Oscar Nominations

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning. Nominated for BEST ANIMATED FEATURE were:

Bolt – Walt Disney
Kung Fu Panda – Dreamworks
Wall•E – Pixar

WALL•E was nominated for six Academy Awards. The Pixar hit was also nominated for Best Screenplay (congrats to Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Jim Reardon), sound mixing (Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt), sound editing (Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood), music (Thomas Newman) and Original Song.

WALTZ WITH BASHIR was nominated for Best Foreign Film.

Nominated for BEST ANIMATED SHORT are:

La Maison en Petits Cubes – Kunio Kato
Lavatory – A Love Story – Konstantin Bronzit
Oktapodi – A Gobelins, L’école de l’image Production
Presto – Pixar, Doug Sweetland
This Way Up – Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes

The winners will be announced Feb. 22 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.


  • http://www.segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    Here are the short film finalists as described in the Academy handout:

    LAVATORY-LOVESTORY, 10 mills. A story of finding love in an odd location.

    GLAGO’S GUEST, 7 mins. A solitary soldier in Siberia is joined by a guest.

    LA MAISON EN PETITS CUBES, 12 mins. An old man whose house looks like blocks.

    OKTAPODI, 2 mins. Two octopuses help each other escape from a cook.

    SKHIIZEIN, 14 mins. Having been struck by a meteorite, Henry has to adapt to living 91cm from himself.

    THIS WAY UP, 9 mins. Laying the dead to rest has never been so much trouble.

    PRESTO, 5 Mins. A carrot triggers a war of wits between a magician and his bunny.

    VARMINTS, 24 mins. A small creature struggles to preserve a remnant of the peace he once knew.

    And here are my comments:

    Lavoratory is by Konstantin Bronzit (At End of the Earth). A story about a washroom attendant looking for love. Done in simple line drawing, this looked like it could have been made by Alison Snowden & David Fine.

    Glago’s Guest is by Chris Williams who also directed Bolt. Lot’s of white vistas and no dialog. Interesting looking; the visitors are little aliens.

    La Maison En Petits Cubes by Kunio Kato got a lot of attention both at Ron Diamond’s screening and this one. It’s nicely designed hand-drawn animation and very evocative. I seem to be the only one bothered by the similarities to the Sad Waltz section of Allegro Non Troppo.

    Oktapodi is by Julien Bocabeille & François-Xavier Chanioux of the Goeblins school in Paris. This CG short is irresistible. Lots of fun, great action and a delightful musical score all packed into two minutes.

    Skhiizein by Jérémy Clapin. This was the only film with any dialog and it was French. This is an intriguing story about a man who’s existence is shifted and how he deals with it. It’s Cg but with a nice flat design. It’s just bizarre and mundane enough to have been written by Charlie Kaufman (which it wasn’t).

    This Way Up by Smith & Foulkes. These guys have made some brilliant commercials in England. In this CG short they unleash their manic energy in a fast paced and funny film about undertakers that even goes so far as having a big musical number.

    Presto by Doug Sweetland at Pixar. This is undoubtedly the most famous of the shorts. More manic energy and beautiful looking. A throwback to Tex Avery but the opening titles recall 40′s Disney. May be just a bit too fast but very funny.

    Varmints was the weakest of the bunch. Doll-like creatures haul a city into an unspoiled land; this ecological theme is probably why it made it this far. The CG rendering was impressive but the animation didn’t look finished and the story rambled.

    Among the films not nominated, SKHIIZEIN is the only surprise to me. I believe I first learned about it at this website. It was probably the most original film; a wonderfully skewed idea and it had very funny situations. In retrospect it was too long and didn’t really know when to end.

  • http://www.nranimation.com James Nethery

    I thought all of these films were great in their own ways. I’m cheering for Wall-E to win but I wouldn’t be super sad if Bolt or KFP won (as I was with the whole Happy Feet winning over Cars scenario <_<)

  • http://www.karrotanimation.com Jamie B

    Probably best for Waltz With Bashir that its votes aren’t split between Best Animated and Beast Foreign anyway, as I think it might stand a chance of winning its category now! Wall-E would be my choice, but I also think Bolt was very deserving of it’s place – great news for WDAS as they continue their recovery!.

