Academy Award Nominees & Analysis

oscar.jpgThe nominees were announced today.Best Animated Feature
CARS (Pixar)
HAPPY FEET (Warner Bros.)
MONSTER HOUSE (Sony)Notes on the Feature nominations: The obvious casualty of the Arthur And The Invisibles disqualification was the lockout of two potential Dreamworks pix and Sony’s Open Season. Had the Weinstein Company submitted its all-animated Doogal instead of Arthur the catagory would have been open to five nominees. It’s to the benefit of the industry that all qualified nominees be submitted for Academy consideration. Hopefully this will encourage more studios to release independent films, and those hard to see foreign features, and qualify them for this honor. As it is, this is a fine list of nominees. A Pixar film competing against features produced by traditionally live action filmmakers (George Miller, Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg). Is this the beginning of a trend? We’ll see. In the meantime, may the best car, penguin or monster win.Best Animated Short Film
The Danish Poet (NFB) Torill Kove
Lifted (Pixar) Gary Rydstrom
Little Match Girl (Disney) Roger Allers
Maestro Géza M Toth
No Time For Nuts (Blue Sky) Chris Renaud and Mike Thurmeier

Notes on the Shorts nominations: An interesting list. Pixar, Blue Sky and Disney, plus an NFB short and one Hungarian independent film. The big surprise was that Joanna Quinn’s award winning film (Dreams and Desires), didn’t make the cut and that three big studio produced shorts did. Is this the beginning of another trend? Two things grab Academy voters (and technique is not one of them): Laughter and Heart. LIFTED, MAESTRO and NO TIME FOR NUTS (all CG) got big laughs at the Academy screening; THE DANISH POET and LITTLE MATCH GIRL (both hand drawn) had heart. I can’t begin to predict what the full membership will select, but it was a strong year in this catagory.

Randy Newman’s song from CARS, Our Town, was also nominated for Best Song. In L.A. the Academy will screen all the nominated shorts with a filmmakers Q&A on Tuesday February 20th. The winners will be announced on Sunday February 25th. Congratulations to all the nominees!