Sunday, February 26, 2012
Thoughts and Musings about this year's Oscar race
Well, this years Oscar race is over. If you're reading this blog, then you probably already knew that it went to The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. It wasn't my favorite from this year (that would have been Wild Life), but it was a fine film and was well deserved for the win. Then again, all of the films are great, even the ones that I didn't like. I hope that someday you'll get a chance to watch them.
Anyways, here's a few things that I thought of while watching the Oscars.
-I was surprised to see that the Best Animated Short Oscar had been pushed to near the end of the ceremony. Normally they'd present the short categories near the beginning or the middle. I remember last year it was only the fourth award to be presented, but that's not the case this year.. In fact there were only four categories after it: Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Picture. (Never mind that it took them an hour to present those four awards.) However, I don't mind this. Normally more important categories show up later, so the Best Animated Short category may be starting to gain prominence.
-The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore was the first animated short made in the United States to win the Oscar since The Moon and the Son back in 2005. This ended a five-year streak where foreign films won. The other films were from Canada (The Danish Poet), England/Poland (Peter & the Wolf), Japan (La Maison en Petits Cubes), France (Logorama), and Australia (The Lost Thing).
-However, the streak that just ended was not the longest streak of foreign animated shorts winning. The longest was an eight year streak between 1975-82. The films that won were Great (England), Leisure (Australia), The Sand Castle (Canada), Special Delivery (Canada), Every Child (Canada), A Legy (Hungary), Crac (Canada), and Tango (Poland). Interestingly enough, the two American films that won in between were claymation films from claymation legends Will Vinton (Closed Mondays) and Jimmy Picker (Sundae in New York).
-Yes, you read that right. Canada won four times in five years in that eight year streak. Three of those were funded by the National Film Board of Canada, and one of them was funded by Societe Radio Canada. Since then, Canadian films enjoyed more success, winning in 1987 (The Man Who Planted Trees, Societe Radio-Canada), 2004 (Ryan, NFB), and 2006 (The Danish Poet, NFB). Since then, however, they have been 0 for 3 with two of the losses coming tonight.
-At least it's not as bad as what Pixar is going through. Ten years ago they won for For the Birds. It was their third win in four nominations. (The other wins were Tin Toy in 1988 and Geri's Game in 1997. Their only loss was in 1986 for Luxo Jr.) Since then, they have lost seven consecutive nominations in this category, losing with Mike's New Car (2002), Boundin' (2003), One Man Band (2005), Lifted (2006), Presto (2008), Day & Night (2010), and La Luna (2011). Oh well, at least they have their six wins in Best Animated Feature to cheer them up.
-A Morning Stroll is not just the first animated short film with zombies to be nominated for an Academy Award, it's the first film with zombies overall to be nominated for an Academy Award. That's right. No zombie movie have even been nominated for Best Makeup.
Anyways, that's all I've got for now. So what's going to happen next? Well, this blog is for my reviews, and they'll start going up next week. I'll hopefully get them up every Wednesday and Saturday. I figure at two a week, I can get them all up by the 81st Best Animated Short ceremony. And after that, I dunno.