2008 Oscar Nominees 2008 Oscar Nominees
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2008 Oscar Nominees

The nominees for the 80th annual Academy Awards were announced this morning:

Best Animated Feature
• Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud)
• Ratatouille (Brad Bird)
• Surf’s Up (Ash Brannon and Chris Buck)

Note: The Surf’s Up nomination surprised even Sony. Yair Landau, president of Sony Pictures Digital, told Animation Magazine this morning, “We really didn’t run any campaign here whatsoever.” Considering that both Persepolis and Surf’s Up are released by Sony, it’ll be interesting to see whether they choose to promote one film over the other in the run-up to the Oscars.

Best Animated Short Film
• I Met The Walrus (Josh Raskin) Link
• Madame Tutli-Putli (NFB, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski) Link
• (Meme Les Pigeons Vont Au Paradis)Even Pigeons Go To Heaven (Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse) Link
• My Love (Moya Lyubov) (Alexander Petrov) Trailer
• Peter And The Wolf (Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman) Link

Note: This is the first time since 1999 that US filmmakers have been shut out of the animated short category. This year’s nominees are by Canadian, British, French and Russian filmmakers.

Ratatouille also received nominations for Best Original Screenplay (Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird), Best Original Score (Michael Giacchino), Best Sound Editing (Randy Thom and Michael Silvers) and Best Sound Mixing (Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane).

UPDATE: Four of the five animated short nominees can be viewed online in their entirety. Ticklebooth has the links.

  • Jess

    it’s so nice to know that shrek 3 and alvin aren’t on that list!

  • Some Guy

    Wow! Nice list!

    Ratatouille should have been nominated for best editing, too, that shotgun sequence alone was worthy of it!

  • Go “Surf’s Up”! Go!

  • Am I wrong for wanting “Surf’s Up” to win over “Ratatouille”? I just watched Surf’s up again the other day and it is beautiful!

  • Though Ratatouille will win, I don’t mind if it loses to Persepolis, so long as Ratatouille in the other categories it was nominated in.
    Too bad the Goofy short didn’t get nominated for best animated short. I guess it wasn’t good enough.

  • Jill

    Persepolis might actually win Best Animated Feature, then Ratatouille could take the screenplay Oscar. Justice for most!

  • i really liked peter and the wolf. that’s my choice.

  • Re: Ratatouille and its FIVE nominations: Has any other animated film ever been nominated in so many categories before? I know Beauty and the Beast had SIX nominations, but three of them were for Best Original Song, so it was actually nominated in only FOUR categories.

  • EHH

    “Enchanted” got 3 song nominations. Is this relevent to animation?

  • Pieless

    I’m amused by The Simpsons Movie not getting nominated, that was the most disappointing film I saw in theaters last year. Not to say it was bad, just overhyped to death. Still hoping that Persoplis will generate enough buzz and revenue to wind up at my near-by theater, but I’m not hopeful about the prospect.

    As for Ratatouille winning the screenplay Oscar, I could see it being possible but I think that one is going to wind up going to Juno, since it’s doubtful it will win any of the other major awards. Isn’t that how it usually works anyway, a comedy film gets nominated for Best Picture/Director/Screenplay, but tends to only win Best Screenplay?

  • Congratulations to all of them!

  • How did Surf’s Up beat out Simpsons?

  • Ryan

    “How did Surf’s Up beat out Simpsons?”

    “The Simpsons Movie” is based on a TV show. There’s no way the Academy would ever recognize a movie with its origins traced to television. I can’t think of any nominee in a major category in the history of the Oscars that was a feature-length version of a show that was still on the air.

  • Jamie B

    Delighted that there are no bees or orges on the features list; all three choices are pretty awesome indeed (sad for ‘Meet the Robinsons’ absence, however!). That surfboard making improv scene in Surf’s Up is just fantastic and Persepolis will give Ratatouille a real run for its money!

    Madame Tutli-Putli is wonderful but it’s Peter and Wolf for me in the shorts…

  • Pedro Nakama

    The only one I haven’t seen is Persepolis. And from the trailer Persepolis looks like the most interesting of the three.

  • How come the Goofy short is not on the list? Was that released too late?

    I actually expected (or more, I was convinced) that Simpsons would get the Oscar as a token Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Eric B

    I don’t get why almost everyone here loved Surf’s Up. Sure it’s an animated movie, but I don’t think it’s Oscar worthy, and when I saw it I thought it was horrible. Predictable, nothing new, and it could as well have been a live action movie (and they would have only needed to alter one or two lines of the script). So yeah, not a fan of that one.

    I vote Ratatouille, since I haven’t seen Persopolis.

