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Academy Award Nominations

This morning The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominees for Best Animated Feature. The nominees are:

Brave (Pixar-Disney) Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

Frankenweenie (Disney) Director: Tim Burton

ParaNorman (Laika) Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell

The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Aardman-Sony) Directors: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt

Wreck-It Ralph (Disney) Director: Rich Moore

Nominated for Best Animated Short were:

Adam and Dog, Minkyu Lee, director (Lodge Films)

Fresh Guacamole, PES, director (PES)

Head over Heels, Timothy Reckart, director, and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, producer (National Film and Television School)

Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare, David Silverman, director (Gracie Films)

Paperman, John Kahrs, director (Disney Animation Studios)

Reactions from the nominees themselves are coming in:

From Sam Fell and Chris Butler, directors of ParaNorman

“We are overjoyed that our movie has been Oscar-nominated! We made it with the unending support of brilliant producers and an amazing crew at LAIKA, a unique and cutting-edge studio. On behalf of all of them, we are so proud that the enduring craft of stop-motion has been acknowledged by the Academy — and that the individuality of Norman himself is being celebrated.”

From Peter Lord co-director of The Pirates: Band of Misfits

“This is amazing! We tried to do something a little different with THE PIRATES, in terms of tone and comedy, and it’s just brilliant that the Academy has responded to it in such a wonderful way.”

From Wreck-It Ralph director, Rich Moore:

“To have the Wreck-It Ralph team’s passion and years of hard work acknowledged by the Academy is an honor like no other. We are so proud, so grateful – I can’t wait to congratulate everyone in-person.”

From David Silverman, director of Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare:

“This amazing recognition from the Academy is the craziest wake-up call I’ve ever received. I’m very grateful to Jim Brooks, Al Jean – and especially Matt Groening, for creating “The Simpsons.” They all gave me the opportunity to explore the world of pantomime with what are normally very verbal characters. I also have to give a shout-out to my parents – who I just spoke to – and thank them for allowing me to draw on the walls as a child. It kind of worked out!”

From Minkyu Lee, director of Adam and Dog:

“I am very thankful to be nominated! I couldn’t wait to share it with my wonderful crew. I kept reading the list over and over to make sure that it’s really there and I’m not imagining it!”

From Paperman director, John Kahrs:

“It’s beyond an honor to have Paperman nominated for an Oscar. I can’t thank everyone on the team enough for their passion and hard work in making this dream project a reality.”

Congratulations to all the nominees. The winners will be announced on Sunday, February 24th, 2013.

  • Mike Kenny

    For some reason, I felt like “ParaNorman” was going to get snubbed so I’m really surprised and happy to see it earned a nomination. A ton of love for stop-motion this year which is great but I think the winner is going to be between “Frankenweenie” and “Wreck-It Ralph”.

  • Hmm, a record number of stop motion nominees this year…

  • Mohegan

    Alright! Two of my favorite movies got nominated. Now I’m not sure if I should cheer for ParaNorman or Wreck-it Ralph.

    But I do hope ParaNorman wins, just because it’s so much work to make a stop-motion film!

    • SKent.

      Yeah, ParaNorman gets my vote… If I had a vote.

      I hope it wins because I want Laika to stick with what they’re doing and succeed. But mostly I hope it wins because it was the best film.

  • Mike Kenny

    A nice selection of animated shorts were nominate this year as well. I have to admit, Pez’s stuff really blows my mind but “Paperman” has become one of my favorite shorts from Disney in the last few years. It’s a tough call but I’m pulling for “Paperman”.

  • Pieter

    Pirates got a nomination? This is a good good good day. I really hope it wins.

    • Sam Schulz

      Call it Aardman’s revenge against Dreamworks.

      • Jim Lahue

        Not much of a revenge: Pirates had the lowest box office take of any of the Aardman feature films. Sony can’t be happy that Pirates did worse than Arthur Christmas. Dreamworks is probably relieved that it isn’t their problem anymore.

  • I feel weird this year cause I usually think Pixar has won too many times and other companies deserve the recognition…and precisely this year, when many people think Pixar is not going to win and they have made a ‘lesser’ year…I kinda find ‘Brave’ to be the stronger movie of the list.

