Did the Right Film Win? 2009 Animated Oscars

Hey guys!  So 2009 was a very strong year for animation.  It was a year with 5 films nominated for Best Animated Feature Film and all 5 I enjoy.  There were also strong films that I personally think could have gotten a nomination in another year like Ponyo (I know you’all disagree with me on that one but oh well!), 9 and A Christmas Carol, to name a few.

Not only are the 5 films nominated very strong but they are also really different so I had a lot to say about each.  I ended up making 2 videos about them (my editing software was also giving me all kinds of grief so I got up what I could in 2 batches).  The first video is about Princess and the Frog and Secret of the Kells.

Basically I’m hot and cold on Princess and the Frog.  There is a lot I love about it and then things I really don’t like.  I love the animation, the character of Tiana, vocal performances and 3 of the songs.  I don’t like the voodoo elements, the convoluted story or Prince Naveen.  He is not Tiana’s equal.  All in all, that puts it in the middle of my Disney rankings. It’s certainly worthy of the nomination and worth a watch even with some major flaws.

Secret of the Kells is beautiful and looks like illustrations from a book.  It is only lessened in my opinion because I think Song of the Sea by the same team is much better.  Maybe an unfair comparison but I can’t help it when they are so similar.  Nevertheless, Secret of Kells has a beautiful look to it.  I like the story and the lead character Brendon is very appealing.  The Aisling of the forest is beautiful with stirring music from Kila.

The next video has the remaining 3 films- Fantastic Mr.  Fox, Coraline and Up.  You all have heard my thoughts on Up ad nauseam but I did get a little emotional when talking about it and how it reminds me of my Grandpa who I love.  It’s a special movie to me and I filmed the review several times but each time I started to tear up.  That was my honest response so I left it in. 🙂

Fantastic Mr Fox is a very creative film directed by Wes Anderson.  I love the world building and the story is a lot of fun based on Roald Dahl’s book.  I really like the characters like Ash, Mr and Mrs Fox.  The story is unpredictable even for someone who has read the book and it is extremely creative.  It is actually my favorite Wes Anderson film and while I don’t find it super funny I do enjoy it.

Coraline is a film from Liaka and I liked it much more this g0-around.  I always enjoyed it but for whatever reason I really was charmed while watching it this week.  It is directed by Henry Sellick who did Nightmare Before Christmas and it has the same dark tone and style of that film.  I love the character of Coraline.  She is sincere, quirky, endearing, inquisitive and in the end loving.  She ends up getting presented with another version of her family through this magic portal and it leads to some big scares but also a huge heart.  I love that she comes to accept her parents for who they are, even though they aren’t very good people in a lot of ways.  She still loves them anyway.  It’s really surprising and visually inventive.

In this case, I clearly think the right film won because Up is my favorite movie.  If I was going to pick a second place I would pick Coraline, but I can see people’s arguments for all 5.  What would you pick?  Thanks so much for your comments and for watching the videos.  It has been a great series both on the channel and this blog and next up is 2010 where my Tangled got snubbed (wa, wa, wa,….).  I look forward to watching the Illusionist for the first time.  Thanks!

18 thoughts on “Did the Right Film Win? 2009 Animated Oscars

  1. Yeah, 2009 was extremely strong…but I think in the end it came down to either The Fantastic Mr. Fox or Up. Princess and the Frog is too convoluted (and like you I can’t stand Naveen), The Secret of Kells has beautiful art but lacks in animation (I once wrote an article about the difference) and the story is not that compelling, and Coraline, well, it is a nice horror movie, but in a way very predictable and there are some issues I have with the script. Very impressive in terms of animation, though.
    I don’t really like Ponyo all this much, it is an okay movie but…odd…really the only reason to watch it is the animation.
    Up…up was the obvious winner because it also got an academy award nomination and it was for a time my favourite Pixar movie, but what is actually so great about the movie are the first five minutes. They are the best introduction to a character ever done in animation. I could write a whole article about this sequence alone. But as a whole, the movie needed a little bit ironing out, I think, and at no point it reaches the perfection of the first five minutes again. And personally, I like it better when a movie surprises me later in the game.
    So I actually think that The Fantastic Mr. Fox was a strong contender. But I am okay with Up winning. I even would have been okay with Coraline winning, due to the merits of the animation.

