|Directors Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman accept their Oscar. ©A.M.P.A.S.|
Yesterday was the night of the 85th annual Academy Awards. Hosted by an animator, it was a big night for animation - yet also a rather bittersweet one given the current turmoil in the animation and VFX industry, highlighted by a protest in Hollywood just prior to the ceremony.
As predicted, Disney's heavily acclaimed (and A113Animation Award winning) Wreck-It Ralph just missed out on the Best Animated Feature statue, which went instead to Pixar's Brave. The tide turned in favour of Pixar's latest in the last month or so, having won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA, and the studio managed to secure their seventh win in the category.
|I think someone's rather happy. ©A.M.P.A.S.|
Personally, I felt Ralph was the better film - it was damn near perfect - but only just. Anyone who frequents this blog knows I adored Brave; it was a very well crafted, beautiful, funny and powerful film and Pixar are, as always, very deserving of the award. Original director Brenda Chapman was again present to accept the award alongside fellow director Mark Andrews (complete with kilt), and the two posed for some rather enthusiastic pictures together.
Check out a post-award Q&A with the directors (via Pixar Post) above. What's great about all of this is it seems that Brenda Chapman has found comfort and solace in her removal from the director's chair of Brave, and everything seems rather amicable now - complete with friendly banter. MAndrews stayed mum when asked about what his next project will be though. After eight long years, it's great to see this brilliant film get such recognition; congratulations to Mark, Brenda, Katherine Sarafian and the entire Brave crew on the well earned Oscar.
|Paperman director John Kahrs accepts his Oscar. ©A.M.P.A.S.|
Disney continued their big night with a win in the Animated Short Film category (the studio's first win in the category since 1969), with the innovative and heart-warming John Kahrs-directed short, Paperman, taking home the Oscar. The black-and-white delight beat out tough competition from Adam and Dog and The Simpsons short The Longest Daycare to take the prize. Ironically though, the film's producer, Kristina Reed, was chucked out of the ceremony for celebratory launching of paper aeroplanes - apparently A.M.P.A.S don't have a whimsical side. Reed was allowed back in ten minutes later.
Rhythm & Hues notched up another bittersweet victory too, taking home the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for their breathtaking work on Life of Pi. Bill Westenhofer gave an impassioned speech, thanking the crew, but as he turned towards confronting the dire straits that R&H and the wider VFX community are in at the moment, the producers classlessly cut them off with the Jaws theme tune. Check out a full transcription of the planned speech over at Cartoon Brew. Our thoughts go out to our friends over at Rhythm & Hues and our congratulations on this accolade - check out our interview with one of the winners, Erik-Jan de Boer, here.
People laughing at the play off music don't realize that the folks who made Life if Pi don't have jobs anymore.
— Catherine (@cathicks) February 25, 2013
The irony is that Life of Pi had a very good night at the Oscars, also winning Best Cinematography (for Claudio Miranda, who is now shooting Brad Bird's Tomorrowland), Best Score and Best Director (Ang Lee).
In the wider realm, last night brought a diverse spread with no big winner: Les Misérables took home three awards, Django Unchained took two, Lincoln won two awards (in a move that saw Daniel Day-Lewis become arguably the greatest actor of all time, becoming the first man to ever win three Best Actor Oscars; it also won for Production Design), while Silver Linings Playbook's Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress. The big news being though that, as predicted, Ben Affleck's Argo took home Best Picture. Congrats to all the winners! Full results here.
Images via Big Screen Animation.