  • Herb

    A Persepolis Oscar would symbolically break animation out of the kiddie ghetto.

  • GhaleonQ

    The short films are the real winners. Stellar choices, though I’d get rid of the Lennon film for Goofy. Go, Petrov!

  • Pete

    Ratatouille taking the Original Screenplay Oscar could be a big symbolic win for anyone at the WGA who’s fighting for union membership for animation writers. Just saying.

  • Nic Kramer

    I’m still shocked that poor Goofy’s comeback short was not included for best animated short subject.

  • What a beautiful selection; seen most of the shorts now and all the features aside from Persopolis…I’m just pleased such great pieces were selected (even Surf’s Up, which I found to be really good once I watched it).

  • Tom

    I’m happy with that list. Any of the three will be fine with me, but just because Persepolis is kind of the underdog here makes me want to root for it.

  • precode

    I don’t see much conflict, promo-wise. SURF’S UP is “regular” Sony, while PERSEPOLIS is Sony Classics, which is completely autonomous. I too am glad to see the criminally-neglected SURF’S UP listed, though I’m sad that SIMPSONS didn’t make it…though I’m sure they’re crying all the way to the bank.

  • Lucy

    Woah!! A list I actually agree with!? Great! Congrats to all of the animated features nominated, best of luck! :)

  • Andrew

    Ratatouille is sweeping the nominees! :) At least there’s SOME things I like about the Academy’s taste.

  • Ellen Yu

    The list for both feature and short this year are very refreshing.

    I guess I was one of the lucky few who saw Persepolis at a film festival. I love Ratatouille, but Persepolis beats it mainly because of the more mature subject matter. Both have a wonderful story and visuals, but Brad Bird already has an Oscar. It wouldn’t hurt if someone else gets it.

    It is truly a shame Persepolis has such a limited release.

    Shamefully, I have only seen “I Met the Walrus.” I’m just glad the shorts this year are from more diverse studios. Much better than last year’s snub of Joanna Quinn and Don Hertzfeldt.

  • “Surf’s up” was actually cool. I saw it twice. Can’t say that about every animated movie. But I really hope Persepolis takes all the cake it deserves.

  • As much as I’d love to see a Best Original Screenplay win for RATATOUILLE, it’ll never happen. Diablo Cody’s win for JUNO is pretty much assured, a coronation of Hollywood’s writer of the moment.

  • “Meme les pigeons” can be found in higher quality video on stage6 (no subtitles, though):

    The only one of the short film nominees which I’ve currently seen the full version of is “Madame Tutli-Putli” (I refuse to watch the rest of them in low-quality Youtube versions, and I want to find subtitles for “Meme les pigeons” before watching it).

    Madame Tutli-Putli really impressed me with many things, though I do wish that it was about 20-30 seconds longer at the very end, just to give some more breathing room. I immediately wanted to rewatch it after the first time. I don’t think that it will win the Oscar, though. It’s not funny, and it’s not immediately understandable. It’s too poetic. I think that poetry is not currently popular in our society, whatever form it takes. It does have very good animation (which gets better as the film goes on) and direction, but I don’t think that this will count for much.

    Just to reiterate: The above comments are not MY critique of the film, but it’s what I think may not be palatable to the Academy voters.

    On a related note, has it been shown on the CBC yet? The only thing I’ve caught is snatches on CBC News. What are we funding that organization for, anyway, if they won’t broadcast Canada’s cultural treasures? (of course, I really know very little about this issue, but I get the impression that the NFB and the CBC don’t cooperate much)

  • Steve Gattuso

    It’s a fine listing all around. Those are my three top animated features of the year, and all of the shorts are excellent.

  • Gobo

    And, happily, we can debate which of the three features is most deserving of an award without having to sling mud over whether mo-cap is ‘animation’ or not.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Goofy didn’t make it on the list because it wasn’t funny. There, I said it.

  • Wasn’t it last year that “Happy Feet” won best animated film? I still remember that almost no one here was happy about that!

  • I admit to kinda liking “Surf’s Up,” though ultimately it is really too pop-culture-gag-dependent to stand on its own as a “movie” (One reason “Simpsons Movie” didn’t make the cut; a lot of the time spent watching the movie involves seeing how many characters and plots from the TV show get referenced or reappear. I did enjoy that as a Simpsons fan, but that makes it more of a commodity than a feature film).

    But I really only liked “Surf’s Up” in the same way I kinda liked “Happily N’Ever After.” There, I said it. The one thing that made me not ask for two hours of my life back was when the generic Princess was told she was supposed to marry the Prince, live happily ever after, end of story, to which she says “And that’s ALL? What about the rest of my life!” Cheesy plot, but not too cheesy that it wasnt also used in “Cinderella III.”

