remain enthusiastic about its pending win. Expectations probably played some role here, too: I guess Coco, objectively, might not be as good as Inside Out was -- but the latter was so over-sold to me that I found it a tad disappointing, whereas Coco had been presented to me as something middling, and I found it way better than that.

In any case, I don't think anyone doubts it's winning, which I assume is so why so few people have weighed in here.

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Categories One-by-One: Animated Feature

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:03 pm

I'm going to tackle a softball first -- is this category the biggest gimme of the night? -- not so much to discuss the race, but to just put some thoughts down on the films in contention.

I guess what I'd say about The Boss Baby is that it wasn't as painful as I'd expected. The central emotional arc is, of course, thoroughly predictable -- anyone want to take a guess at how the older brother who despises his new sibling at the beginning of the movie will feel about him at the end? But the premise is endearingly wacky, the visual style keeps dropping inventive surprises, and it has some clever laughs. I'm sure some more artful animated pics deserved this spot more, but if they were going to fill out the lineup with studio hits, this at least feels fresher than some of the available sequels.

I was familiar with the Ferdinand story from the Disney cartoon, and this newer film manages to hit pretty much all of the original's story beats, while stretching out the narrative to feature length. I can't say I thought the film padded out the plot in a manner that was wildly inspired -- the extended escape/chase sequence that comprises most of the third act is now just a staple of all CGI animated films -- but it's another nominee that isn't a grisly thing to sit through.

Loving Vincent is a movie that's genuinely beautiful on a visual level -- as one can tell from any still image, it looks like a Van Gogh painting come to life. But I thought the content wasn't nearly as strong. The plot is essentially a Citizen Kane-like investigation into the conspiracy about whether or not the famed artist was murdered, but the "clues" and hypothetical theories are just so flimsy, it's pretty tough to hang an engaging mystery on them. Ultimately, much of the interest of the film simply comes from one's ability to play "spot the Van Gogh painting."

The Breadwinner is one of two nominees here I would genuinely recommend, and it's quite a powerful piece of work, depicting the story of a young girl who disguises herself as a boy to take care of her family in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. For something that's ostensibly a family film, it feels like a pretty honest portrait of the hardships women endure in that country, and though I think it has a few slow spots (the fantasy sequences occupy too much real estate for something so disconnected from the main thread), it's on the whole a gripping film.

But it's no match for the home-grown Coco, the most inventive and emotionally heartfelt film on the ballot. I've discussed it in greater detail in its own thread, but needless to say, I'll be happy to root for what I assume will be an easy victory for it in this category.


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