The nominees for Best Animated Feature are:

 Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman for Brave
Tim Burton for Frankenweenie
Sam Fell and Chris Butler for ParaNorman
Peter Lord for The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Rich Moore for Wreck-It Ralph

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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

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Up next: Visuals. 

By Chris Hanna and Radina Papukchieva
Twitter @Chris_Hanna and @Papukchieva

About The Cafe Phenomenon

"The Cafe Phenomenon" refers to a situation, specifically in a cafe, where you are sitting with a friend and engaging in conversation with them, but you suddenly find yourself unable to listen because the background noise of the cafe distracts you from what they are saying (the background noise could be any thing: the gossip at the next table for example). It happens that, from time to time, in certain contexts the background noise is stronger and more defined than our personal and private one on one conversations. Our blog, made up of a group of friends from Concordia's journalism program, can serve as the background noise penetrating the intimate discussions of our virtual cafe dwellers (hopefully adding insight, relevant coverage, and interesting ideas). Or it can be the friend with whom you are deep in conversation. This, our dear readers, we leave to you.

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