    The shorts catagory is going to be very tough this year I think – it’s always great to see a grad film up against a big studio short, and This Way Up is also excellent! Presto was so good though (and leagues ahead of recent Pixar shorts), I’d be genuinely happy if Doug Sweetland and Pixar scooped it this year. If not, a win for the UK for Smith and Foulkes would also be very welcome too!

  • http://www.rohitiyer.com Rohit Iyer

    As much as I admire Wall-E, it’s Kung Fu Panda that I’ve been watching over and over again ever since I got the DVD. And Bolt was actually more heartwarming than I expected. I don’t mind which way this one goes.

    The shorts seem interesting. It’s great to see a Gobelins short nominated. Unfortunately, it was the only worthwhile one from this years projects, IMHO. Presto is a strong contender, but I haven’t seen the others.

    Any links?

  • Chuck Hensey

    Hopefully Wall-E will receive the screenplay award to make up for not being nominated for Best Picture.

    I would love to see Waltz win the best Foreign Film so it might finally reach the Raleigh area… I’m surprised that it has not hit some of the more eclectic theatres in Chapel Hill or Durham.

    Presto was a blast, but I haven’t seen the other shorts. Are they online anywhere?

  • http://www.rohitiyer.com Rohit Iyer

    Also, is it just me, or is it really difficult to compare a 2-minute film with a 24-minute one?

  • Chuck R.

    That’s a tough call. A solid top three, but no real shoo-ins. I’m putting my money on KFP. Can anyone provide links for the nominated shorts?
    Congrats to all those nominated. Please share credit.

  • EHH

    Presto deserves that nomination. I hope it wins!

  • http://thingsicomeupwith.blogspot.com/ F-Force

    all though it didn’t get best picture the good news is that wall e got 6 nominations. Making it a tie between that and Beauty and the Beast for The most nominated animated film in Oscar History. If it wins more then 2. It will have won more Oscars then any animated film in a single ceremony. I actually think it has a shot. Cause it’s all ready going to best animated film. It also has a good shot at both sound categories and best song. so we’ll see.

    But it is incredibly sad that it didn’t get best picture.

    Also how did Bolt get it there. Really. but they also nominated Sharks Tale. so there you go

  • http://mymedicatedlife.blogspot.com/ Bitter Animator

    I have just had a conversation with myself about this and it’s left me rather confused. Here’s the gist –

    -Shouldn’t Waltz With Bashir be in Best Animated Feature?
    -Yeah, but then it’s thrown in with fun smiley children’s films.
    -They’re all animated.
    -Yeah, but that’s really more of a Best Children’s Film category.
    -No, surely not. There have been films that have won Best Animated that aren’t kid’s films, aren’t there?
    -Who knows? My memory is notoriously bad.
    -So why don’t they have a Best Children’s Film category?
    -Well because they don’t have categories for every genre.
    -But why split off a whole bunch of films because of their production method? Isn’t animation really just a medium? Certainly for something like Waltz With Bashir.
    -And that’s why it’s not in Best Animated Feature.

    I’m not quite sure where that left me but something about just seeing three children’s films, regardless of how entertaining they were, in the Best Animated Feature category doesn’t seem right.

  • http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=052C631F61EE2838 Iain

    I’m guessing “WALL-E” is probably going to win Best Animated Feature, Song, and Sound Effects. Best Original Screenplay might loose to “In Bruges” or “Milk”, but if it does win, it is a good “making it up” after it’s Best Picture snub.

    Seeing that “Gomorra” has been snubbed out of the foreign language finalists and there’s minor criticism about that, “Waltz with Bashir” might win that category. I’m definitely interested in seeing it, but over here in Canada it’s been given the big red “R”, but usually when an R rated animation comes to town, it’s usually been rated a 14A or an 18A, but giving it an R is just going to make less people see the movie even if they’re interested cause it has won a Golden Globe and now nominated for “the golden naked guy.”

    As for song, I’m guessing “Down to Earth” cause it’s last two nominations are just two forgettable songs from “Slumdog” and the Oscars have snubbed all the other good songs that could make five noms (like “The Wrestler”, “Gran Torino”, etc.) to just make it a simple three this year.

