Saturday, January 17, 2015

Stop Motion Ocsar Nominees "BoxTrolls" and "Bigger Picture"




In the Best Animated Feature category, The Academy nominated: Big Hero 6, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The BoxTrolls, Song of the Sea, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

Nominated in the Best Short Animated Film category: The Bigger Picture by Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees, The Dam Keeper by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, Feast by Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed, Me and My Moulton by Torill Kove, and A Sing Life by Joris Oprins.

Boxtroll's directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi said this:

“One word — HONORED! We are honored and humbled to accept this nomination in recognition of our amazingly talented cast and crew — the artists, actors, craftspeople, and freaks who brought The Boxtrolls to life. We are eternally grateful to them and to our fearless leaders, producers Travis Knight and David Bleiman Ichioka, for making it all possible. Thank you so much, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, for including us in this great list of nominees! We would be thrilled to sit in the dark and clap for any one of them.”

Laika CEO Travis Knight reacted in these words:

“What an odd and lovely way to greet the day. I’m overjoyed that the Academy has honored us with this nomination. Cobbled together over well-nigh a decade, The Boxtrolls was a labor of unwavering love crafted one frame at a time by a superb community of actors, artists, mad geniuses, steely-eyed pragmatists, and starry-eyed dreamers. I’m so pleased with the recognition of their artistry. It shows that original stories are valued, along with the weird people who make them.”

However excited I may be that BoxTrolls was nominated, I almost cannot hope it will win against Big Hero 6.  This is not to put down The BoxTrolls, by any means, for it is the most well-crafted film I have ever experienced.  However, the story isn't nearly as emotional or well-told as Big Hero 6.  I have seen them both and of the two, Hero tells it's story much better than BoxTrolls.  And here's how they did it: by focusing on the main character and his inner problems, by establishing the emotional 'heart' of the flick and staying true to it throughout the film, and by giving a satisfying ending to the whole film.   Now -- ParaNorman (which was nominated but did not get an Oscar in 2012 for whatever reason), did these things brilliantly.  It is one of the few films I will point out and say: "Yes, they got that one right."  I will spare you the rant about why it didn't receive an Oscar, but in the end, it's just a tiny man statue on a platter.  Pixar is a master at doing these things (the reasons why Hero 6 will get the Oscar) right.  But they're motto stands tall: 'Story is King'.  I cannot spend enough time here.  If you're going to spend 5+ YEARS making a Stop Motion movie, just get the story right!!  Edit and refine your story.  Then, gut it.  Write it again.  Edit.  THEN start on production design and the little details.  You will win the Oscar almost every time and be hailed as a brilliant studio for doing this.  Pixar isn't full of brilliant people with fully rounded ideas.  They are just the same as you and me.  The only difference is that, when they get those ideas, they refine and pound them out until they are something special.  I'm looking at you, Laika.

I encourage you, rematch ParaNorman and Big Hero 6 and begin to notice what they have done that's right.  These are the films that will be remembered.  There's a reason that almost every Disney film from the late '90s and '2000s (besides Pixar films) are complete trash and should will stay that way.

The Bigger Picture


Laika's BoxTrolls