We made it! Sunday is the Oscars! And we finally have made it to the last big category: Best Animated Feature. But this year, it looks a little bit like slim pickings, with two foreign films in the mix. But beggars can’t be choosers, so let’s wrap up this month of Oscars with one last look before the big night!
A Cat in Paris
I was kind of shocked to see that this was in the place of A Monster in Paris. Though you’d also think with so many movies being in Paris, you’d think nothing else was going on in the whole state of France. But that’s beside the point; the story looks really interesting on the whole. A little girl’s cat moonlights with a thief, who ends up saving said little girl from the gangsters who murdered her father. This one, like the other foreign film in this category, has a very distinct and different style, and it’s 2D looks more like comic book style. It looks whimsical in a very modern way, and it might have a shot, though slim, at an Oscar win.
Chico & Rita
Good for you Spain, getting a movie at the Oscars! I am proud you! But sadly, I didn’t get to see this film. From what I CAN tell it’s a love story about a pianist and singer in the wake of the Cuban Revolution. Stylistically, it’s different from the norm, going for a more flat, modern outlined style, which is best used in abstract films. However, it hasn’t generated much buzz at all, so I’m figuring it’s not all that special a film, or even a moderately well known one, so I’m figuring it’s not going much further than a nominee on the ballot.
Kung Fu Panda 2
I am just going to straight up geek out and say that I love this movie. I love it just as much as the first, maybe even a little more. The switching between CG and stylized 2D was a genius choice on the part of the filmmakers, and the choice to use silhouetted puppets for the intro really added to the authentic feel of the film. Po is one of my favorite characters of all time – he’s brave but also afraid of imminent death, he wants to amazing and badass but he’s also clumsy, he’s goofy and fun but serious when needed. I think a lot of people, myself included, really relate to him, and so his wins and loses make us all feel. I think this is the film with the highest chance of winning because of its beautiful art and its amazing story. It deals with loss, family, overcoming fear and despair, and facing new and scary challenges with confidence and hope, something we all need. This nomination is 100% Starshine-Supported and I hope it wins!
I cannot tell you how much I hate Antonio Banderas, and I can say that cause he unfortunately comes from the same country I am from. But if there were ever a role he didn’t want to make me pull me teeth out, it was Puss in Boots from the Shrek franchise. But when I heard it was getting it own movie? Yeah, can’t say I was totally convinced it was a good idea. I mean the first two Shrek movies were very good, but the last two were not enough to convince me DreamWorks could further stretch its cash cow. But by focusing on a side character, and actually putting time and love into it. Will it win? Maybe. If it doesn’t, does that mean it was a bad movie? Not at all.
…I am going to be honest here and say I am not a fan of this particular movie. The animation is fantastic, to be sure, with an original premise but I just never liked it. I think it fell flat in a very non-genre specific way. What I mean to say is it’s easy to be bored by Westerns – they can be very ht or miss depending on the strength of the script, scenario, and characters. This had none of those elements, and very little of that Western-cowboy charm. In fact, I was surprised it even got nominated! But, whatever logic went behind this decision, we’ll have to trust the Academy saw something in it that I haven’t been able to. I don’t think it’s a likely choice to win, but it’s certainly higher than the two foreign films.
Good luck to all these films and more! Be sure to check out the Oscars Sunday to see just how wrong I am.