UP wins Golden Globe

“Animation is not just for kids. It is also for adults who take drugs.”

And there you go. That’s how Hollywood perceives us. Paul McCartney delivered that line (and yes I know it was a joke) – and referenced Rock Band and the forthcoming Zemeckis travesty of Yellow Submarine – in his introduction to the Best Animated Feature presentation at tonight’s Golden Globes.

As one of the “adults” who loves animation, I want to congratulate our friend Pete Docter and the whole team at Pixar for winning the animation prize for UP.

UPDATE: Here’s the video of Pete’s acceptance speech:


  • Kustom Kool

    I’ll give Sir Paul a break. It sounded like he was trying to be “edgy” in his charming, old-codger way. His lifetime pass for being a Beatle is on shaky ground as it is with the Zemeckis deal but we should reserve judgment until (and if) we actually see the “Yellow Submarine” remake. I’m not very hopeful but still…

  • Marc Baker

    Wow, that was the most insulting generalization of animation fans i’ve ever heard in my life. Especially for someone who’s been involved with a variety of animated projects. I still like animation, and not once have i ever taken any drugs. (Just one more excuse for Disney to manufacture more Miley Cyrus, Selina Gomez, and Jonas Brothers clones, right?) Imagine if someone in the animation field made a statement that music is for children, and people who take drugs? Hollywood would rather adopt a yellow dog than accept animation as a valid medium for storytelling.

    • ChillOutMarcBaker

      Chill Marc Baker. Don’t be a stiff. Life is full of generalizations. You’ll kill yourself if you mull on them all.

  • Michel Van

    I’m an adult, who takes NO drugs.
    and yes I love Animation…

  • Rio

    Ahh, that’s so sweet that they let that senile old man call the winner for UP, a movie about a another crotchety old man. How fitting.

  • stikkbomber

    “And there you go. That’s how Hollywood perceives us.”

    wow, sensitive much? i won’t pretend to know all of mccartney’s motivations in his minute long, cuecard prompted speech, but i imagine humor was there in a non-trivial part. in other words, cut the man some slack, he got good laughs from the audience (and me, and i still love animation as a 40 year-old goober). unless you have prior knowledge that he hates animation art (e.g. unscripted direct quotes or reliable testimony), give the man a break.

    i was more disappointed in the acceptance speech, frankly. no mention made at all of the superior quality of the competition, in a year when the animation offerings were much better in terms of production, writing, and acting, than their live action competition. no mention made of how animation continually gets snubbed for best drama, comedy, etc. docter had the stage to do it, as have other animators, and he didn’t step up. various animatoin categories have existed for almost 30 years, now. it’s time to start letting the animation get into other categories, too.

  • http://drewsniftyart.blogspot.com DrewDraws

    Paul McCartney’s love of animation is well documented. The joke is most likely aimed at the perception of animation, not at us.

    Please don’t turn this into another manufactured cartoon brew controversy.

  • http://www.rauchbrothers.com Tim Rauch

    Congratulations to all who worked on UP.

    As for McCartney’s comments… oy vey.

  • Casper the friendly executive

    It was a joke. Remember jokes? It’s that thing that cartoons are really good at. Maybe if it had been against Dreamworks you’d have leaughed.

    Anyhow, congrats to Up, which I did enjoy, although I wish the plucky underdogs like Fox and Meatballs stood a chance of getting a look in. It’s not healthy for one kind of story and one kind of company to win everything all the time, though the quirks of Up were a nice surprise. Still, a golden year for features.

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron H. Bynum

    Interesting. Just this morning, Variety attribute a backstage quote to Docter: “We feel like animation is so much more than people give it credit for.”

  • Kevin Wollenweber

    Yeah, that’s pretty much the way I’m perceived by most people anyway. Animation really needs to be accepted by the creative as a kindred art form. Maybe, just *MAYBE* the hooplah around “UP” will help the cause, but it is connected to Disney. For animation to really gain any points, the prizes have to go to independent animation, perhaps the only place where one person’s true uncompromized vision is still important and fully realized. Judging by this comment, though, that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon, even if Sir Paul was being facetious. When those in the industry can proudly stop apologizing for their choice of career, then animation’s finest can really be given respect and be seen as true art. For now, I’ll honor all endeavors in this area as true art even if all others don’t see it that way.

