The year in animation for 2007 is another one of those years where it looks like slim pickings on the animation front, but there are a couple of notable films that were ignored. My guess is that The Simpsons Movie wasn’t nominated because the animation isn’t of a sort normally picked for Best Animated Feature. Beowulf, which was motion captured, seems like the sort of film that isn’t typically nominated. I haven’t seen or heard a great deal of good about Happily N’Ever After, Meet the Robinsons, or Bee Movie so I can’t really comment and I haven’t heard much good about Shrek the Third. Sadly, Hellboy: Blood and Iron was released direct to video. In a perfect world, it would have been eligible.
Weeding through the Nominees
2. The nomination of Persepolis would seem to belie the idea that Oscar won’t nominate a film with a more rudimentary style of animation. If I’m completely far, this is also the best of the three movies in terms of message and importance. Persepolis is a great story and one worth seeing, and I love that it was nominated because it’s the sort of film I might otherwise skip. Really, though, these Friday posts are often about where my heart lies and not my head, and for all of its qualities, Persepolis comes behind the movie I’m putting first. That said, I could easily see someone choosing this as the winner.
1: I don’t cry at sad in movies; I tend to tear up when there are moments of emotional perfection—when what I’m seeing on the screen is so clearly perfect in some sense that I lose some control. Ratatouille has one of those moments at the end, when food critic Anton Ego is mentally sent back in time to his childhood from his first bite of food. It’s perfect because it’s the sort of thing that can’t be put in words but is also immediately identifiable as a shared experience, like the moment the man finds his childhood toys in Amelie. There’s such beauty in having a moment like that, and conveying it through a cartoon and inspired by a rat shows skill at the very highest level. Even if the rest of the film wasn’t any good, it would be noteworthy for this moment. Good thing the rest of the film is grand as well. Great choice, Oscar.