Animation Award Season!

With the 87th Academy Award winners  announced yesterday, I thought I'd go over the animated feature films nominated for the Oscars and other awards over the last quarter.  I meant to get this out before the Oscars were revealed, but long story short, I accidentally erased my blog post (note to self, always write up in a word processor first)! *facepalm*  So without further adieu ...

Oscars - Best Animated Feature Film:
Big Hero 6 - Walt Disney Animation Studio
--So, I admit, the Berkian (How to Train Your Dragon fan) in me was disappointed that Big Hero 6 took home the Oscar, but I am eager to get my hands on "BH6" (especially now that it won the Academy Award).  After checking out this interview with Disney Animation Studios Chief Technology Officer, Andy Hendrickson talking about new graphics technology developed for BH6, I'm curious to see how "this film is more complex than our [Disney's] last three films combined."

The Boxtrolls - Focus Features/Laika
--I just saw The Boxtrolls (the first stop-motioned animated film I've seen in recent memory) last week and I ended up enjoying it much more than I thought I would!  I was particularly intrigued by their combination of traditional techniques and new technology (e.g. lasercutting, using 3D printing to create the puppets, using CGI animation with stop-motion, etc.) Note: the DVD version contains roughly 45 minutes of behind the scenes extras and featurettes --much better than other bigger studios have provided on their DVDs *cough*Disney'sFrozen*cough*DreamWork'sTheCroods*cough* Check out one of the featurettes on the costume design below:

How to Train Your Dragon 2 - DreamWorks Animation SKG
--For me, HTTYD2 definitely lived up to the hype: --dramatic, emotional, more mature storyline, raised stakes, a shocking twist, amazing animation (I think the snow and ice environments rivaled or were better than Frozen's), beautiful lighting, wonderful voice acting ...
Of course it wasn't perfect: there were a couple plot threads that I feel could have gotten expanded upon if they had more time.  They tried to do a lot (maybe too much?) and perhaps that's where Big Hero 6 topped them ... As with Disney Animation and BH6, DreamWorks Animation also developed new animation technology and HTTYD2 was their first film to be completely created with it. Called Apollo, it received the juried Ub Iwerks Award from the
International Animated Film Society this January "for technical advancement that has made a significant impact on the art or industry of animation."

Song of the Sea - GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon
--An Irish animated film by Tomm Moore, co-founder of Cartoon Saloon.  His previous work, The Secret of the Kells, also was nominated for best animated feature.  I never really paid attention to international animation until now, so this was new to me.  It looks very beautiful, almost like the illustrations from a picture book.  I'm glad that there are still animation companies creating feature films that have that traditional, 2D style ... Check out the trailer below:

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya - GKIDS/Studio Ghibli
Kaguya-hime no Monogatari or The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a Japanese animated film by Isao Takahata.  He is known as the co-founder of Studio Ghibli (with the famed Hayao Miyazaki). Based on the 10th century Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, I was stuck by the lovely pen and ink strokes that evoke Asian brush paintings.  Truly looks like a work of art and I can't wait to see it.  See the official English dubbed trailer below:

72nd Golden Globes
- Best Animated Feature Film
--Along with Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 (which won the award), the Golden Globes also nominated these two animated films:

The Book of Life - Reel FX Animation Studios/Twentieth Century Fox
--Produced by Guillermo del Toro (best known to me for the slightly dark, fairy tale inspired film Pan's Labyrinth).  Like The Boxtrolls, the quirky, stylized art makes it stand out from the other animated films this year.  It's very unique and distinctive, though it seems to be aiming at the kids audience by being comedic.  Another film I've yet to check out.

The Lego Movie - Warner Bros. Pictures
--So I was a bit surprised at people saying The LEGO Movie was snubbed by not being nominated for the Oscars.  I had previously dismissed this film as one aimed at kids by using juvenile humor and ... well, it's LEGO.  Obviously this was just a hour and a half long commercial for their toys, right?  (Just kidding.)  However, I've found that quite a few adults and film critics enjoyed this film.  Also, the animation is supposed to be pretty good as well, so ... I'll be giving it a shot when I have the time.

Do you have any favorite animated films from 2014?  Have you watched any of the animated films mentioned here?  Any of the movies here catch your eye?  Why?

[Edited for formatting, Golden Globes info]
Animation Award Season! Animation Award Season! Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 2/23/2015 10:41:00 AM Rating: 5


  1. I wish I had known this was on. I would have watched it. It looks like t wold have been tons of fun to watch !

    1. I actually didn't watch the Academy Awards, but there are a lot of clips on youtube. =)
      Check out some of those animated films though! =)

  2. I loved the Lego movie! It wouldn't have won. But it was fun and well made!

    1. It doesn't seem like it would have won, but who knows? The Book of Life wasn't nominated for the Oscars either ...

      It definitely seems fun --I'll have to check it out soon! =)


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