  • squirrel

    I don’t know whether to be touched or internationally insulted.

  • Casper the friendly executive

    Pixar could help massively if they decided to be bold and not make a kids/family friendly feature film for once – or at least freed their shorts programme from the same formula.

  • Brendan Spillane

    I’m grateful Sir Paul acknowledge “Yellow Submarine”. It’s tiresome to hear the know-nothings prattle on how “Yellow Submarine”, like the current movie “Avatar”, is best enjoyed while under the influence of drugs. “Yellow Submarine” is far more cohesive than people realize.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    McCartney’s well-documented judgment in other areas should temper any sting his animation pronouncement might have. After all, he just lost over $50 million to an evil one-legged ex-prostitute, whom he actually married for crazy old man reasons.

  • http://www.karmatoons.com Doug Compton

    Come on, that was a funny line. I thought the line about us knowing him as “the guy from Rock Band” was funny too. But then again I was pretty stoned.

  • Ethan

    You managed to make a hateful remark against Zemeckis. Again.

    Anyway, congratulations, the best lobbyists in the business have won. Does it mean that the future of animation is in those 180M$ formula productions? What a fucked-up industry, let’s hope there’s a revolution coming.

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    the guy is pretty clueless. He was just trying to be funny. He isn’t. What he knows about art can be seen in his own ‘paintings’

    Storm in a teacup, he is playing to an audience made of plastic idiots anyway

  • Ben

    “…it’s also for adults who take drugs.”

    Isn’t Paul McCartney one of those? He must love animation.

  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour

    Just remember, we all stand together.

  • Andy

    It was a JOKE, Jerry! People who enjoy animation are supposed to have a sense of humor. Don’t lose sleep over this.

  • batman

    he was obviously joking.
    let’s not get offended over something as silly as this.

  • Julian Carter

    @ Casper the friendly executive

    John Lasseter can also help by letting the folks at Walt Disney Animation Studios stretch their legs and not limit them to fairy tales. I’m looking forward immensely to Rapunzel, but after that I’d like to see WDAS tackle more experimental film-making and visual styles. And why can’t they make an adult animated feature and release it through Touchstone.

    I may be misjudging the man, but I get the feeling that Lasseter is terribly conventional, and under him WDAS will not get out of its rut. Now if he’s brave enough to announce a third Fantasia, then I’ll happily change my mind.

  • Tedzey

    It was for laughs, and not directed to animation fanboys. Just a punchline. Maybe cause yellow submarine demographic was adults taking drugs, who knows?

  • sean

    To be fair, Paul McCartney invented taking drugs, thats how old he is.

  • Jay

    but drugs are cool!!!

  • http://Heibies.deviantart.com Phil

    Jerry, it has come to me that you may have a drug addiction.
    We’re all here to support you man, we can beat this!

  • http://tangoland.com Cynthia

    I agree with Caspar, would have loved to have seen another studio take the award. There was enough good stuff this year to merit it.

    Paul’s remarks are not as repulsive to me as the idea of turning the Beatles into another Polar Express. UGH!

    What I’d like to know overall is WHY have these award ceremonies become a vehicle to insult and bust on performers in general. Oh for the days when there was some respect and dignity left.

  • Blake

    i was so offended i almost choked on my spliff.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    “It’s tiresome to hear the know-nothings prattle on how “Yellow Submarine”, like the current movie “Avatar”, is best enjoyed while under the influence of drugs. “Yellow Submarine” is far more cohesive than people realize.”

    If they only knew. I also hate the usual comment made over films like Yellow Submarine as if you cannot be that creative without being under the influence of a substance. As if it’s contextually impossible to think unconventionally in a conventional world.

  • http://www.tresswygert.blogspot.com Tres Swygert

    I hinted his sarcasm when he said that line. While shaking my head at the same time. But all that aside, hopefully people will recognize that animation is not a kids medium. Hopefully there will be more PG-13 animation films that are not afraid to please a general audience…just need to have real good stories.

  • Curt Vile

    That was funny! And things like this blog was just the bemonocled audience he was trying to offend! And man, your monocle just fell in shock all too predictably! You may as well swing your pearls like Margaret Dumont and faint when Groucho says something silly.