    Don’t get me wrong, ParaNorman and Pirates! were awesome too, and they could probably be considered better or just as good. ParaNorman is the one with the best designs and visuals, but I think ‘Brave’ has the stronger story, all with charismatic characters, good mixture of comedy and drama and nice animation in characters like the bears or the Witch.

    I thought Wreck-It-Ralph had a good concept and fantastic visuals, and it’s a good kids movie. But to an adult like me it was kind of predictable/boring/forgettable story wise. And while I didn’t find Vanellope or any of the characters irritating I thought they were more cute than extremely charismatic.

    FrankenWeenie brought back some aspects of Burton we haven’t seen in a while, but they could have done more with the new secondary characters and I felt the logic of the movie a little strange.

    So this year I don’t have clear favourites. Normally I love one of them more than the rest and I usually hate one of the choices. But I guess this year is a pretty good selection overall and all of them are in the “B” area, with Brave, ParaNorman and Pirates! leaning towards a B+.

  • Tom

    Rooting for Wreck-It Ralph, but I suppose I’d also be happy with Paranorman, despite its flaws.

    I absolutely loved ‘Fresh Guacamole’. Definitely glad to see that nominated!

  • Call the police. Mikey Please’s “The Eagleman Stag” has just been robbed.

  • Max

    Rise of the Guardians was being called an Oscar contender, and yet it failed to get in. But hey, The Pirates is a lot of underrated fun as well, so I’m glad it got this kind of attention.

  • Geoff

    Shocked Pirates! got a nom. Deserved, yes, but it was so forgotten.
    Still of that lot, I pulling for ParaNorman, but I wold be happy with Wreck-It Ralph.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I think it’s a toss up between Wreck It Ralph and Brave.

  • beamish13

    Really disappointed that Otomo Katsuhiro didn’t get a nod for his short COMBUSTIBLE.

    • Genaro Prieto

      What a pity!

      • Cameron Koller

        The short category has been disappointing me since the shortlist, when my clear favorite Junkyard was left off. I had hopes that my runner-up, Combustible, would show up on the final list, or at least the very solid Eagleman Stag, but nothing doing.

        All the same, I’ll give my props to the nominees. It just would have been nice to see something riskier in the mix.

  • There should be an special Oscar nomination for Cartoon Brew…..

  • G. Melissa Graziano

    I’m rooting for ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph, the two strongest stories of the bunch. I really, REALLY wish I could root for Brave, but I just can’t…

    I’m pleasantly surprised by the Pirates! nomination. Fun, underrated movie. Frankenweenie is somewhat overrated, but I’m not surprised or upset at its nomination.

    I agree with Mr. Henderson: The Eagleman Stag was robbed. Definitely my favorite animated short film of the year.

    • I think Wreck It Ralph is well written and ‘solid’ storywise, but just the fact that the story ‘fits’ doesn’t make it so exciting to me. I’m not very interested on Vanellope winning the race or in the conflict between her and Ralph, or King Candy’s revelation.

      The first time I watched Brave I thought the story of the brothers and the magic elements were a little half-assed, but on rewatching I thought they were enough for the story they wanted to tell. And I find Merida-Elinor relationship more relatable than Wreck It Ralph. I also think the humor in the movie works very well and it’s natural to the characters. I thought Wreck It Ralph was funny but a little more punny and forced and the kind of jokes reminded me of simmilar jokes from Toy Story and Monsters Inc.

      While Brave could have been a better movie I fail to see what is so bad about it. I believe part of the problems were the title and the trailers. Even though the guys at Pixar say it so in the bluray commentaries, I don’t think it’s really a story about being ‘brave’. Merida is brave at some moments, but it’s not what defines the movie or even her character (‘rebel’ would be more adequate, although it doesn’t sound as good as a title).

      And the trailers made it look like an epic story and it was really a small story with fantasy elements.

      Other than that, it was pretty good.

      Then again, the trailers and posters of Wreck It Ralph were also problematic. I was expecting much more cameos in the Roger Rabbit fashion, and more games, not only Hero’s Duty and Sugar Rush.

  • What a great lineup! This was an awesome year for animated movies for sure.