    The sound effects in the movie are outstanding, so it’s a pretty easy choice for the sound categories. And to get this out of the way, I think the idea of putting dramatic Best Picture nominees (like “Slumdog”) on the sound effects categories is just a waste of space.

  • vzk

    And there goes my hope for seeing an R rated film compete for Best Animated Film. I guess some people aren’t ready to accept animation as anything but family-friendly.

    At least “Bashir” might be the first animated movie to be nominated for a Foreign Language Film. Not even the Ghibli films got that honor.

  • Sues

    I was very annoyed that WALL-E didn’t get the Best Picture nom, but I was pleasantly surprised at how many other nods it got, particularly Sound which I think was a shoe-in. As much as I loved Presto, I’d really like to see Oktapodi win, just because it would change things so much for Gobelins.

  • Michael

    Ugh!

    The three shorts I’ve seen out of these are downright irrelevant, pointless cartoons about nothing. For this junk the Academy kicked to the curb artistic masterpieces by Don Hertzfeldt, Koji Yamamura, and dumped Skiizhein?! Big thumbs down. This branch of the Academy has grown totally meaningless. :(

  • Chiskop

    Wall-E best screenplay is a joke

  • Paul N

    I’ve seen three of the five shorts so far, and of the three I’d give it to La Maison En Petits Cubes. Really enjoyed them all, and I don’t have a specific reason as to why La Maison gets the nod. Looking forward to seeing the other two.

    For feature, I’m with Rohit – really impressed by Wall-E, but I’d go with KFP.

  • greg m

    Michael, this branch of the Academy is made up of your peers and many well known animation folk. Just because they didn’t vote for what YOU deem to be more deserving doesn’t discount the films that they found to be worthy of this top honor. They are asked to vote for the film that touches THEM the most. Who knows, maybe you’ll be a member one day and be able to influence the outcome.

  • dan

    I love it when I agree with the nominations. Those ARE the best 3 animated movies this year!

  • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj

    The Best Animated Feature nominees aren’t surprising, though it would’ve been nice to see WALL-E up there too.

    In addition to that, I really hope WALL-E can at least win for Best Screenplay.

  • Hagopian

    Wall-E will win it,
    Kung Fu Panda deserves it,
    and Bolt is the stepping stone for future wins.

  • http://blog.ninapaley.com Nina Paley

    I loved SKHIIZEIN and am sad it wasn’t nominated.

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    The animated short film category has always been an odd mix, with independent endeavors being (unfairly?) put up against large studio projects with huge budgets and large numbers of artists. I’m still undecided as to if this is a good thing or not. It would seem that the deck is stacked against the independent, but maybe that forces the independent to make an even stronger film? While I would like to see either “Octopi” or “Presto” win, the underdog rooter in me wants “Octopi” to win out.

    I still think “Presto” was an amazing short. For me, it was a better piece than all of “WALL-E”.

  • http://pupick.blogspot.com/ Rick Roberts

    EDIT:

    *sigh* All the animated noms are always predictable. I really didn’t like Wall-E or Kung Fu Panda. I didn’t watch Bolt but it sure looked bad.

    Also I know this OT but THE DARK KNIGHT being snubbed for best picture is appauling.

  • http://dailygrail.com/blog/8389 red pill junkie

    I also agree with Bitter Animator: leaving Waltz with Bashir out of the Best Animated Film nomination makes no sense.

    Yeah, I’m rooting for Wall-E. It should also have had a Best Film nomination.

    And I also loved Presto, but in the short category I’m rooting for Oktapodi. Those Gobelins geniuses deserve that award :)

  • Poopmeister

    What a flawed category best animated feature is. Bolt is now a best of something.

  • http://none Zack Mays

    The winner is “Wall-E !!

  • http://enricocasarosa.com/wordpress.1 enrico casarosa

    Very sorry not to see SKHIIZEIN in the shorts nominations … it’s a brilliant short. Not to be missed.

  • Keith Bryant

    Wall-E is nominated for best screenplay?!? WTF? Most of the film was WALLLLLL-EEEEEEE and EEEVVVVVEEEEEE.