    1. Cool. Fantastic Mr Fox is definitely a strong contender for sure. Too bad it didn’t do better. I would love to see more stop motion from Wes Anderson

    2. Do you have a film that feels personal to you like Up is for me? Something that taught you something special or really impacted you? Just curious.

      1. Those are two different things for me. Dumbo is a movie which has always impacted me hard on an emotional level, but that doesn’t automatically make it my favourite movie. And a movie which taught me something…well, I guess Pinocchio taught me to never ever go with a stranger (the movie is really effective in this regard), but I don’t even like the movie. To many nightmares because of it.

      2. I see what you are saying.. That makes a lot of sense. Dumbo is a special film and it definitely tugs at the emotional heartstrings. Thanks

      3. I don’t know if I know but what is your favorite animated film? I think it is either Sleeping Beauty or Tangled (or Dumbo) but not sure? I guess for me Up makes me think of my Grandpa and it reminded me that he is close by when I first saw it which meant a lot to me. 🙂

  2. I unfortunately have not seen Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline, or Secret of Kells. Ouch! 🙁 Hopefully, I’ll get to those soon though. I of course have seen Up and Princess & The Frog though. For now, I will say that I agree with Up winning Best Animated Feature for that year. I will say, though, that for also for now, I’d have picked Princess & The Frog as 2nd or 3rd choice. It was somewhat convoluted particularly with the voodoo witchcraft and such, but I did like it anyways for the good things that were in it (i.e. some of the good songs (I liked the ones you mentioned plus When We’re Human and Dig A Little Deeper), the awesome animation, fun characters, etc.). And yes, I was sad about Ray dying at the end. I thought that was completely unnecessary, but hey. Oh, that reminds me, is it just me, or did Ray dying at the end also remind you of Kerchak’s death in Tarzan? I only ask since the villain in both films ends up fatally wounding a character, the villain dies, and then that fatally wounded character dies shortly after that. Anyway, great review once again! It’s so sad that Tangled (which we can both agree is better than Princess & The Frog) doesn’t get nominated for Best Animated Feature for the following year. Oh well! :(. Oh, and another thing! I know you mentioned that should you have children, you may not show Princess & The Frog in their younger ages. However, would you show it to them in their adult or even teen years. I’m just curious.

    1. Thanks for the great comment! I would show my kids The Princess and the Frog to my older children. And maybe even my younger kids. It depends on the kids and how the spirit is directing me honestly. It’s just one of those things I wish wasn’t in there and it makes me a little uncomfortable. . I’m sure I could parent my way out of it and explain it to them. Just wish the explanation wasn’t necessary and they had gone another way.

      Yeah you make a good point comparing it to Tarzan. I suppose it is kind of a classic part of narrative to have a sacrificial lamb as they say that pays the price for the villain being defeated. (Doby in Harry Potter also comes to mind as another example).

      For me Princess and the Frog is very hot and cold. The things I like I really really like. The things I don’t I really really dont. So all in all it ends up in the middle. Tangled is one of my favorite animated films ever so I’m afraid I will be a bit tough on the 3 nominees but I always try and be fair. I will be seeing The Illusionist for the first time this week which I am looking forward too. It’s the one that took Tangled’s spot because it is hard to argue against How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3 getting the nod.

      Anyway we will see. In meantime you have some movies to watch too! 🙂

      1. For sure! Oh, and you think Ponyo should have been nominated instead instead of Princess & The Frog or one of the other, eh? Just curious, you think it was basically a Japanese anime version of Little Mermaid? I talked with a friend once who saw it and said that it was. Oh, and another thing! You make a good point about Doby in the last Harry Potter film.

  3. Yeah, you always got to do what the Spirit tells you to do, that’s for sure. I’d be curious to see what the Lawn Gnome thinks of Princess & The Frog once he gets to reviewing that one within the next year or two, if not this year. By the way, I hear that the song “Love” from Robin Hood is featured in Fantastic Mr. Fox. Just out of curiosity, is that true?

    1. Definitely. One of best years ever. I even like 9 that wasn’t nominated. In any other years it would have been nominated.

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