Oscar History

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Nov 06 2015

The Oscar Eligibility List for Best Animated Feature

The 16 official submissions for the Best Animated Feature Oscar have been revealed.The finalists include expected high-profile entries like Pixar's Inside Outand the still-to-come festival darling Anomalisa,and some you are maybe hearing about for the first time.Here's the list:

After racking up Pixar's second highest domestic gross, Inside Outis the early frontrunner.Its potential is also boosted by its Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay prospects,and it has the blend of brains and heart that have lead Pixar to more wins in the category than any other studio.There is also The Good Dinosaurcoming for Thanksgiving and hoping to celebrate Pixar's first dual release year with dual nominations.
Pixar isn't alone in bringing a high pedigree. Anomalisastands to benefit from its uniqueness among the pack: already boasting the Academy-approved pedigree of Charlie Kaufman,it's also a rare entry intended squarely at adults.GKIDS,who have found favor in this category with lovely low profile films,have three eligible candidates,including Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There.Will Blue Sky's The Peanuts Movieregister with nostalgic love or will it have similar poor luck to the other releases by the studio?

This category also has some tricky qualifications to note.The short version is that there couldbe five nominees (provided every single one of these meets release qualifications),but that depends on how well the nominating committee rates each film.If they think the field is weak,we could see less than five.
Jul 02 2015

Tim's Halfway Toons: The year so far in animation

½way mark - part 3 of ?

Tim here.We're spending the first few days of July looking back at the first half of the movie year,and now it's time to glance over the animated features of 2015 so far - about half of the total number of wide releases we should get,including the immediate carved-in-stone frontrunner for theAPP亚博娱乐 until further notice.Here are some of the noteworthy achievements in the year's cartoons so far.

Best Design
Inside Out
's horizonless world inside the mind,full of bright and soft physical depictions of complicated psychological notions,providing a space for the thematic concerns and the grandiose adventure alike to both play out.Bonus points for the unstressed way that,from a sufficient height,it resembles the folds of the brain.

Funniest & Most Accurate Joke
The cat inInside Out.My fellow cat owners understand why.

Most Creative Animation
The abstract through sequence inInside Out,a simple but elegant mixture of styles and textures and depth that shows off without distracting from the movie itself.

Best Proof That There Are Other Good Animated Movies BesidesInside Out
The current last ever Studio Ghibli film,When Marnie Was There,is a catalog of all the things that studio does so well: generosity towards all its characters,complex young women dealing with real life issues,lush backgrounds that more resemble fine art than a movie.If this is really the end,the studio left on a high note.

Best-Looking Film That's Ugly as Hell
Strange Magic
,the misbegotten George Lucas production whose striking,photorealistic images are in service to designs that look like somebody got bored halfway through making Dungeons & Dragons fanart.Please forgive me for reminding the universe thatStrange Magicexists.

Worst Ad Campaign for a Good Movie
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
is,for almost all of its running time,a charming throwback to the beloved TV show.It uses the surrealist jokes strung along a dizzy,fantastic narrative,with proudly old-fashioned 2-D animation that's severely colorful and defiantly flat,powerfully reminding us of the elegant pleasures of hand-drawn animation instead of the ubiquitous rendered models of CGI.Then,for about 15 minutes at the end,it morphs its characters into CGI effects interacting with the real world in what feels as much of a parody of garbage likeThe Smurfsas an attempt to hop on the bandwagon.Naturally enough,the trailers and TV spots drew almostexclusivelyfrom that last 15 minutes.

Unlikeliest Sure-Fire Way to Make Everybody Bawl Like a Child
The goofy-ass lyrics "Who's your friend to likes to play?Bing Bong,Bing Bong!"sound like something a three-year-old made up on the spot,because that's exactly what they literally are in the world ofInside Out.But I'll bet half of the people reading up are already misting up justthinkingabout that song.Also,I'm done talking aboutInside Out.

Most Surprising Hit
Pretty much every box office analyst out there was set to write-offHomeas the film that would finally murder DreamWorks Animation.There was even atwo-parthistoryright here at the Film Experience based on that assumption (which I otherwise remain very proud of).亚博主页Instead,the film broke out to become one of the studio's biggest hits in years,afterseveral consecutive underperformers and bombs.

Most Disappointing Hit
Sadly,Homeis also tepid junk.

Best Movie That Hasn't Come Out in America
In the United Kingdom,Aardman Animation'sShaun the Sheep Moviehad an enormously successful winter release that gained critical raves and an enthusiastic audience for its humor,invention,and warmth,a top-notch kid's movie that's smart and energetic enough for anybody.It's already on DVD in that country,in fact,which is how I know what I'm talking about.Here in the States,we have another month to wait.On the other hands,the Brits still haven't seenInside Out,so it all comes out in the wash.

Previously:Best Lead Performances&Oscar Chart Updates in Acting

Mar 29 2015

Box Office: Get Hard at Home While We're Young

Another weekend,more millions in Hollywood coffers for by-most-accountsweak films.The three biggest hits this weekend were all poorly reviewed.