  • http://jgchan.blogspot.com/ Jerry Chan

    I, too, am drawn between Oktapodi and Presto (they’re both fantastic)

    Can someone explain why Wall-E isn’t up for best picture? I thought that numerous best film awards that it’s gotten (like the LA Times) would have meant something.

    Oh well, here’s hoping for Best Screenplay and sound design!

  • http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/mjf7583 Michael F.

    I was hoping for Wall-E getting a nomination for Best Picture too, but getting a Best Original Screenplay award is good. Good luck to Andrew and company! (and good luck to Peter Gabriel too…too bad Bruce Springsteen didn’t get a Best Song nomination though)

    I haven’t seen Don Hertzfeldt’s I Am So Proud of You yet but I have heard lots of great things about it; I wonder if the short category was too competitive for it or if he didn’t submit it.

  • RODAN

    Best ORIGINAL screenplay….
    That’s the one that means the most to me LOOK… Though Wall-E didn’t get the Best Picture Nom. There it is on the list of Best Original screenplays.
    I think it’s an amazing accomplishment to have this film up there with all the “best picture” noms Milk, or the Miramax, Focus Features, and Sony Pictures throw downs.. Simply Amazing! If Wall-E has to win one award This is the one to have. It shows the power of the unspoken word. The power of a writer to encapute an audiences attention without dialogue. I thought when I first saw this film that this one attribute was pure heart and soul of what Walt Disney loved best about his films.

    So WALL-E for Best Original Screenplay…
    Best Animated Feature
    Best Sound Mixing
    Best Sound Editing (even though it’s up against TDK)
    Best Original Song
    Best Original Score

    Not bad, only four other films have more nominations than WALL-E.
    Some are based on mere sentiment, more so than actual achievement in my oppinion.

  • Chris

    I agree Michael, cartoons suck! They definitely shouldn’t be about entertaining an audience or anything like that. ;)

    While Presto was great I think Oktapodi deserves it. Heart warming, exciting, and funny with the perfect pacing and a great score.

    Where the hell can you see Glago’s Guest?

  • http://cartoongeeks.com Michelle Klein-Hass

    I loved SKHIIZEIN and am sad it wasn’t nominated.

    Actually, Ms. Paley, I am PISSED that Sita wasn’t up for Best Animated Feature this year. Thanks a whole hell of a lot, music publishing company vampires!

    That said, I want to see Bashir for best foreign language film, and Wall-E for best animated feature. Bolt was charming, and Kung Fu Panda was the best Jack Black movie in years, but Wall-E raised the bar. People will be studying that movie for decades.

  • amid

    The short film nominations are an abomination. The Academy overlooked every single film of artistic and thematic merit, and nominated a whole pile of nothing. As a jury of peers, they utterly failed in their responsibility to support and promote this art form to the general public by showcasing animation’s very best. Instead they chose a weak selection of films that perpetuate the common thinking that animation is a mindless art form for kiddies.

  • Inkan1969

    I haven’t seen “Waltz with Bashir” yet. Isn’t that movie mostly motion capture? If that’s the case, then maybe it didn’t really make sense for it to get a Best Animated Feature nom. I’m still surprised that “Monster House” somehow got a nom.

  • emil fromm

    I’m afraid that I have to agree with Amid…But I guess It is just me, as I can see the comments. I feel kind of sad, to understand that Don’s I’m so proud of You, or Koji Yamamura, or even Skhizain didn’t make it. Not to mention 9.99 even, i didn’t expect the animation voters to change so fast after Obama inauguration.. Instead – this pathethic Bolt. Even my daughter felt assleep on it – and she is 7… It is realy a category for “Best cartoon”. But I guess this is because the people who vote for those films are NOT filmmakers, they are cartoon’ makers. Nothing against them, of course. I guess the question here becomes – Why we care about the Oscars then?. And the answer is – because in the other categories, there are some good films… Whatever, good luck to all of them. I cross my fingers for WALL-E and Presto.

  • Michael

    Amid, my sentiments exactly. Given the wide range of talent on display this year, three of the five animated shorts here I’ve seen are an embarassment. They’re technically nifty but essentially about nothing, no original point of view, nothing personal to say. We always seem to wind up with slapstick comedy or Hallmark cards in this category.

