Did the Right Film Win? 2014 Animated Oscars

Well my friends I have finished my series of watching all of the Oscar nominated films for Best Animated Feature Film.  Last year I said 2014 was one of the best years in animation in a long time and now after seeing films going back to 2001, I stand by that claim.  You can make an argument for 2009 and 2010 but for not having a Pixar movie it was pretty darn good- and really diverse in style, tone and everything else.

So here is my video breaking down my thoughts on the 2014 nominees:

This is the first year I was doing this blog and have reviews for all of these films, so my thoughts probably aren’t a surprise to any of you.  Nevertheless, here is a little summary:

How to Train Your Dragon 2- A rare sequel that improves upon the original.  An epic feel to the story and some of the best animation Dreamworks has ever done.  I find the story with the 2 alpha dragons to be a little confusing and I think they give the Mother too much of a free pass for leaving her family.  But still a very satisfying, entertaining, exciting film.

Big Hero 6- A film with real heart from Walt Disney Animated Studios.  I love the character of Baymax and the relationship of Hiro and Tadeshi.  I found the villain to be clever and surprising and Sanfransokyo was extremely creative.

Boxtrolls- A wonderful stop motion film about a town whose leadership gets to wear white hats and eat cheese.  Snatcher the villain wants to wear the white hat and be respected which I think is a unique motivation and a good lesson for kids about labeling through clothing and other items.  The Boxtrolls are sweet and the humor worked for me.  The ending didn’t 100% work for me and the lead Eggs is a little flat and I don’t love the drag queen segment but it is very entertaining.

Tale of Princess Kaguya– A movie that has improved each time I’ve seen it.  A true artistic masterpiece and a story unique to Japan.  It is about a girl found in a bamboo stalk who is trained to be a princess.  She has independent instincts but she chooses to be obedient.  At first that was challenging to accept but now I love it’s different perspective.  It is so gorgeous to look at and uses music very well.   It’s a little bit of an artistically challenging movie but worth the effort.

Song of the Sea- A true masterpiece.  Even with Inside Out, Song of the Sea is the best film I’ve seen this year.  It’s got the emotional depth of Inside Out with Ben trying to deal with the loss of his mother but the hand drawn animation is stunning.  Ben’s sister is a Selkie and Ben must get her back to the sea before it is too late.  Along the way they meet an Owl Witch and other creatures so it is exciting, heartbreaking and tense.  It made my Top 10 Favorite Animated Films.  The music is stunning and I wish I could convince everyone to see it.  I love it so much .

So if I was giving away the award I would pick Song of the Sea, despite my liking all 5 films.  Of the mainstream nominees I do think Big Hero 6 is the best so in that sense the right film did win; however, I think Song of the Sea is the best of 2014.

What about you?  What do you think of these 5 films and which would you pick as best of the year?


19 thoughts on “Did the Right Film Win? 2014 Animated Oscars

  1. I still think that 2012 was the strongest overall because it had so many movies I get really excited about, while 2014 had a lot of movies which were “good, but…” Even if it was usually a small “but”. There just wasn’t this movie I fell instantly in love with. 2012 had two.

    Anyway, I was rooting for Song of the sea, too, but I would be okay with any other of the nominated movies as long as it wasn’t the Box-trolls. Or the Lego Movie. Not that I think that either movie is bad, but that other four are so much stronger (and I say that as someone who doesn’t really like the HTTYD franchise all that much).

    1. Yeah I’d agree with you. Boxtrolls is the weakest of the 5 even though I did enjoy it. Song of the Sea just didnt have the name recognition for academy voters but it really is a special film. Glad you enjoyed it too.

      I guess since I’m not that into Wreck-it Ralph 2012 was good but not as exciting for me. But they are all good years. I just remember in the 80s we’d get 1 maybe 2 major animated film releases and now there are 20. It’s really a neat time to be a movie fan.
      Thanks for your support through this series. I’ve had so much fun doing it

    2. As a feminist what did you think about the Mother character in Dragon 2 and how that was handled? I’m curious

      1. Let’s just say that I have in general a very low opinion of the portrayal of females in DreamWorks movies…and that includes Princess Fiona. I guess I give them some credit for trying? It usually the small stuff which angers me. Like, I adore Guardians of the Light….or was it Rise of the Guardians in English? I always confuse this…either way, it always angered me that Santa has Swords, Easterbunny has bombs and a boomerang, Jack Frost has a nifty ice-shooting staff and Sandman can do practically everything with his Sand but Tooth fairy has…tiny little fairies I guess? And theoretically sharp claws? Which she never really uses properly?

