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AwardsFeature Film

For First Time, Golden Globes Nominate Two European Animated Features

The Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning, and for the first time, two European animated features made the list for best animated feature: The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent.

Tellingly, it also marks the first time that two animated features with a rating above PG have been nominated for the Golden Globe honor since both The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent are rated PG-13. Further, since both of the films have a female director (Loving Vincent was co-directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman), it also marks the first time that two films in the category have had a woman at the helm.

The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent are joined by three mainstream American productions. Here’s the line-up of nominees:

  • The Boss Baby (Dreamworks Animation)
  • The Breadwinner (Cartoon Saloon/Aircraft Pictures/Melusine Productions)
  • Coco (Disney-Pixar)
  • Ferdinand (Fox-Blue Sky Studios)
  • Loving Vincent (Breakthru Films/Trademark Films)

The Lego Batman Movie, which received far better critical reviews than The Boss Baby and (likely) the upcoming Ferdinand, is the most noticeable snub this year by the Golden Globes. It was also snubbed by the Annie Awards last week. Much like the original Lego Movie, award voters seem to be having a difficult time mustering enthusiasm for a film that is based on toys.

The Golden Globes, now in its 75th edition, are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a group of foreign journalists that covers the Hollywood entertainment industry for international publications.

Much like the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes routinely present the animated feature prize to the Walt Disney Company. In the first 11 years of the award, a Disney or Pixar film has won the Golden Globe nine times.

Some reactions from the nominated filmmakers:

“I’m so proud of all our artists who worked so hard to bring our labor of love into the world. Thank you so much to the HFPA for this wonderful honor.” -Tom McGrath (director), The Boss Baby

“We are so grateful to the HFPA for honoring Coco, which itself honors the distinction and cultural pride of Mexico and the beautiful celebration of Día de Muertos. It is a story that we hope can build bridges between generations, communities, and cultures. On behalf of the many people who worked so hard to bring this story to life, we would like to say ‘thank you’ for this recognition.” – Lee Unkrich (director), Darla K. Anderson (producer), Adrian Molina (co-director), Coco

“It has been an amazing couple of days for us! On Saturday we were honored by the European Film Academy by being voted Best European Animation Film. On Sunday we found out that quarter of a million people in China went to see our film on its opening weekend. And today we’ve been honored with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animation Film! It is a dream. Vincent said he dreamed his paintings and painted his dreams. Well, making this film was the dream of our life, and now we are living a dream because of this film. Wow, just wow!” – Hugh Welchman (co-director), Loving Vincent

“We were doing an interview for Swiss television, and the interviewer probably thought I was a complete weirdo, because I had so much tension in me that I couldn’t focus at all, then I got a sign from someone off camera and the interviewer then must have been sure that I was crazy because I jumped out of my seat screaming with joy and started running around the studio! All captured on camera. Probably not the best interview for viewers, but absolutely the best interview of my life! I am so honored we were nominated. I’m so happy. For me, for Hugh, for our producers Ivan and Sean, for our amazing cast and crew and of course for our astounding painters, that the work they put into those 65,000 oil-paintings is now being recognized.” – Dorota Kobiela (co-director), Loving Vincent

And The Breadwinner director Nora Twomey posted the following messages on Twitter.

Also, in the original motion picture song category, three of the nominations belong to songs that appear in animated films: “Home” in Ferdinand (music: Nick Jonas, Justin Tranter, and Nick Monson; lyrics: Nick Jonas, Justin Tranter); “Remember Me” in Coco (music and lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez); and “The Star” for the film of the same name (music and lyrics: Mariah Carey, Marc Shaiman).