    Besides, this guy was animated into one of the trippiest film of all time.

  • Lindsay

    Yeah, the comment didn’t so much anger me as it did just… I dunno, disappoint me. Just another casual knock at trivializing animation and its filmmaking potential – at this point I’m getting pretty weary of it. Comments like that, even when framed as satirical, or “just a joke” – all they do is normalize the attitude of discrimination and superiority by live action towards animation. Kinda like misogyny. *grumble*

    Anyway, something that is also getting old fast is Pixar’s virtual monopoly of animation awards. I do hope other entries (hoping and praying there are five this year) in the Oscars get fair consideration over Up. As great a film as the latter is, I’d love to see another nominee take it, like Coraline. Not only is the painstaking detail of its stop-motion quite admirable, but that the film also did not pander to kiddies and their over-sensitive parents and actually kept its dark tone from the book is something I really wish we could see more often in family films, animated or otherwise.

  • Skip

    Paul Mccartney once presented an award to Lauren Hill, and at the MTV music video awards, and for some reason he thought that it would be funny by referring to her as “Mr Lauren Hill.” Apparently he is not the best choice to have as an awards presenter. Anyway Paul Mccartney is a vegetarian, and says that he attributes the decision to being a vegetarian after having seen Bambi’s mother die. I don’t know how true this statement is, but if it is that story is true, it is a pretty good indicator of just how powerful the art of animation can be in terms of leaving an emotional impact on an audience.

  • Paul N

    Uh, you all realize that he read what some writer wrote for him to say from a prompter, right? That awards shows are the place really bad jokes go to die? But by all means, continue ginning up a controversy where none exists.

  • http://Mr.FunsBlog Floyd Norman

    Guys, guys!

    Don’t you realize that big shot celebrities don’t make up those things on the fly? It’s scripted! Everything is scripted to appear spontaneous and funny. That’s what these shows are all about.

    And, it was a joke.

  • Pat Median

    That sounded like a Bruce Vilanch-style ‘snappy patter’ line to me, and Sir Paul did look like he was reading it. I doubt if McCartney would bring up recreational druggies for ridicule on his own, given his long, well-documented personal history with cannabis sativa.

  • Saturnome

    Anybody watched the video and honestly thought it wasn’t a joke ?

  • David

    I can only assume that Sir Paul is speaking autobiographically here, not necessarily as a blanket statement that all adults who enjoy animation take drugs.

    I really wouldn’t read too much insult into his attempt at humor. It comes off as typical awards show “funny” banter , inane as always, whether it’s the Oscars or Golden Globes, whatever … Why otherwise talented people consent to mumble these idiotic lines on awards shows year after year is a mystery to me. It’s almost an expected show-biz convention (i.e Awards show time = lame jokes, poorly told)

    Point of fact , Paul McCartney is a big animation fan and has provided employment for a lot of animators over the years (primarily through the studios of Oscar Grillo and Geoff Dunbar in England)

  • http://blissfulignorance551.deviantart.com/ A.J.

    Can’t anyone (especially people in an art form founded on humor) take a joke? It is offensive alright, But it was in jest…and I think the whole drugs statement was from personal experience on his part. … .Besides, George was always my Favorite

  • http://kazrocks.blogspot.com kazzer

    first of all, yes, it was a joke. but i don’t see it as a joke that trivialized or marginalized animation at all. If it was someone with an anti-drug slant like Rush Limbaugh that made that comment, it might be considered negative, but otherwise it only seems to be an insult if you consider recreational drug users as damaged, immature or irresponsible.Which, by and large, they aren’t. and it’s not just me as a responsible hallucinogen-user saying this, let’s please remember that some great minds, including Ward Kimball, Francis Crick (the progenitor of the double-helix DNA structure) and Steve Jobs, have admitted to tripping on acid, and having has some very valuable experiences on it. I’m not saying everyone should do it, or that it should be allowed to children or whatever, and i definitely dont want this to degenerate into a drug enforcement argument. but please let’s not all immediately attack someone for connecting great art with drug use, goofy and codgerly as that person may be.

  • nicky

    You’re a sensitive bunch aint’ ya!