    That’s off my chest. Hoping to see “Perseopolis,” though I’d already be pleased if it won. Here’s to the vain hope that the big studios will look at it and “Ratatouille” and see that good animated movies come from good characters and good stories instead of movie references and “the voice talents of” Whoopi/Robin/Eddie etc.

  • Niffiwan: “I don’t think that it (Madame Tutli-Putli) will win the Oscar, though. It’s not funny, and it’s not immediately understandable. It’s too poetic.”

    The nominees this year are not funny, except (Meme Les Pigeons Vont Au Paradis) Even Pigeons Go To Heaven. The Goofy short was the funniest film among the finalists, and it didn’t get nominated (probably looked too much like something they’ve seen before).

    The Academy has a history of honoring non-funny films. The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation, the winner from two years ago is powerful and poetic, but not funny. And the year before that Ryan won, it has tragic poetry. Last years winner The Danish Poet was funny but also poetic.

    I actually expect Madame Tutli-Putli to win, but I have a fondness for I Met the Walrus, the message moved me; I’m not sure what the message was for Madame Tutli-Putli. I liked every film among the finalists this year, and that’s a first for me.

  • Nipplenuts McGurk

    Wow, this rules! I’ve been telling everyone how great Surf’s Up is since it came out ….the universal reaction is always “really? that penguin movie?” …but then when they see it – “YOU WERE RIGHT, it’s GREAT!”

    Awesome, it doesn’t matter who wins – these 3 noms all DESERVE it! Congrats!

  • Bart

    I really hope Diablo Cody doesn’t win the screenplay credit. The script was the worst part about Juno, and I think it was a film that the actors largely held up.

    I do think Ratatouille would be a great contestant for best screenplay since the movie itself had the same standard CalArts acting, movements, and design, but it’s definitely the script for the movie that set it apart from all other Pixar (or even Bird) films that have come before. It’s really cool to see an animated movie work on so many levels about our lives as artists and still be a lot of fun to watch.

    But of course Juno will win purely because of hype, not because anyone will notice Diablo Cody is a self centered jerk (see her online journal) or writes lines like “What the blog?!” and “YO YO YIGGITY YO!” The actors and actresses actually did a good job tripping over her awful dialogue, making it seem well written to those who are so out of touch that they think that’s how teenagers actually talk in real life. It’s just another bland Kevin Smith.

    But I’m sure Ratatouille will not win out of its place in the Animated Category. That sort of thing just doesn’t happen for animated films in the U.S., as they don’t have enough respect here as “real” movies outside of geeks like us. But in my ideal world Persepolis would win the Animated Film category and Ratatouille would win the screenplay.

    Best reviewed movie of last year mainly for the writing may indeed be the best reviewed, but it’s still animated isn’t it?

  • Surf’s Up was surprisingly solid and holds up on multiple viewings. It’s nice to see a movie in there that is just plain fun, not trying desperately to be fun (and failing) like the Shrek films.

    Ratatouille is fantastic and should also be nominated in a few more visual categories such as editing, cinematography, and direction.

    I have not yet seen Persepolis, but as a previous commenter suggested, a win could make it “okay” for more adult themed animation to be produced. Just as films like Bowling for Columbine, and Supersize Me allow the masses to be “okay” with seeing a documentary.

    This could be the first year where I felt all three nominees are valid and deserving in their own right. Best of luck to all!

  • Ryan wrote:
    “‘The Simpsons Movie’ is based on a TV show. There’s no way the Academy would ever recognize a movie with its origins traced to television. ”

    Well, I know Tommy Lee Jones won his Oscar for his performance in The Fugitive and Sean Connery got his Oscar for his role in The Untouchables, a pair of movies based on television shows.

    “I can’t think of any nominee in a major category in the history of the Oscars that was a feature-length version of a show that was still on the air.”

    “South Park: Bigger, Louder, and Uncut” got a nomination for Best Original Song when its show was still on the air as well. Best Original Song isn’t exactly a “major” category, but it is a nomination that gets awarded near the end of the telecast.

    Just sayin’ . . .

  • gene schiller

    I wish I could join in the general acclaim for Ratatouille, but I must admit, I found it rather unexciting – more prose than poetry, and despite the occasional rat’s eye view, much like any other live-action film. From a purely visual standpoint, the preponderance of dull
    flesh tones put my brain to sleep. But, I loved the funky, stylized end credits (a lot!) and the 2-D spinoff, “My Friend, the Rat.” I wish Disney/Pixar would stop throwing us scraps and do more in this vein.