    Chris, cartoons don’t suck, but these were certainly not the best of 2008.

  • http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog/ Michael Sporn

    Were you thinking about the animated features, Amid? All of them are poor films to me. Waltz With Bashir is ugly and poorly animated but dances rings around all three nominees.

    Of the shorts:
    The two 2D films are excellent but derivitive. None of these cg shorts is worth much. Presto, to me, is the worst of all five nominees. At least Oktapodi is a student film. Not much else to say of it.
    House of Small Cubes is the best of the lot and an excellent but not great short.

  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    OK, Amid, so where’s your list of omitted films?

  • Paul N

    I wouldn’t call “La Maison En Petits Cubes” a kiddie film.

  • http://pupick.blogspot.com/ Rick Roberts

    The Oscars were better back in the early days when it was just a group of actors giving each other awards. Now it’s a seperate, souless, marketing tool run by people with narrow minded standards. Also the award shows themselves are so boring. They are tightly scripted, politely humorous, snooze fests.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    La Maison en Petits Cubes wasn’t certainly for kiddies. And Oktapodi and Presto were ok. I haven’t seen the rest. I actually like Oktapodi more than Presto. Many people talk about Wall-E and Presto as Pixar’s best movie and short, but I don’t think so. Wall-E is…interesting. It’s quite boring sometimes, but I do like the fact that they tried to do something different. But I’d rather watch Monsters Inc. Presto was just not enough cartoony for me. Kung Fu Panda was more cartoony than Presto. I think Pixar shorts like Boundin’, Geri’s Game, Knick Knack and probably One Man Band are more interesting than Presto. Maybe even some of those made directly for dvd like Mike’s New Car, Jack Jack Attack! or Your Friend The Rat.

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    I disagree with that, Amid. I thought that “Presto” and “Oktapodi” specifically showed some well thought out gags, interesting situations, and superb animation. I don’t know that a gag oriented short automatically makes it a mindless art form for kiddies. I am curious as to which films you thought should have been nominated in the place of the ones that were.

  • http://www.thepra.com.au Eddie

    SKhizein should not only have been nominated but is a true deserved winner of the oscar. I also think KJFG#5 is a perfect comedic short animated film with impeccable timing and it should have been in the mix.

  • http://zekeyspaceylizard.blogspot.com Zekey

    no love for Horton :c

  • elan

    “I didn’t watch Bolt but it sure looked bad”

    -Rick Roberts

  • Ed Thompson

    For Best Animated I saw only Wall-e and Bolt. Between those 2, I was more pleasantly surprised with Bolt than Wall-e, which in my opinion, turned very predictable and pedestrian for the second half of the film. Didn’t see KFP and can’t see Bashir yet so I cannot comment on them.

    I also disagree with Amid on the shorts presentation. I am no-where near ‘kiddie’ age, and I enjoyed Presto. I also don’t live in a major city, so I don’t get to see ‘art’ films of almost any type. (Waltz with Bashir will not open here until late February) and animation festivals are in L.A., N.Y., Toronto and occasionally Chicago. You want more serious consideration for animation then you need to figure out how to broaden its base and get people to quit thinking of it as just ‘kiddie fare’. Getting it out to more parts of the country would be a start. If not that, getting them on A&E or Bravo or Turner Movie on a regular basis (maybe with notices here and on other animation sites) would be an improvement.

  • http://www.segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    Amid: “The short film nominations are an abomination.”

    Those are pretty harsh words. So what are your nominees? I saw the pre-selection films and also a selection of award winers that Ron Diamond brought to the Bay Area. Of those films I feel SKhizein was the only films not nominated that was deserving. There have been much better films in other years, but I feel none of the nominees are bad films. Of course you’re entitled to your opinion (especially since this is your website), but it’s much easier to criticize a film than to make one.

  • Jason

    Yay for Bolt. Yawn for Wall*E, which will probably win.

