Best Animated Film Predictions

Current Predictions (10-10-11):
Cars 2
Winnie the Pooh
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Best Animated Film Notes (10-10-11): 2011 is shaping up to be a very weak year for animated pictures. We are lacking a dynamic Pixar release, a fantastical Japanese film or a surprise a la Triplets of Belleville. What we have are shabby sequels, a few well-made hand-drawns and one clever adult picture about a lizard. It’s a weak year indeed. The prospects for this being one of the worst animated years since the creation of this category are quite high and are made even higher by The Adventures of Tintin potentially being disqualified for its use of stop motion technology.

That said, this year also has the potential to create a rare double dip on the part of Steven Spielberg. If Tintin is  eligible and strong then there is no reason to believe it isn’t the easy front-runner in this category. If War Horse impresses then Spielberg may very well take home Best Picture and Best Animated picture. A feat never accomplished before. Leave it to Spielberg to achieve such an honor. Obviously, this is a long shot but it definitely could happen. I’m not a Spielberg fan at all but this scenario adds some spice to an otherwise dull animation year.

Rango was strong but incredibly overrated. A clever CGI film with some nice adult writing but little beyond that. I never really fall for Depp’s charms, especially his voice charms. The plot was simpleton and the animation did nothing all that interesting.

Winne the Pooh was a cute, well-drawn picture that has no business being in Academy Award contention, except for the weak year around it. Again, it’s cute, but, like Rango, it’s little else beyond that.

I’m assuming Cars 2 gets in because the Academy adores Pixar and loves Lasseter specifically. I’ve come to know a few people in the Academy who think this one may be a controversial pick, but a pick nonetheless. It’s an awful movie. Really, it would be something of a travesty to honor something so silly. However, Cars actually won this award a few years ago while being only slightly better so stranger things have happened.

On the horizon, only Arthur Christmas seems to have the chops to make a critical splash. From Chicken Run creators, Arthur Christmas might have the brains and animation innovation to slip right into this year’s bunch. I’ve never been a huge fans of the Wallace & Gromit guys so I don’t really know how to anticipate the kind of impact this film might have. Seems like many people go for these films and many consider them masterpieces. The academy responded by giving Wallace & Gromit this award 5 years ago. I suppose Arthur Christmas might be in strong consideration but I’m saying “no” for now.

Good Bets:
Cars 2
Winnie the Pooh
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Arthur Christmas
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
The Smurfs
Puss in Boots
Happy Feet 2

Doubtful, or God I hope nots:
Gnomeo & Juliet
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked
Chico & Rita
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil


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