Oscar nominees Best Animated Feature 2014
Earlier today this article was brought to my attention, in which it becomes clear that some of the Academy voters have little to no respect for the animation industry. They openly admit not having watched the nominated films and/or claiming that animated films are for kids, so they didn’t vote. Even the ones shown in the article that did vote barely motivated their choice.
I find this extremely disrespectful of the animators who poured their heart and soul into making these movies, only to have their work be pushed aside without a second glance by the judges of one of the most prominent and well known film awards out there. As an aspiring animator, I am deeply insulted.
Please note that in this post I am expressing no opinion on whether Frozen should have won or not. I think it’s a wonderful film, just as all the other nominees. I am simply saying that we deserve better.
What they did is disrespectful to the creators of every single one of these films, even Frozen. By barely motivating their choice, they make it look like they voted for Frozen simply because of Disney’s status in the industry. Because it’s Disney, and it made a lot of money, so it had to be at least somewhat good. To me it seems like some of the voters just defaulted to voting for the Disney film, and nobody likes to win by default.
Don’t get me wrong, I too have been guilty of loving Disney simply because it’s Disney, but there is so much more beautiful animation out there and it deserves to be taken into consideration. And if Frozen won, it should have won because the majority of the voters thought it was the best film, not because part of the voters was too lazy to even watch the nominated films.
So apparently, 4 out of ten people actually saw the movies selected in the best animated picture, and even people who saw a few went so far as to say that they considered it to be childish, minor, or not worthy of their interest (paraphrasing this article). It was then only logical then that the voters would vote for the good ol’ christmas pop-corn that it Frozen.
As animators and directors, we are used to this kind of reactions around us from people who don’t have so much of a passion for cinema. But this is the academy ! These guys make our movies, they are supposed to have enough culture and curiosity to know that animation is not only about children - especially the year with The wind rises and Ernest & Célestine in competition.
Sorry the blame has to fall on Frozen, it’s a good movie and it deserves its best original song award, but in my opinion the best animated picture award is a robbery.