  • http://www.karrotanimation.com Jamie B

    Well, I personally think Skhizein should have filled the spot occupied by Konstantin Bronzit’s short (he’s made far better), but Skhizein did feel more clever than satisfying to me. I do feel animated films are allowed to be *just* entertaining, and the best here attempted some lovely and memorable character relationships. I sense that the academy votes for ‘satisfying’, story-wise, in this category above all else, and that is a quality that at least 3 if not 4 nominated films share. It’s been a long time since I thought a major studio short was worthy, but having seen all 5, Presto achieved some wonderful things, most notably, sheer audience delight across the age barriers.

  • Michael

    It’s much easier to criticize a film than to make one.

    Hah, well go tell this to Koji Yamamura, Don Hertzfeldt, Jeremy Clapin, Andy London, and all the other artists who poured their souls into personal shorts last year and were kicked to the curb in favor of octopus slapstick, bunny slapstick, and undertaker slapstick :)

  • Thomas

    Amid’s response is exactly why indie animated short films will never evolve more into the mainstream and enjoy the recognition they deserve. The inflated sense of elitism over such a niche genre (within a genre) guarantees the average film-goer will continue to feel uninvited from the field of short filmmaking. There is some real artistry in the short films selected and each is highly enjoyable to watch. Amid’s pics or the so called “important” films get to keep to their film festival basement because most of them aren’t any better than what was selected. But they’re sooo “Important”, these bloated 20 minute “epics”. The selected shorts at least give a glimpse that indie work doesn’t have to take itself so seriously. But way to crap on everyone else’s hard work sir.

  • elan

    “Hah, well go tell this to Koji Yamamura, Don Hertzfeldt, Jeremy Clapin, Andy London, and all the other artists who poured their souls into personal shorts last year”

    Yes, because the people who worked on the other films just pressed the “make it funny” button, and did no soul-pouring whatsoever. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe their films just werent as good? The academy award isnt handed out to the artists who displayed the most self-sacrifice.

    “Waltz With Bashir is ugly and poorly animated but dances rings around all three nominees.”

    Subject matter isnt the only discerning factor in awards. But then again, when was the last time a comedy won for “Best Picture of the Year?” But c’mon, if it looks like crap, it DOESNT deserve to win.

  • Theodore UShev

    Holly shit… What a battle?! There is not a single film that I like in the nominees animated films…But leave them air to breath, they will be forgotten in a month! Which cannot be said about Koji Yamamura, Don Hertzfeldt films.
    Skhizein, it was OK, nothing new though…
    Oscars…
    Oscars are for the box office, and Blockbusters video stores…And for McDo promotions as well. 3 for 1, and You get all the bunnies and dogs in Your burger. Singing and barking! Advice – take a break, go find a woman to play with…, instead of writing about those irrelevant things.
    I feel sorry only for $9.99.

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    Theodore USheve says – “Skhizein, it was OK, nothing new though…”

    Name 6 things like it then.

  • Anna

    oooh, such good choices for Best Animated Short *can’t decide which to root for*

    Why are there only 3 for best animated tho? Was the year really that short on animated movies???

  • amid

    Slowtiger: See this post I wrote in regards to your question about what would have been a better selection of nominees.

    Floyd Bishop wrote: “I don’t know that a gag oriented short automatically makes it a mindless art form for kiddies.”

    The argument isn’t that comedy isn’t worthy of merit. It’s that these particular films aren’t worthy of merit, and they were chosen from a field that offered plenty of quality contenders.

  • http://www.rohitiyer.com Rohit Iyer

    This discussion gets a bit ridiculous when we start comparing films by putting-down others. A few months ago, everyone was raving about Presto and Okatapodi. And now they suck?

    Excuse me if I shovel through the hypocrisy and make my point: let’s encourage the ones we like and not shoot down other good films just because they got nominated.

    What a crown of thorns!

  • http://www.coffeeroll.com JPDJ

    Bolt? Really?

  • Bill Field

    What the Bleep? Does nobody here have the cahones to say- 9.99 wuz ROBBED?
    It was an ambitious effort that really deserved the recognition an Oscar nod can give.

  • Theodore UShev

    Elliot, don’t get me wrong. I liked Skhizein. It is a good film. But somehow…It doesn’t touch me, that’s it. That’s why I said “nothing new”. It is utterly subjective, nothing to do with the quality of the film. Admiration to Jeremy, he did a very fine job. It deserved to get nominated more than the others probably. But I simply don’t get this race.

