Did the Right Film Win? 2011 Animated Oscars

Hi guys!  Time for the next in my animated oscars series.  Today we are looking at 2011 which was an eclectic year for animation with no Pixar or Disney nominations.  I personally would have nominated Arthur Christmas and Winnie the Pooh but the 5 they went with are interesting in their own right.

This is a bit of a long one but I think you will enjoy it.

Basically I thought Puss in Boots may be my favorite film from the Shrek universe.  I like how they kept the parody elements down.  I also liked the 3D back when I first saw it and think the animation holds up very well.  The voice work by Antonio Banderas is good and I like the action which was a loving homage to Zorro and those kind of classic films.   On downside I didn’t love how they handled the Salma Hayek character.  She starts strong but isn’t treated with much respect and ends up having to be rescued and as an ordinary love interest.  I also think it can feel a little episodic and gets a little convoluted at moments.  But overall I enjoy Puss in Boots.

Kung fu Panda 2 I really enjoyed.  I know many readers don’t care for it, which is cool.  Always good to have a variety of opinions.  I think they toned down the humor and made a real kungfu movie with good fight scenes and battles.  I think they also majorly upgraded the villain with Shen voiced by Gary Oldman.  I like the adoption subplot and the development of the Furious Five is much better than in the first.  Overall, I think it is a good martial arts movie!

Then we have Cat in Paris which was a huge surprise for me.  I had never heard of it and I really liked.  I thought the animation was unique and beautiful.  I really liked the Mother character and felt she was well developed and interesting.  The story surprised me and didn’t go exactly as I thought it would.  The music is really strong and it’s both scary and funny.  Its a real hidden gem.

The fourth nominee is a foreign film called Chico and Rita.  This is a very adult animated film with a lot of nudity and I had to skip over sections.  That said, I liked the character of Rita and the music.  The animation I thought looked rotoscoped and generic; although, there are pretty moments.  I didn’t like the character of Chico and felt the movie was a little to easy on him.  He’s a real jerk and doesn’t deserve Rita.  The jazz music is really catchy and I can see why it was nominated even if it isn’t my cup of tea.

The final nominee is Rango.  If you have been a fan of the blog you might remember my review of Rango last year. I was pretty tough on it and I must admit I liked it a little bit more this time around.  The beginning has some interesting surrealist touches and towards the end the story picks up.  I appreciate they were trying to do something different but overall the pallet feels very beige to me so everything ends up looking bland and the same.  I also feel it takes way too long for the story to get going and don’t find Rango ambling around very funny.  Granted I haven’t seen many Westerns it is spoofing so that may be part of it.  I think the characters are underdeveloped and you go long stretches without characters which makes them even weaker.  Overall, I’m just not a fan of Rango but I see why others like it.

Of course, Rango won for the year and I think in this case the wrong film won.  There just isn’t enough story and the artistry is too bland for me to get behind Rango.  If I had to pick out of the 5 I would go with Cat in Paris.  I think it is visually inventive, the story surprised me and I really liked the characters.  Overall, it is a real delight.

What would you pick out of the 5 films?

14 thoughts on “Did the Right Film Win? 2011 Animated Oscars

  1. Out of the 5 films, I probably would pick ‘Rango’ even though I’m not a fan of it.

    In my opinion, the film that should have been nominated this year and won the award was ‘The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’ aka ‘The Adventures of Tintin’. That film is absolutely awesome, has amazing animation/cinematography, a great way to bring these beloved comics to the big screen, and my fave non-Disney animated film ever! But, I know there is controversy about whether motion capture is considered to be animation or not, so I understand why it wasn’t nominated.

    1. Oh yeah I love Tintin! What I dont get is Monster House was motion cap and it was nominated. What’s the difference? You ask 100 people 99 would agree Tintin is an animated film. It just missed my list but probably only because I havent seen it in a long time. I really do love it

  2. I just realized that for some reason I haven’t even watched most of the movies released in this year yet. I have seen Rango and…I honestly hate this movie. I think the characters are generic, the story predictable, the humour mean spirited, the backgrounds basic and boring, I really don’t get why it gets so much praise. There are a few movies I don’t like, but I usually understand why other people do, but in this case I truly don’t get it.

