Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Which Your Author Expresses the Opinions of a Traitor

I see that Toy Story 3 has been nominated for Best Picture, marking the first time that the eighth instalment in a franchise -- because let's face it, The Incredibles, WALL-E and Up aside, they've been making the same film over and over since 1995 -- has got the nod. It's also been nominated in the animated category, which it will almost certainly win, not least because it's up against only two other films and anyway, Pixar Always Wins.

It would take a goof of As Good As It Gets or Forrest Gump proportions for the Academy to give Best Picture to Toy Story 3 this year with such a strong pack around it, but that's not why it won't win. It won't win because it's a cartoon, and cartoons aren't Proper Films. The thing is, despite my hatred for the ruin Pixar has visited upon the animation industry, I would almost like to see them win it this year.

As the story has it, the Academy panicked when animated films started to be taken seriously -- in the US that is; everyone else was already grown up enough to realise that cartoons could be more than trashy Saturday morning fodder --- in the 1990's, with Disney pulling their socks up and getting Beauty and the Beast into the nominations, The Lion King shortly after, Miyazaki not content with the traditional single masterpiece, and yes, Pixar's arrival on the scene. Being, at the end of the day, a bunch of stuffy old snobs, the Academy set up the Best Animated Feature award in 2001 so that there would be no danger of a mere cartoon showing up the real life actors. This backfired when pretty much everyone in the world asked why Wall-E didn't even get a nomination in 2009, despite being the best film of the previous year.

It's a petty, patronising little trinket designed to silence fans of animation and nudge them off into their own little ghetto, and it should be done away with. Even if it means Pixar pick up a Best Picture statuette.


  1. Don't agree with the Pixar comments but totally agree with your argument. Oscars is a load of shit anyway (even though I, regrettably, always get swept up in them).

  2. See that up there? That's me being nice about Pixar.