The Oscar Project
After watching all five films, there is no question in my mind that Coco deserved the win. Watching it for the first time, I was truly invested in the story in a way I wasn't for any of the other films. The visuals are absolutely stunning and they contribute to the telling of the story in a way that I didn't see in any of the other films.
It would seem that Pixar continues to have a stranglehold on this category and for good reason, they may fantastic animated films. I'm already looking at next year's crop of animated films and am certain Pixar will be nominated yet again in this category.
Read my analysis of Coco.
2. Loving Vincent
I have to admit that ranking this film this high is for solely achievement purposes. I didn't think this was a "great film" and if it hadn't been animated, I doubt that it would ever have received a nomination for anything. However, the fact that every frame of the film is a separate oil painting done in the style of Vincent van Gogh, makes this one astounding achievement.
Initially I was extremely excited to see this film but after watching the film and the bonus features on the Blu Ray release about how it was made, I was disappointed to find out that much of the film was shot with live actors and then essentially rotoscoped over with oil paints.
That being said, the feat is still impressive and I hope that this technique is used in the future. Until then, we get to be impressed by this film.
3. The Breadwinner
I really had higher hopes for this film than what was eventually delivered. It's not your typical animated film, featuring a family struggling to survive after their father is arrested in Afghanistan, but I wanted it to take this story even further than it did.
The important part of this film is the fact that there are people living through this situation right now, not just in Afghanistan, but around the world in areas ravaged by civil war, outside war, famine, drug epidemics, etc. Everyone is dealing with something and these stories are not told often enough.
The silver lining here is that because the film was nominated for an Oscar, more people probably saw it than otherwise would have. The failing is that it didn't push far enough and force people to think. Those who want to see this film are likely already open to looking at this suffering and those aren't the people that need to see it in the first place.
4. The Boss Baby
This is probably the film from this group that I've seen the most. As I mentioned in my review post, my kids absolutely love this film and we had our own new addition to the family right around the same time the film was released in theaters.
Overall, the message in this one is strong and Alec Baldwin's performance is stellar. I can't hinge an entire rating on that fact though. While it is solid, there is nothing spectacular about the animation. The gags are cute, but nothing to write home about. Lastly, the idea that the entire story is one giant flashback feels like too much of a gimmick after reviewing the film many times.
It's cute, but not worthy of winning this category against the competition it faced last year.
I think I laughed more in this film than any of the others in the category, but the nomination was for animation, not humor. While I appreciated the visual style of this film, it didn't have as much impact in terms of story than even Boss Baby.
There was surely some message of "it's OK to be different" but that is something that probably goes over most kids heads and there was really no question that Ferdinand would ultimately win the day and "defeat" the bullfighter with his refusal to fight in the ring. I wanted a little more conflict and uncertainty in the film beyond just bulls being funny.
Read my analysis of Ferdinand.
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?