  • Roberto

    The joke itself is funny and part of myself wish that people thought more often than animation is for adults who take drugs rather than asumming it’s only childish stuff for kiddies. Still, the fact that they have to start this joke saying that “it’s nor for kids” reflects that this explanation has to appear always.

    As much as I liked the visuals of Coraline and Cloudy I still think Up is all in all the best animation movie this year. Part of me would like to see other studio winning, but all in all I really liked this particular Pixar movie. I kinda enjoyed KFP more than Wall-E, though. And I admit the first one was probably more shallow, but I still found it more entertaining.

    I haven’t watched Fantastic Mr Fox or Princess and the Frog yet.

  • Scott

    “Pixar could help massively if they decided to be bold and not make a kids/family friendly feature film for once”

    Kids/Family films or not, they’re the most mature films on the market. Thankfully, they don’t make bad japanese cartoons, though.

  • http://kateburck.blogspot.com Kate Burck

    Joke or not I just don’t think that was very professional or appropriate in an award ceremony intended to honor film makers.

  • Ethan

    “Kids/Family films or not, they’re the most mature films on the market. ”
    Scott,
    I am unable to figure out whether you intended to be sarcastic or not.

  • http://www.sexymecha.com Hal

    Let’s not be prudish here (there’s enough of that in the animation world) – as an unabashed fan of “mainstream” stuff like YELLOW SUBMARINE, FANTASTIC PLANET, HEAVY METAL, FIRE AND ICE, ROCK AND RULE, THE MAXX, METALOCALYPSE and SUPERJAIL, I applaud that statement! Nothing wrong with adults doing drugs and watching animation is there? *chugs cough syrup and puts on Deathklok “No More Hamburger Time” music video* Oh yeah… hurts so gooooooood…

  • http://www.sexymecha.com Hal

    Besides, look at Cameron’s AVATAR acceptance speech – “I really gotta pee…” – Golden Globes, nothing but class. *chugs cough syrup*

  • Ethan

    “I haven’t watched Fantastic Mr Fox or Princess and the Frog yet.”
    Roberto,
    Don’t worry, it seems the voters of the golden globes haven’t either.

  • elan

    I think the notion that animation is “for kids” is slowly going away, especially with AVATAR being so successful.

    And lets not kid ourselves. That movie was animated.

  • gene schiller

    “for animation to really gain any points the prizes have to go to independent animation”

    Actually, independent “animated shorts” have dominated the oscars for the past several decades.

  • Professor Widebottom

    McCartney’s comment was neither particularly funny or insulting. It was a bit of innocuous playfulness. Anyone doing animation who’d get riled over it deserves to be insulted. It’s like being offended by surrealism.

  • YK2

    I’m actually sort of getting annoyed with the people who say that Pixar shouldn’t get the award because they are Pixar. I mean seriously, we tend to forget the meaning of BEST Picture. Forget the Studio. Which film had all of its aspects better than any other film. Which Film had the best characters, the best plot, the best drama, the best comedy, the best score, the best emotion? Who makes it or how it was made or how much money it took to make it should not effect your views on who wins the award.

    I saw UP, Mr. Fox, Cloudy, and Frog, and in my opinion, UP was the best animated film I saw all year (and I dare say the Best Film I saw all year after a surprisingly weak Live Action selection this year. UP and The Hurt Locker were my two favorites this year.)

    You’re almost as bad as the people who say “Avatar deserves Best Picture because it was so innovative.”

    (Golden Globes are offically a joke anyways. We all saw travesty in the Best Dramatic Picture category last night, correct? If Avatar were to win Best Picture at the Oscars, I would almost consider abandoning my film dreams. Almost.)

  • Giovanni Jones

    Sir Paul was most likely being self-deprecating in a dry, wry British way and not taking a shot at cartoons. I seem to recall that he was involved with animated projects before, including “Rupert the Bear.” And correct me if I’m wrong, but when The Beatles were approached to voice the vultures in The Jungle Book, it was only John Lennon who objected (maybe he wanted Yoko to direct the film).

    That said, “just a joke” does not mean that it is wrong to feel slighted because of the apparent status issues connected with animation in the entertainment industry. In fact, I can remember a time when The Beatles and their music were considered trivial and temporary, along with much of the pop music so revered today (just listen to Allan Sherman’s “I Hate the Beatles”).