      2. Yeah I agree. I have the same issues with Dreamworks underlying misogyny and unsatisfying female characters. The Croods was a little better with that I thought but still not great. I guess Dragon 2 is disappointing in this regard because they were so close but by not having her be accountable for her choices it let me down.
        I never thought about Tooth Fairy but you are absolutely right.

  2. Well, I still have yet to see Song Of The Sea and Kaguya. So I can’t necessarily have a say on either of those yet. However, I did see the other three and I’ll say, I’m definitely glad it didn’t win. It’s not a bad film, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider it worthy of winning the Oscar nomination either. I can see why Big Hero 6 won for Best Animated Feature for 2014. Even though I wouldn’t consider it quite as good as say Frozen, Lion King, and some of those Disney Classics that made a butt load of money (though I would consider Big Hero 6 at least better than Wreck-It-Ralph, Brother Bear, Dinosaur, Emperor’s New Groove and a couple to few other Disney films), I thought that it had a really enjoyable storyline, there was a lot of depth with the characters (granted some of the side characters could have probably been developed a little more, but I can let that slide), and things like that. That being said, I still wouldn’t have minded if How To Train Your Dragon 2 won either since it’s likely better than the first. Honestly, I was kind of shocked at first that it didn’t win. Like I said, I was down for Big Hero ) winning. Anyway, I’m glad you liked most of these films. Great way to end this series for the time being. Now for your thoughts for the Best Animated Feature of 2015, eh? I’d say it’s probably been a great year in animation so far. Well, with a couple to few exceptions, probably, but still. Just curious, are you planning to post for Best Animated Feature Oscars for 2016, 2017, and more years to come?

    1. I will definitely do this post every year and look forward to 2015s entry. It has been a really fun year with Inside Out being the standout so far.

      I also thought Dragon was going to win and I would have been fine with that. It’s a really good film. So would that be your favorite?

      1. I’d say yes, Dragon 2 would be my favorite, but Big Hero 6 would be too. Soni guess it would be a son won in this case, eh?

    1. Of mainstream films it would have been my pick for win. Definitely should have been nominated

    2. The problem I have with the Lego movie is that it is artistically less interesting than any of the other movies and if you take away all the pop cultural references, well, there really isn’t much left. It’s the same I always say about Shrek, a movie has to be able to stand on its own feet to be truly good. And the Lego movie doesn’t. A few years down the line some people might not even get for example the green lantern joke, either because it is forgotten that he had a bad movie or because DC finally managed to do a good one.

      1. I disagree artistically. The way it used the blocks and the colors and everything was so inventive and artistic in its own way. I also think the story has more heft to it than a mere parody comedy. Like I said in the video the whole concept of a child explaining their world to their parents was very moving to me. I also thought the way they combined worlds to be surprising and creative.
        I think Green Lantern will always be seen as the weak cousin of Superman. I mean it’s Superman so I dont think that or many of the other jokes will fall away but it isnt great only for those jokes to me.

  3. Hey, just curious, which section on this site do I find your Goosebumps at? I meant to comment on that one a couple days ago and didn’t get to yet. Anyway, I just wanted to know.

  4. Big Hero 6 should not have won in my opinion. How To train your Dragon 2 was superior in every aspect; creativity, storytelling, character development, animation, and just……. brilliant. This is the one year that DreamWorks should have won, and I was bitter that such an average movie won that year. I have heard a lot of brilliant things about Song of the Sea, and something I would like, so I would have been fine with it winning the award. I know I gave Big Hero 6 a 79 in my review, but my heart just found it average.

    1. Yeah I’m definitely not as high on Dragon as most and certainly not as high on it as you are although I do enjoy it. To me it gets a little convoluted and confusing with the story and I don’t like the way they let the mother off of the hook so easily for abandoning her family. I personally thought Big Hero 6 had more heart and I was more emotionally invested in the characters. I would have been fine with Dreamworks winning but if Lego wasn’t going to be nominated of the mainstream films I would have picked Big Hero 6. Sanfransokyo was so creative as well.
      You definitely should see Song of the Sea. It is a masterpiece in my opinion. Even though I like it I probably wouldn’t have nominated The Boxtrolls and given the nod to Lego Movie instead. Tale of Princess Kaguya is also a masterpiece so tough call on this one this year.

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