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?