    Perhaps if Sir Paul were aware of all of the industry context surrounding his joke, he might be just a bit contrite. It’s unlikely he knows. That doesn’t excuse him, of course, but it’s unlikely he’s following the role of animation in the industry as we are.

  • wgan

    so sir Paul takes drugs?

  • wgan

    oh yeah by the way, i think UP is way to overrated, only the first 15 minutes or so is pure gold IMHO, the rest is just around the average level of other pixar animations at best

  • http://goldenagecartoons.com Matthew Hunter

    I thought it was funny. You’re definitely reading way too much into it!

  • Timmyelliot

    All jokes are sound bad if you’re listening without a sense of humor.

    I think it was more self-depricating than insulting animation, to really get the joke, one had to know Paul McCartney’s history.

  • Bugs Jetstone

    I’m an adult, and I DO take drugs, and Paul’s right on the money with this one.

  • bluenowait

    I LOVED that joke! Anyone else notice that soda cap Docter had on his lapel. Too bad he didn’t have a ribbon.

  • Greg Colton

    OK….this joke seems very simple to me. He’s just referencing Yellow Submarine! Simple…no reason to read into it any deeper.

  • Tsimone Tse Tse

    Did everyone forget when Yellow Submarine came out?
    “…… nothing is real.”

    The “counterculture” was very prevalent in pop culture in the 60′s. I don’t remember families packing their kids in the station wagon to see Yellow Submarine like they did for Jungle Book.

    Remember the late ’60′s psychedelic poster of Fantasia, the “Original Trip?”

    “…nothing to get hung about…”

  • David Breneman

    It came across as a joke to me, and one that deflated the pomposity of the event quite nicely. Would that someone could make such a joke when recieving the now much-deflated (though not yet enough) Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Sylvain

    It’s no wonder most of the public think animation is for just kids, it’s your own doing. Even the ASIFA’s most prominent members are openly supporting the same old Pixar formula (10 minutes oscar fodding prologue, a kid’s formula center with slapstick jokes and cuteness, and a chase scene for action, inconsistent screenplay but nobody cares). Better start there instead of pointing at the live action people.

    Or you can continue to act like irrational faking victims, you might get something out of it… eventually…

  • Robert Schaad

    It was a joke…

    Legalize Cartoons!

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

    That wacky Beatle…

  • JD

    @Sylvain: many of those inconsistent screenplays get Oscar nods, and getting in that category needs more than an old formula. And where in them except Up has that “10 minutes Oscar fodding prologue”? Killing Coral in Finding Nemo or gun-wielding granma in Ratatouille?

    Sometimes I feel the hatred for Pixar is as much disdained as the blind love for the studio, which in all fairness, the greatest and most consistent American animation studio nowadays, but their PR skill turns them into something holy.

  • Oliver

    If I was married to Heather Mills, I’d want to take drugs too.

  • Bob K.

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned the animated films that Paul produced and scored found on the Paul McCartney: Music and Animation Collection (Re-released as “Tales of Wonder: Music and Animation Classics”). To me this is sufficient evidence that Paul takes animation seriously.

  • John

    It was a joke and a pretty good one.

    Let it be…

  • Bill Turner

    DrewDraws said it best and simply. It was a joke at the perception of animation. I like animation and don’t take drugs. I thought it was funny.

  • Bill Turner

    And why no mention of Michael Giacchino’s win for best soundtrack? Generally I don’t like it when something in the filmmaking technique draws attention to the fact that I’m watching a movie (3-D, shaky camera), but Giacchino’s scores often stand out for me. I’ve greatly enjoyed his work in The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Lost, Fringe and others. Congratulations!

  • Ethan

    My guess is that nobody mentioned it, because the “best song” and “best soundtrack” awards have been considered consolation prizes for years. As if they are used only to give a “number” of nominations to a popular film. It’s an advantage for these popular films to win a number of nominations, because it improves the ratings when the awards are televised or, otherwise, gather the contribution money to survive… Changing the voting rules can help, too.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but these awards don’t mean anything anymore in the head of most people. I say this only as my interpretation of how people think… you know… I guess they can see the business part of it seeping through.