  • Bill Field

    Just my opinion, but it seems a travesty that TV animation such as The Boondocks amazing Martin Luther King episode. aren’t screened as shorts theatrically, first, for a chance to compete for Oscar Gold.
    I am unimpressed with both animation categories this year.

  • Michael

    I’m not criticizing the nominated filmmakers. I’m criticizing the Academy for being so narrow-minded they never see anything of merit outside of slapstick comedies or Hallmark cards in this category.

  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    Amid: Thx, I somehow forgot about that post in the meantime.

    I think the main problem is not the nomination of these or any other films. The main problem is that from all the mentioned 12 titles I’ve only seen 4, so how could I possibly judge any, or bicker about the Oscar’s jury decisions?

    For short films I’d like to see more festivals like bitfilm which make their nominees accessible on the internet for a certain time for all to watch and vote. Clearly this would be outside the Academy’s business model, but can’t I drem?

  • http://niffiwan.livejournal.com Niffiwan

    Some of my thoughts about the nomination of “Lavatory Lovestory”:
    http://niffiwan.livejournal.com/16445.html

    While good, I don’t think it’s even the best Russian animated film of the year. Or of the past few years. There are many better ones.

    Here’s one film that beats it hands down, but was almost ignored even in its own country:
    http://niffiwan.livejournal.com/9156.html

    Name recognition and a studio’s willingness to promote its own films to festivals counts for a LOT. And by far not all studios are willing or able to do this. Some even try to actively suppress some of their best work for convoluted political reasons.

  • Wolfgang

    Personally, i think that Kung fu Panda is far superior than Wall-e in every sense..(haven`t seen yet Bolt).

    I love Pixar, but Wall-e being for the most part a movie with out any dialogs, i was hoping to see many interesting situations like in the Chaplin and Harold Lloyd movies…but there were none…

    Kung fu Panda in the other hand was very interesting and dynamic, and the situation where well put up.

    About the shorts. I have see them all except “La Maison en Petits Cubes”, and my favorite is Lavatory – A Love Story.

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tony Mines

    Were all experienced professionals or aspiring practitioners here – don’t you think we should evolve past the notional conceit that The Oscars are meritocratic?
    The nominations are a thinly veiled political statement by the industry, to itself, about what it wants to see in the coming year. Nothing more.

    Wall-E + KFP + Bolt nominations = “We like that we are making money off all these CG cartoons and have every intention of continuing to do so. We congratulate the three main propagators for their conformity.”

    Short film nominations = “We are comfortable to continue nailing thowaway comedy shorts to the front of family features as an added incentive. There is no market for short films outside of this, thanks.”

    There is no more to it than that.

  • Animation Pimp

    Pretty predictable and mediocre list. I’ve no qualms with Presto (I’d have at in Ottawa competition, but PIXAR felt it was unfair to have their films competing against low budget indie films–ha ha…a bit fuggin presumptuous) or Oktapodi or even the Cube film…but how you ignore Yamamura, Hertzfelt and even Skizhein (or a few others) just shows out out of touch, conservative and irrelevant the animation Oscars are.

    The features? Yawn.

  • Chris J

    Much as I love Wall-E, KFP’s the movie I reach for.

    Amid, I understand your disappointment. You need to write a post of the shorts you would have nominated so we can all compare

  • Chiskop

    interesting that the word slapstick comes up a few times in the comment list.

    most Animated movies are slapstick crap, yet a few people say that, two in the comment list infact. how in hell do ya’ll think this slap stick crap stands to be nominated for best picture i don’t understand. i know we are all entitled to our own opinions, but someone please make me a believer. Someone please let me know how slap stick wall-e can in anyway be superior to e.g. Juno (both of them are comedy – dramas).

    Seriously animation for 9 year olds is really lousy slap stick crap. a fall chuckles 9 year olds. i wasn’t chucklin. But please someone make a believer out of me. How ya’ll expect wall-e for best picture? or any of these slap stick crap?

    Help me.

  • Animation Pimp

    Amid is right.

