People are sure to complain about things (no Sam Mendes for Best Director? No Javier Bardem for Supporting Actor? No Dark Knight Rises at all?!), but there are certainly things to be happy about with today's Academy Award nominations: particularly so in animation!
The big news? The really bloody exciting news? After yesterday's very unexpected BAFTA snub, Aardman's fantastic film, The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists scooped a Best Animated Feature nomination! Massive congratulations to Pete Lord, Gideon Defoe, Jeff Newitt and everyone at Aardman for the nomination! BAFTAs-Shmaftas.
In fact, though the Box Office returns weren't kind to them, this has been a very good year, critically, for stop-motion films: Laika's ParaNorman and Disney/Tim Burton's Frankenweenie also bagged nominations. Joining them were two equally deserving CG films, Pixar's Brave and Disney's Wreck-It Ralph; it's great to see that the Academy clearly recognise how good Brave is, and aren't falling for the "fall of Pixar" hokum, after Cars 2 failed to grab a nomination last year. Ralph, though still not open in the UK yet (opens 8th Feb.), seems to be a heavy favourite and it sure would be nice to see it be the first ever Disney Animated film to win the award! Though, I still maintain my prediction that ParaNorman will take the award - though, to be honest, any of these films would be extremely deserving.
On the downside, commiserations to DreamWorks for missing out on a nomination for Rise of the Guardians (and Madagascar 3). Guardians was a brilliant film, but 2012 was a very good year for animation, and there's no shame in missing out against these great films. Congrats to all those nominated, and best of luck on 24th February!
In terms of short animation, the films nominated were:
- Adam and Dog (Minkyu Lee)
- Fresh Guacamole (PES)
- Head Over Heels (Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly)
- Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare" (David Silverman)
- Paperman (John Kahrs)
This award's always a bit hard to call. Paperman is the heavy fan favourite to win it, but Adam and Dog's been getting a lot of praise; The Longest Daycare's great too! It's going to be close - again, congrats to all nominated!
Congrats to all the other nominees too (full list here), I'm particularly happy to see the amount of love for Life of Pi (a whopping 11 nominations - including Visual Effects, which it surely has to win; incidentally, we have an interview with Life of Pi animation director Erik de Boer coming up in a few days) and that Skyfall got five (though it should have been more). Shame "Touch the Sky" from Brave didn't get nominated for Best Original Song, but at this point Adele seems locked to win anyway.