  • Deaniac

    Why is everyone taking offense to this. He was obviously joking!
    If it bothers you that much, then live and let die.

  • http://kirbydream.com/ Leirin

    Congrats to Pete and the rest of the Up crew! The competition was unusually competitive this year. What with several spectacular animated flicks that appeal to a wide age spectrum, from Mary and Max to Ponyo, to Fantastic Mr. Fox to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

    Pixar is not a holy studio, but they certainly are some of the more consistent with their movies these days. Sony’s “Cloudy” is great, but you can’t deny that it sticks out as, by far, the studio’s best movie.

    Yes, the quote’s a joke, thought in a FEW ways, it’s almost true. Especially if he means Ponyo. There are some parts in that movie (and nearly every other Miyazaki film) that are… trippy, to say the least.

  • Ethan

    Glad to see the newspeak way of saying “same old formula” is “consistent”. I have to admit pixar is double plus consistent.

  • Brenda

    His comment sounds rude on the way it’s written on the article, but once you actually bother to watch the video, you realize he didn’t mean to be offensive, so cool off, you guys!
    The old man just tried to be funny.

    and thumbsup at Rio’s comment haha!<3

  • Sylvain

    Bill, you seem to have some very strong opinions about pixar . If I were you, I would make sure the new people voting at the Annies are only those who agree with you. It all remains according to the rules because you changed the rules. Congratulations !

  • Tom

    I hate it when people say they don’t take drugs, because alcohol is a drug. And the one that causes most harm in the world. Fair enough if you don’t drink as well, but I doubt that’s the case. I bet most people in that room were drinking.

    I’ll never forgive Macca for appearing on the X Factor.

  • Bern

    I find it hillarious that Paul made this statement when The Beatles firmly stated, (or at least implied) that alot of their songs (before they broke up at least) were written while they were high, and they were all high pretty much the entire time they were in the film Help!. I don’t know if he’s just being very ignorant or if he honestly thinks that you have to be on drugs to create or enjoy an imaginative, well-written, and emotional animated film that was also considered one of the best and highest grossing films this year. Oh well, maybe he was trying to see if people would actually criticise him or if people would be stupid enought to agree with his every word simply because he is one of the last remaining of The Beatles. Either way it ends up hurting the animation industry by adding fuel to arguments by critics and others that animation can’t and should never be enjoyed by adults (some critics and honestly believe this and have given pixar films bad reviews for being too serious or not pandering to the correct audience.

  • Adam Clifton

    I understand the joke but it is annoying. America is a place where Animation and kids go together as if that’s how is supposed to be.

    The whole thing makes zero sense. For that reason many Americans completely miss great Animation titles aimed at adults because they think it doesn’t exist.

    I cannot express how frustrating this is especially as a fan of Anime.

  • Mayowa

    Have half the people on this board lost their their sense of humour? Some of the reaction to McCartney’s statements are wrong on so many levels.

    1) I very much doubt Macca meant to imply that it’s either-or about who watches cartoons: children or “druggies.”

    2) If there’s one group I’d figure could take a joke, it’s cartoon fans. But it seems even here people are prone to knee-jerk PC hypersensitivity. Now that’s sad. You can’t go anywhere where someone doesn’t go out of their way to be offended. “I don’t do drugs,” God! Get over yourselves, and…

    3) Try to avail any semblence of common sense that may chance to avail upon you for one second. Of course Sir Paul was a member of the Beatles. Of course the Beatles not only took drugs but also inspired drug use. Of course there’s a very good chance that Paul still uses drugs…in some form. So even if it is mocking (which it isn’t), he’s being self-deprecating. There’s a very good chance McCartney is NOT judgemental about drug use and likes cartoons.

    4) Like was mentioned before, if you drink, you take drugs – and in a bad way, if I may say so. Seriously, get over yourselves. I don’t drink or take drugs, AND McCartney is, like, my least favourite Beatle, so I feel rather qualified in saying that I found the comments hilarious all the same.
    _______

    Honestly, I hope some of you people never write cartoons.

  • Drpepperfan

    Wow, whingy much? It was a joke, hence not what they actually think. Seems pretty simple really….