    Steve Segal: please stop using that hollow old cliche about how it’s easier to criticize than to make one. That’s such a insulting and ignorant comment. I’ve been watching almost every short animation made since 1992…but because I haven’t made an animation, I can’t properly judge them? I’ve seen animators on juries and committees and a lot of them aren’t very good judges of animation.

    I’m a writer, but does that mean I’m the best judge of writing? No. Conversely, I know many non-writers whose feedback on writing I respect enormously.

    So much mediocrity in these posts. So sad that people IN animation are so god damn myopic…can’t think outside the American model. Like Nietzsche’s “last man”…just content to live a cozy and safe existence without taking any fucking risks. Pathetic.

  • KNSat

    So according to Amid, a film like Presto that is entertaining, endearing, beautiful, witty, action-packed and just makes you laugh is an “abomination?”

    It’s fine to champion cutting-edge animation, but there’s no need to categorically condemn quality entertainment.

  • http://www.segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    Animation Pimp: Thanks for reading my post. I appreciate all comments. I tried to phrase my comment without condemning criticism, we all critique stuff we haven’t made ourselves. I was more commenting about the harsh language Amid used. It is extremely difficult to make an animated film especially a good one. And those nominees were considered good by at least some professionals.

    Everyone has their own point of view, and different reasons we like or dislike films. Amid has every right to critique these films, but perhaps had he made one he might be a tad more forgiving. I applaud all the film makers and their works. Perhaps this dialog will encourage distributors to showcase more challenging works.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/elastic_spam Jenny

    Rohit:I agree, since when does the academy cater to our every whim and why do we expect it?

  • Emil Fromm

    I also support the quality entertainment myself. They are some nice striptease girls, they do very nice quality entertainment too. And they really work hard. You have to be a stripteaser girl to understand how hard it is, man! I applaud all of them, and they works! 8 hours a day showing Your tits and asses, man! It is something! You don’t have to condemn them! And they are considered good by at least some professionals. A lot of professionals in the bar, man! All good folks!

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I am happy to see all 3 movies nominated for Best Animated Feature.
    All of them were great!

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    I can’t understand how animation fans can’t love good, fun slapstick. Most of classic cartoon shorts had a lot of comic slapstick in them.

  • http://www.boumerie.com Boum

    That Skizhein didn’t make it to the Academy Awards disappoints me; I quite enjoyed La Maison en Petits Cubes, so that’s at least one good thing.

    And Oktapodi was by all means an impressive student short, but I don’t understand what the hell it’s doing there. I thought “plot” had some sort of influence on the selection of nominees, and Oktapodi severely lacks one… it’s only a whacky chase scene…

  • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj
  • Poopmeister

    To whoever poo-poo’d the screenplay for Wall-E, silence and action are some of the harder things to write.

    Wall-E deserves the screenplay for this alone.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    >>And Oktapodi was by all means an impressive student short, but I don’t understand what the hell it’s doing there. I thought “plot” had some sort of influence on the selection of nominees, and Oktapodi severely lacks one… it’s only a whacky chase scene…>>

    Is the plot of “Presto” any more complex? I actually found Oktapodi’s little story more engaging and original than Presto’s premise, which is much more typical. The ending of Oktapodi is also funnier than the one in “Presto”.

  • greg m

    Well Amid, at least your feelings about this selection are clear. You sure make it sound like none of the voting members are worthy to be so, which I find insulting to them. I, personally, watch the films with an open mind and then vote for the ones that touch me the most. The votes are then tallied and the top three become the nominations. This system seems fair to me – but maybe they should just let YOU decide the winners from now on.

  • http://erwinisart.blogspot.com pinky

    I was lucky enough to see all the nominated animated features this year, and I gotta say I agree with the many above that KFP should take it. The story was exciting, the characters were charming, and the animation was amazing. The film’s opening 2-d sequence was jaw dropping and I watched a gazillion times since I’ve owned the movie. But I also loved the designs of the characters in the film. Whether or not it will take it is another question.
    I’m also big supporter of Bolt as well, I liked the animation and I loved the characters. I don’t think I’ve stopped quoting the hamster since I’ve seen it. Its great to see some good work from Disney again!