New Poll: Vote For Best Animation Feature

We haven't had a poll at The Ghibl Blog in a long time, so what better time than now, after last night's Oscars?  Pixar's Up won the Academy Award for Best Animation Feature..what do you say?  Which of the five nominees do you think deserved to win?

Here are the five nominees:

Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
"I Like Pie"

Everyone gets one vote, and we have all week to participate.  Feel free to leave your comments on this post, explaining your choice.  I'm very interested to hear what everyone thinks; honestly, I think this will be a much tighter race than last night's Oscars.

As always, the final choice is a jokey throwaway - I Like Pie.  I just use that for laughs, and also because I don't my vote to influence the final outcome.  Besides, if a movie can't compete against a slice of your favorite pie, can it really be called a good movie?  I think not.  Good luck!


manjit said...

none other than UP...

Chandra said...

I've seen 4 of the 5.

Visually Coraline was far and away my favorite. And I really loved the spooky storyline - very psychologically impactful (is that even a real phrase??)!

I really enjoyed the quirkiness of Fantastic Mr. Fox. I was laughing and scratching my head through the entire thing.

I loved the first half of Up and only marginally enjoyed the rest.
The Princess and the Frog....hmmm. Well, on one hand I love seeing the hand drawn animation and some of the swap scenes were truly lovely. But I can't say it was a very memorable film over all. It had that weird cobbled together feel that so many Disney movies seem to have these days - very little connection with the storyline or characters.

So, after all that rambling, I guess I would say that Coraline is my favorite of the bunch.

Gnickerson said...

Well, I haven't seen "The Secret of Kells" yet, so I cannot vote for it. I have seen other 4 though and I voted for...

The Princess and the Frog.

Why? Because it's 2D animation and quite splendid 2D animation at that. It's not as good of a film as the ones from the early 90', the 50's or the pre-WWII era, but it was just so refreshing to finally see some Western 2D animation.

I loved Corline, Up and FMF, but the fact PatF was "hand-drawn" animation really boosted the film's overall appeal.

I guess I voted more with my heart more then my head on this one.

danlevy said...

I hope everyone who reads this blog gets to see The Secret of Kells, which I was lucky to see on Saturday in New York City. It's beautiful, with some of the most innovative hand-drawn animation I have ever seen (augmented with some computer-aided coloring and a couple of cg sequences). I think it would become an instant favorite of many animation lovers.

Having said that I think I enjoyed Fantastic Mr Fox the best of all the films; I saw all five.

Molasses said...

Seen all 5, and I voted for Fantastic Mr. Fox.

My 2cents on each

5)Princess and the Frog: Umm...a couple of the set pieces were good ("Almost There" in particular) but generally I'd say it was a missed opportunity. Can't wait for "Treme" in April to give me the real deal on New Orleans.

4)Secret of Kells: Visually impressive and a better use of drawn animation, but wasn't moved by the story. This will sound weird but I wish it was in Old Irish w/ subtitles.

3)Up: Rambling story & over the top sentimentality. Carl had nice wrinkles and there was some beautifully lit & rendered scenes. As with most Pixar releases, saw it in the theatre, enjoyed it, haven't thought about it since.

2)Coraline: Daring, visually fantastic but the video game-esque 3rd act was a downer. "How bout we play a game, I know you like them." "Ok" Proceed to level 1, 2, 3, end boss.

1)Fantastic Mr. Fox: Great adaptation of the book. Funny, charming, enjoyed the lo-fi approach. Could watch it multiple times and have. Easily the year's best.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

I'm really impressed that all five entries are solid movies. There really isn't a bad movie in the bunch. Thank goodness there wasn't a Shrek nominated.

I still have to see most of these movies. I've really missed out on the movies the last six months. Do people still rent movies anymore?

hornconcerto said...

I've seen all five nominees, plus PONYO (which I would probably have nominated, but not awarded the win to).