    Three stop motion movies in a year getting nominated is amazing to me. It’s such an underrated medium and I really REALLY hope one of those gets the award…

    • tlc

      I though the most underrated medium were hand drawn animation…..
      Too bad, not a single traditional film get a nominations, darn >.<

      • Yeah, that’s sad. And there were some awesome traditional films that came out last year too that definitely deserved a nod.

        But it’s still nice to see something other then CG (a medium that I LOVE btw… WRECK-IT-RALPH rules) get noticed.

  • I gotta say, that’s an incredibly strong line up of films. Not a dud in the bunch.

    And I’m very happy to see Disney rewarded for their efforts; “Frankenweenie,” “Brave,” and “Wreck-it Ralph” are three very distinct and individual films. Most studios would kill to just have one of those films.

    Any year that has a David Silverman Oscar nomination is a good year as far as I’m concerned.

  • Inkan1969

    I can’t believe that all five of the Best Animated Feature nominees were wide releases. To be honest, I found “Brave”, “The Pirates: Band of Misfits” and “Frankenweenie” all very disappointing. We also had an unusually large number of limited/nominal releases in the list of films submitted for consideration. I would’ve thought one or more of the four films GKids is distributing would’ve gotten a nom.

    That said, my favorite movie of the ones I’ve seen still got a nom. I’ll be rooting for “ParaNorman” on Oscar night.

  • mat

    Wow. Some great picks this year. I’m rooting for ralph to win. It was a fun movie. Paperman was a great short as well.

    Looks like poor Studio Ghibli gets left out again. After spirited away won they can’t get a nod much.

    • joe

      Yeah, I saw all of the nominees and Arrietty was better than any of them. But it didn’t even qualify because it was released in Japan in 2010. To quote the rules on the award’s webpage, “A picture first theatrically exhibited outside the U.S. prior to the Los Angeles County qualifying run shall be eligible for submission provided the prior exhibition takes place in a commercial motion picture theater after January 1, 2011.”


  • I was actually a bit surprised Brave was nominated. It is a Pixar movie of course and the it looked fantastic, the animation was incredible and was technically amazing in every way but the story and some of the characters did not feel very fleshed out to me in my opinion. I did not feel it was in the top 5 of the year. I’m rooting for either Wreck It Ralph or Frankenweenie.

    • SKent.

      Every time I see some promotional images from Brave I get a bit swept away with how great everything looks, and the fresh appeal of the main character design, and how amazing the rendering on her hair came out.

      I have to take a step back and remember just how woeful the film was. It’s sort of like the Pocahontas effect. There’s an underlying appeal there that confuses the brain. I have to remind myself that actually no, I hated that movie.

      • Why did you hate it, exactly?
        While I liked it -a lot and more than I liked Toy Story 3 or Wreck It Ralph, but less than, say, Monsters Inc or Rango- I can see how it could be a little disappointing for someone who were expecting a bigger, epic adventure or more fantasy elements.

        But ‘hate’ sounds extremely harsh for a movie that had good visuals, characters, humor, drama and (yes) storytelling, even though the story was ‘little’ instead of ‘big’.

  • James E. Parten

    An interesting bunch of nominees, in both feature and short categories.

    One could make the argument that “Rise of the Guardians” got robbed–possibly because it’s a “holiday picture”; a genre that gets no love whatsoever from the Academy. But that’s part of two slightly bigger stories.

    DreamWorks got the goose-egg this year, and that is a mild surprise. Also surprising is that all of the nominees in the feature category were mainstream releases. Unlike last year (and other years past), none of the nominees were the kind of orchids that bloom only in the art-houses.

    As for the shorts category, I think we can rule out both “Paperman” and “Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare'”. As these ran with mainstream pictures, they were thus seen by too many people. Also, “Maggie Simpson” was actually funny, which virtually disqualifies it from any degree of real consideration for the Little Gold Statuette.

    We will never know (as Price Waterhouse, or whomever is counting the votes, will not tell.) But I suspect it will be a narrow, tightly-bunched pack for the Feature Animation Oscar. Any one of the five could stand a chance. “Frankenweenie” could win because it’s Tim Burton, although the Academy is not as easily swayed as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association may be. “Brave” stands a chance because it’s Pixar. The other three also have palpable shots at the Academy Award.

    As the saying goes: “We shall see what we shall see!”

  • Toonio

    Paranorman should have no problems taking the Oscars home.

