Sunday, February 7, 2010


So much animation at the Oscars this year, from AVATAR to UP.
And did you notice that an animated feature film is again nominated for Best Picture this year?  How did that happen?  In 1991 actors were outraged when they found themselves competing with cartoon candlesticks after BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was the first ever animated film nominated in the category.  So a new category was created to avoid such actorly humiliation: Best Animated Feature.  But, for some reason, cartoons are again competing with real people this year. Excellent. 
One reason has to be that animated characters ARE real people, since real living, breathing animators make the characters act.  Many animators take acting classes.  Stanislavsky and everything. You’d be amazed how much acting goes into a cartoon character.
    For example Ken Duncan, a former Disney animator, has highly developed ideas about character animation and uses method acting for expressions and body language.  He also does a lot of acting with hands. Take a look at Jane’s hands in TARZAN, very eloquent:

and Captain Amelia’s eyes above and whole body in TREASURE PLANET:  
Hollywood actors, there’s no need to be insulted that you’re competing with a cartoon. Not only is animated acting pretty sophisticated, considering the subject matter, but, at least one animated film is well written too. UP is nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA in the Best Original Screenplay category. Some film makers do understand, it seems, that you can't write down for animation anymore, you have to write up, so to speak, if not actually “UP”.  


Keri Payton said...

I haven't seen UP or Avatar so I can't really say much about them. I'm a little put out that I can't say that Beauty and the Beast (which I love) is the only animated film to ever have been nominated for an Academy Award anymore but oh well. I've always loved animation. It really is a unique and ever expanding art form. People call it 'cartoons' for children but I've loved it both as a child and the adult I am becoming.

Nora Lumiere said...

But you can still say that BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was the first animated film to be nominated for s Best Picture Oscar.
Yes, animation is constantly evolving and so is its audience.
Maybe one of these days an animated film will actually WIN the Best Picture Oscar, won't that be cool?