Howl’s Moving Castle
Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (winner)
There were five larger animated releases in 2005 that weren’t nominated for Best Animated Feature, none of which were well received. Of the five, I’ve seen both Madagascar and Robots, and while I might consider Madagascar for a nomination, it’s not one I would normally consider worthy. I’ve heard nothing much good about Hoodwinked, Chicken Little, or Valiant. So, based on that, we’ve probably got the right three.
Weeding through the Nominees
3: I’ve often had an issue with anime in that I frequently feel like I’m missing a lot of backstory. This is especially true of anything that touches on science fiction or fantasy. With Howl’s Moving Castle, we’re absolutely in the fantasy realm and so I feel like I’m supposed to know more than I do. I get lost in the story and that ends up frustrating me. Am I supposed to know what’s going on here? Because I don’t. Sure, the artwork is great, but it’s the story I want to buy into and I didn’t buy into this story at all.
2: The biggest issue I have with Corpse Bride is that for a story that’s this inventive, it’s surprisingly unmemorable. This is even more true of the songs, which should be one of the biggest sells of an animated musical. It’s also really short, barely long enough to be considered a feature-length film. It’s such a great idea for a story that I can’t help but be disappointed by the execution. This should be a film that I love based on the underlying story and the interesting animation. It always ends up disappointing me. It should be better than it is.
1: I tend to like Aardman films and I’ve been a fan of Wallace & Gromit for years. I expected to like Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and I did, even if it’s too short as well. I like the animation style of Aardman films and I like the wit with which their films are made. This is an entertaining film for kids and for adults, and Aardman manages to do this without ever making “adult” jokes over kids’ heads. This is admittedly a weak animation year all the way around, but this would have been at least a contender even in a strong year.