  • Robert Tomshany

    That is something else. This statistic is thoroughly fitting for a horrendous year in American animation (at least as far as features are concerned) and a good-to-great year for international animation (ditto). I suspect this would have been the first year with FOUR indie-or-international animated feature Oscar nominees if the old rules were still in effect. As it is, “Coco” is the only surefire American nominee in the category. (An entirely deserving one, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it win even though I’d grumble along with everyone else about Disney hogging all the trophies,)

    Not that “Coco”‘s American competition is terrible; judging by the films I’ve seen and reviews/box office reports for the ones I haven’t, most of this year’s American animated studio features seem to be at least as good as, say, “Shark Tale”. But (thanks in part to the Oscars) animated feature standards have gone up since then – both among filmmakers who have risen to the challenge of Pixar, and among audiences who’ve been trained to expect more from animation – and it takes more than being a decent way to kill an hour and a half for a film to make a serious run for the animated feature Oscar these days. (Although with the current rule change, the Academy has a chance to prove me wrong here.)

    I’m not sorry “The LEGO Batman Movie” didn’t make the Globes; it was a nice comic deconstruction of the familiar Batman family of characters, but compared to the previous LEGO movie it fell short in terms of, um, awesomeness,

    Finally, noticing the credits on the song nominee from “The Star” – does this make Marc Shaiman the only songwriter to collaborate with both Trey Parker and Mariah Carey?

    • Dusty Ayres

      I’m sorry that The LEGO Batman Movie didn’t get one, especially thanks to people like you.

      That said, I’m glad to see these two movies nominated.

      • Robert Tomshany

        OK then, could you tell me what you thought was Globe-nomination-worthy about “The LEGO Batman Movie”? (Which I like – and I might ultimately prefer it to “Ferdinand” and “The Boss Baby”, both of which I have yet to see – but don’t love the way I love its predecessor, which has a conceptual audacity rare in American feature animation.)

      • Juddie Williams

        What is your problem? Why are you attacking him? He just gave his opinion about animated films this year.

    • Renard N. Bansale

      Kinda generous on Lego Batman there, but I agree on everything else. :)

    • Juddie Williams

      Hi Rob, thanks for your analysis.

  • alsott

    Since Cartoon Saloon has been snubbed and ripped off the past few times they’ve entered mainstream awards (despite producing far superior films in those instances, lets be honest with ourselves. No one can convince me that Big Hero 6 is better than Song of the Sea), Coco is going to win, unfortunately. Coco is a decent Pixar film, but doesn’t capture much of the originality and heart that movies from Kells to Breadwinner has had on a consistent basis.

    Loving Vincent, though revolutionary for animation practices, story wise is a bit all over the place, so I have a hard time seeing that win if the voters are taking the whole package into account.

    American “exceptionalism” will win out again. And then we’re going to reopen the age old complaints about how the animation awards are treated.

    • ea

      If they make a big deal out of the whole Lasseter controversy, voters may end up not giving the award to Disney/Pixar to teach them a lesson.

      • Robert Tomshany

        That’s a legitimate possibility, and I bet Pixar is aware of it and likely trying to defuse it. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that producer Darla Anderson has been more visible than usual in the promotion of “Coco”.

  • Mep

    Seeing pixar and disney dominate the awards is boring…no one cares about the actual winner (becauses its always disney pixar) thats why everyone gets excited about the nominations…thats the real competition.

    Easy to make quality product when you have infinite time and money…yawn…i know coco is apparently awesome but nothing about the visuals or animation style is interesting to me…it looks like your average run of the mill disney pixar movie with perfectly polished animation with the same visual treatment as every other animated disney pixar something new…break outside the box…gahh

    • Robert Tomshany

      There is admittedly something of a “you have to see it to believe it” element to “Coco”; there’s no way to judge from the previews whether it’s any better than, say, “The Good Dinosaur”. Those previews are not telling you everything, though; as with many Pixar films, the story is the key element, and if it weren’t such a banner year for live-action original screenplays I would predict that “Coco” would follow “Finding Nemo”, “The Incredibles”, “Ratatouille”, “WALL-E”, “Up” and “Inside Out” to an Oscar nomination in that category.