    The academy already pooped the bed with Coraline and this will be its time for redemption.

  • As far as Oscar prognostication goes, I’d say “Frankenweenie” currently has a slight edge over the other nominees. It’s won a bunch of critic awards and its director also dabbles in live-action filmmaking.

    Tim Burton is more familiar to Academy members than the other nominees (I think this is one of the reasons why “Rango” won last year: Gore Verbinski is a “name” in Hollywood). That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll win (it didn’t help “Corpse Bride”) but it does give the film an “in” the nominees don’t have.

    “Wreck-it Ralph” has also won a bunch of critics awards and I think the most likely winner if “Frankenweenie” doesn’t grab it.

    But hey, we’ll see.

  • John

    I’ve seen each of the feature nominees and there isn’t a one I wouldn’t give the Oscar to. I thoroughly enjoyed and was entertained by each.

    Not likely… but wouldn’t it be a jaw dropper if it was a five-way tie?

  • Mapache

    No GKids movies? No Rise of the Guardians?
    Quite disappointing.

  • Alberto

    I think Wreck-It Ralph was the best movie of the year. Even though I’m not in love with its bright colores, it’s the best written animated feature of the line-up.
    I wouldn’t mind Paranorman getting the Oscar though.
    As for the shorts, it’s gonna be tough. Paperman is pure joy, Fresh Guacamole is probably the brightest one and Head over Heels is a little master piece.

  • I’m really happy that Maggie Simpson short got nominated. Also hoping Paranorman takes home the award, despite loving Ralph so much.

  • GW

    I was going to complain about the lack of foreign films, but seeing Le Tableau, The Rabbi’s Cat and Zarafa, I can’t be too bummed. I’ve already read the Rabbi’s Cat graphic novels and don’t care too much about the movie. I’m not expecting much out of Laguionie after his last two movies and as for Zarafa, I haven’t gotten the chance to see it yet but I’m not going to get down because of one movie.

    The only two things I have to say is that I refuse to financially support Disney until they exit the baby market. Because of that I couldn’t watch Brave or Frankenweenie. However, I did see Pirates and the only funny moment was the ghost pirate ship. I don’t care what might have ended up there, but Pirates was a comedic dud and doesn’t deserve the spot.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I’m happy that Brave,Frankenweenie,Paranorman,and Wreck-It Ralph all got nominated for Best Animated Feature & Paperman for Best Animated Short.(I hope it wins) I am slightly disappointed that Goro Miyazaki’s From Up On Poppy Hill wasn’t nominated.

  • tim

    i think Rise of the Guardians should have got a nomination…..but outside of that, its important to remember that DreamWorks is pumping out 5 films every 2 years as a business model…..what does this mean for this catagory? It means more smaller budget features and other studio films can be nominated…..5 films over 3 films if there are not enough qualifiers………so DreamWorks is certainly helping the industry and the opportunity for the academy to honor films from studios and independents. Probably why we have 3 stop-mo films…..a great opportunity with the 5 nominations. Its unfortunate DreamWorks recived no nominations and their films were not acknowledged, but they are certainly doing their share for this artform, and its increased recognition.

  • HH

    I hate to say this, but Paranorman was by far the weakest film I’ve seen this year(very boring and annoying). Rooting for Wreck-It-Ralph and Adam and Dog!

  • Matt

    I would choose “Rise of the Guardians” over “Brave” any minute.

  • Matt

    After having seen the 5 nominated films, I hope “Frankenweenie” or “Paranorman” wins.

  • JM

    WRECK IT should indeed Wreck it it is the better film.

    Specially @-Story, character and original concept- wise

    Adam and Dog FTW for being true traditional, altho… The threeditional looks good too like the also wonderful: Paperman

  • Gabbi

    So, Brave has won the Golden Globe. I’m shocked, I totally thought Wreck it Ralph would win it! Brave was good, but it was certainly a weak film compared to the likes of WALL-E and Up. Wreck it Ralph (and Disney!) truly deserve an Oscar this year. But if any of the stop motion films win, I’ll be quite happy too. I just want to see Disney win their first Oscar in this category!

  • emilyowle

    In 2010, it should have been How to Train Your Dragon… Yes, I know it’s been 3 years; and yes, I am still disappointed. :-(