02Get Hard$34.6NEW
03Divergent: Insurgent$22 (cum.$86.3)
04Cinderella$17.5 (cum.$150)Review
05It Follows$4 (cum.$4.7)Review

Yup,the big stories wereHomewildly overperforming (we all thought it might flop given Dreamworks history,just documented inTim's fascinating two-part retrospective) andGet Harddoing well and reinforcing that mainstream audiences love Kevin Hart...and rape jokes.Always the rape jokes.

01Wild Tales(Argentina) 116 Theaters$.2 (cum.$1.5)Review
02What We Do In the Shadows(New Zealand) 146 Theaters$.2 (cum.$2.1)Review
03While We're Young(US) 4 Theaters$.2 NEWReview
04Danny Collins(US) 29 Theaters$.2 (cum.$.3)
05'71(UK) 121 Theaters$.1 (cum.$.9)Review

Wild Talesheld its theaters but the big story wasNoah Baumbach's seventh featureWhile We're Young,charting a surely-soon-to-be-broken 'best indie debut this year' with a $60,000 per screen average.Meanwhile the long and frankly mystifying journey ofSerena,starring two or our most bankable actors Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence and based on a bestselling novel no less,ended with a whimper.The moviefinallyended up in theaters,albeit only 60 of them and grossed just over $100,000 in its first week.Meanwhile Hungary's wildly acclaimed and Oscar submitted allegorical thriller about rampaging dogs namedWhite God(read Jose's interview with the director) stuck its toe into two US theaters for $16,000.

What did you see this weekend?Did any of you seeSerena?Was it from morbid curiousity.If you haven't will you please take our advice and seek outWild Talesor'71?

Mar 26 2015

The Rise and Fall of DreamWorks Animation,Part 2: Fall

UPDATE 3/29: Well!NowHomehas gone and ruined my entire beautiful narrative arc by wildly outperforming even the most rosily optimistic predictions during its opening weekend,with an estimated $54 million.With that total in its pocket,even under the worst imaginable scenario,it should still glide past $100 million in the United States with ease - $150 mil is certainly in play - and combined with its sterling overseas performance so far,it shouldn't have any problem turning a profit for DreamWorks.The day of reckoning has been put off.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.As DreamWorks's only 2015 release,the studio won't be able to build up any momentum,but it gives the powers that be a good chance to breathe easily and take a good long time to re-work their future plans.Hopefully the right lessons are learned from this ("Non-white girls can sell movies,too") and not the easier wrong ones ("That absolute piece of crap made us money!We don't ever have to try again!),and hopefully it will encourage this and all other animation companies to experiment a little bit more with new properties instead of just retrenching to sequels every time someone says "boo".-Tim

Tim here.Last week,we took a tour through the peak years of DreamWorks Animation,during which time the House That Jeffrey Katzenberg's Hatred of His Old Bosses at Disney Built established itself as the biggest gorilla in American feature animation.And as 2010 dawned,the studio was on the verge of a remarkable achievement.That year,DreamWorks released three feature-length theatrical films – the most any studio had ever produced.It proved to be a great year to do so,an extraordinary year for animation: five of the year's top ten films at both the domestic and worldwide box office were animated,an unmatched record.

That,of course,is exactly the problem.Having perfected a factory for producing animated features that anyone could follow,DreamWorks was as responsible as any studio for the glut of animation that hit in 2009 and has continued largely unabated ever since.By making its products too ubiquitous,the studio was making them routine and increasingly easy to ignore.

Not that it was apparent from the first of the year's releases,How to Train Your Dragon,which netted DreamWorks its best reviews ever and remains its highest-grossing Stateside release without the word "Shrek"in the title.[More...]

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Mar 19 2015

The Rise and Fall of DreamWorks Animation,Part 1: Rise

Tim here.It's not often that we come upon a movie which could be even semi-plausibly described as holding the fate of a studio in its hands,but next week we'll have just such a release,as DreamWorks Animation release its 28th feature (31 if you count their collaborations with Aardman),the sci-fi comedyHome.This comes at a perilous time for Dreamworks: after two and a half years of underperformers and outright flops,the company has been forced toslash its staff,write-off costly upcoming projects,andshutter the PDI DreamWorks studio,one of its main production hubs.

What brings a formerly prosperous studio,the biggest name in animation for a little while,just a decade ago,to such a precarious state?This week and next,we're going to try to answer that question with a little history of DreamWorks Animation,its greatest successes and its most sobering failures.

The company began when Steven Spielberg,newly-ousted Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg,and David Geffen joined forces in 1994 to form DreamWorks SKG,an ambitious attempt to create a major movie studio right out of the gate.Katzenberg had been instrumental in overseeing the Disney Renaissance,which had just seen its biggest success in the form ofThe Lion King,and with animation riding high at the box office,it made sense for this new Hollywood megaforce to have a cartoon studio all its own.With Spielberg's Amblimation and the newly-acquired PDI forming the spine of DreamWorks's 2-D and CGI animation divisions,respectively,the company immediately threw itself into competing directly with Disney.

Directlywith Disney.

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