KELLS was visually interesting, and some of the story choices were refreshing, but many of the emotional moments fell flat. I don't think the metaphors the creators used were thought through particularly well; at least I thought that the film's message was a bit muddled (and the film definitely seems to want to have a message, since the story per se doesn't make any sense without being thematically propped up). The voicework was pretty bad, too, probably not helped by the predictable dialogue. Still, I'm happy for the creators that they got nominated, since it is quite a feat mounting an animated feature all on their own in a comparatively small country such as Ireland. I'd like to see the director get more work, but preferably from a better script.

I was afraid the celebrity voices would ruin FANTASTIC MR FOX, but was surprised to find out that they didn't; I got used to accepting them as "Mr Fox" and "Mrs Fox" (instead of George Clooney and Meryl Streep) very quickly. The world these creatures inhabit doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but I wasn't bothered by that. All in all, a fun ride, with some room for interpretation (I guess we're all wild animals?). I also liked that despite the chatty verbosity of the characters, there were quite a few visual gags, often in the background. MR FOX is certainly weird, but a good kind of weird.

PRINCESS AND THE FROG was okay, but could have been better if it had excised some of the fairly useless middle portions in the swamp and instead expanded the LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST-style Faustian bargains to cover all of the main characters, not just Tiana.

While watching CORALINE, I found myself wondering what the point was of using stop-motion if the final product looked like CGI anyway. Not to disparage the artistry involved, on the contrary, but I *like* about stop-motion that it's not usually a smooth and perfect process.
Storywise, CORALINE is fine. I don't really have anything to complain about, it's well constructed and executed (though the finale is a bit formulaic and predictable), but it just didn't grip me like I expected it to.

In the end, I can't fault the Academy for going with UP. Of the five offered, I, too, think it was the best. It's not without problems: the opening ten minutes or so are of course wonderful, some of the best stuff in movies this century, period. But the film lost a little bit of steam towards the end; the dramatic moments worked quite well, but the comedic ones sometimes didn't. And I still feel that the final scenes feel very rushed. Like WALL-E, UP starts promisingly ambitious, but settles into an artistically safer groove towards the end.

Still, even if UP could have been better, none of its competitors last year were. Pixar remain King of the Animation Mountain.

On a related note, I'm *not* happy with the Best Animated Short outcome. "Logorama" has the worst technical animation of all the nominees, is overlong, has no creative story to speak of, and won entirely on its gimmick.

Eishagishi said...


Oops, sorry. Time to put the crack pipe down. I too have only seen one of these five, Up. I think that was the only new film I saw in a theater last year.

So, until I see the rest, I'll just have some custard pie.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Yeah, I would have gone with Ponyo, too. I almost added it to the list, but decided to stick with the Oscar nominations. I think the readers have figured out that I enjoyed Ponyo.

It's hard to argue with a really good pie.

spiralcage said...

Fantastic Mr. Fox for sure. Up was great and its okay that it won, but Fox was the better film.

Stephanie said...

Kells was beautiful and fun to experience. I watched it illicitly since, for some stupid reason, it wasn't released much of anywhere here. I guess there's only room in theatres for disney, pixar, and dreamworks these days :(

echoBlaster said...

This was hard, but I ended up giving my vote to Mr. Fox. For me it was the most entertaining out of the bunch. I laughed a lot and I loved all the visual gags and its fast pace.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

That's okay, Stephanie. I find myself relying on Youtube and BitTorrent to get my movies these days. There isn't a decent rental store where I currently live, so that really limits your options...unless you like movies with lots of explosions.

It can be pretty tough to see movies that fall outside of the "blockbuster" mainstream if you don't live in a major city. I say use take advantage of the internet and enjoy all these great movies.

James said...

Fantastic Mr Fox gets my vote, as the most interesting, uniquely presented and stand-out film of the bunch by far. I was initially put off by the long list of celebrity names attatched, but it worked out fairly well in the end, and I think George Clooney in particular did a great job.

I think Up was a pretty good film but I couldn't help but be dissapointed by it overall. I felt it was really inconsistent.

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