    I like Arthur Christmas. That one was a nice surprise.

    Tintin…like the movie, but I am not sure if motion capture should be put into the animation category or not. I am more inclined to put it on the “half-animated” pile, along with movies like Who framed Roger Rabbit aso.

    1. Yeah I am on the same page with Rango. I also really love Arthur Christmas. Maybe this year for Christmas I will do an overlooked Christmas movie month? I’ll at least post about Arthur Christmas.

      I think you will like Cat in Paris. It has an interesting take on the working mother character that I responded too. I just knew nothing about it so it surprised me.

      Yeah the only thing I don’t get on Tintin is why was Monster House nominated but Tintin wasn’t? Aren’t they both motion cap? Oh well, I can see arguments on both side but to me it looks, feels like animated film so it counts but I get it. I personally would have nominated Winnie the Pooh but I know many hate that.

      I guess at least it was a very eclectic year that was fun to review for the series.

      1. An animated Chrismas movie overlooks is a good idea.
        I guess they considered Monster House more animated because the design looks less realistic? I don’t get it either.
        BTW, like you I haven’t seen that many Western, so I had the same feeling with Rango that there was constantly a joke told I didn’t get.

  3. Well, first off, I probably would have replaced Cat and Paris and Chico & Rita with maybe Rio and Tin Tin. But that’s me, I guess. As far as what I would have picked to win, I’d have gone with Kung Fu Panda 2. I, along with a couple other friends of mine, actually though it was definitely better than the first film. I thought the villain was developed more and I liked Po’s back story, even though it was rather tragic. I do wish Shen had maybe changed since Po was giving him a shot at redemption at the end. Oh well! Anyway, great review once again.

    By the way, am I the only one who hates that none of the villains in films who’ve been given a chance at redemption end up rejecting it (i.e. Shen, Frollo, Zira, and possibly others)?

    1. I mean am I the only one who hates that none of the villains who have been given a chance at redemption, end up accepting it? Sorry, my bad for a little bit poor wording on my part.

      Oh, and for the record, I think Gary Oldman improved his acting from say when he voiced Ruber in Quest For Camelot to recently when he voiced Shen in this film. I thought he did better in Kung Fu Panda 2. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on that though. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed your thoughts in this series this far. Keep up the good work!

      1. Hi! Sorry I didn’t answer yesterday. My internet was completely down. Thank you so much for your kind words about the project. I’m having a blast doing it. I agree with you on Kung fu Panda 2. I like it much better because it is a classic kung fu movie in the spirit of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan but for kids. Love that. I can totally see your pick.

        You make an interesting point about the villains. That can go back all the way to Maleficent or Cruela who never really change their evil ways. Actually now that I think about it have any villains been redeemed in Disney? I think of Scar, Gaston, Clayton, Frollo. None of them really change or have a redemption arc. It might be an interesting thing for an animated film to tackle. Maybe Meet the Robinsons kind of does with the Bowler Hat Man. Can you think of others? It certainly would be nice to see a villain learn something and feel some remorse for what he has done if it was handled correctly.

        And I agree Gary Oldman is much better as Shen; although, the problems in Quest for Camelot can’t really be blamed on his voice performance. It has some positive things but a lot of problems mainly with the story and the weak writing for the villain more than the voice.

  4. Ooh, you make good points about Callaghan and Bowler Hat Guy. Just curious, should Lohn John Silver count too, come to think of it, even though the redemption thing comes a little naturally on his own? And yes, the redemption thing for a villain would be a great thing to tackle for sure.

  5. It says a lot that Pixar was completely snubbed from these awards.

    I did see Rango in theaters, and I liked it somewhat. It wasn’t anything amazing, but I think Kung Fu Panda 2 should have won out of the films I watched. Kind of a dismal year for animation overall.

    1. Yeah you should check out Cat in Paris. I guess only good thing about this year is smaller films got recognized instead of Dreamworks and Disney winning.

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