Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Best Animated Movie

The Golden Globe nominations for best animated movie were The Adventures of Tintin, Arthur Christmas, Cars 2, Puss in Boots, and Rango. Tintin won the award.

So, what can we expect from the Oscars? And which movie was actually best?

The Oscars only nominate three pictures. We can assume that Cars 2 and Puss in Boots will not make the cut. Cars 2 wasn't bad but it might be the worst (least best?) movie that Pixar ever made (one of them has to be the worst). Puss in Boots was the fifth in a franchise that lost its steam after the second installment. I suspect that both were nominated because of past successes by their respective studios.

That leaves us three very good movies.

Arthur Christmas has the best characterization. You have three generations of Santa Clauses, all with their own agendas plus Arthur, the accident-prone second son. Over the course of the movie you realize that Arthur is the only one who still gets Santa Claus - that it's about the kids. Its animation is really good but not jaw-dropping. The two strikes against it are that it is a Christmas movie and it is very British.

The animation in Rango is amazing. It was ILM's first feature-length animated movie and they put all of their photo-realistic skill into it. The plot is good - kind of a Don Knots movie if Don Knots was a lizard who sounded like Johnny Depp. The only strike against it is that the main characters are kind of repulsive.

Tintin was made by ILM's competitor, Weta. There is less character development in this than in the other two and it is not as photo-realistic as Rango. What it does have is the best adventure plot by director Stephen Spielberg since Raiders of the Lost Ark. It also has a long take - a continuous shot going on for several minutes as multiple characters try to grab the clues to a treasure and avoid a flood.

So, why did Tintin win? It was either the long take or it could be that the Golden Globe voters have a soft spot for the character of Tintin.

Personally I would have given the award to Rango but all three of these movies deserve the prize.

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