The nominees for Best Animated Feature are:
The category was created in 2001 when the Academy finally realized that there was some quality animated fare out there: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film to be considered for Best Picture (back when there were only five films up for the award). Up and Toy Story 3 joined the exclusive club, but only after the best picture field was increased to “up to 10.”
While I wouldn’t call this a banner year for animation (with Pixar not quite returning to form with the cute but ultimately not-magical Brave), one film stuck out as so incredible and touching and funny: Wreck-It Ralph. With a great ensemble voice cast (John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, Mindy Kaling, Ed O’Neill, among others) and great although not wholly original story (bad guy wants to be good guy but everyone sees him as bad guy so must do grand gesture to prove he is good and selfless, message of redemption and giving people second chances), there was a nostalgic feel to the film that just spoke to me. I did also enjoy ParaNorman, which reminded me of Monster House, which I always thought was a good “first horror movie” to show young kids. Still, no animated film this year made me more excited than Wreck-It Ralph. — Chris Hanna
I only saw Frankenweenie and Brave from all the nominees, and was equally unimpressed by both, although I found it ironic how Tim Burton can produce fresh work by going back to his younger, more inspired self (Frankenweenie was originally conceived as a short back in 1984). As for Brave, credits should be given to the team that designed her hair. Wow! I keep hearing great stuff about Wreck-It Ralph, and like Chris I also admire the film’s nostalgic feel (do kids still play video games at the arcades?). – Radina Papukchieva
Up next: Visuals.
By Chris Hanna and Radina Papukchieva
Twitter @Chris_Hanna and @Papukchieva