An Opinion on Animation
Disclaimer: This article and the ideas expressed are purely subjective and not set in stone. Only meant as a rant of sorts.
In case you aren’t aware, I am a total animation geek. It’s probably my absolute favorite art form, and I always get excited whenever it is mentioned, and I’m sure there’s many of you
out there who also hold a deep respect for the medium. When I ask you “What was the best year for animation in cinema?”, what is your answer? The chances are quite a few of you may have thought back to 2009, and I don’t blame you. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Up, The Princess and the Frog, Secret of Kells, Coraline, and Bionicle: The Legend Reborn (what?) all came out that year, all being amazing movies in their own special ways. However, in so many ways, 2014 has some phenomenal movies that are so stunning, especially in terms of animation style and storytelling. We got Big Hero 6, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Boxtrolls, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Song of the Sea, and The LEGO Movie (also, the movie When Marnie Was There did technically come out in 2014 as well, but its English dub came out in 2015 so it’s listed there. It’s also a very amazing movie). Each one of these films were pretty great in their own rights.
So 2014 must have been the best year for animated movies, right? Wellllllllll… It's got one glaring problem in my eyes. I think most of us know or have heard of this little thing called the Oscars.
You know, the Academy awards? The most “prestigious” movie awards given out (emphasis on those quotation marks)? Sometimes the Academy makes good decisions, other times they get it so, so wrong. This year being one of my pet peeves. The movie that won 2014’s
Oscars for Best Animated Film was Big Hero 6. Now, I am absolutely not hating on that movie, I like Baymax and this was a pretty good film. HOWEVER, when you compare it to the other contenders, it is not the strongest, nor the one that deserved the win over the others.
In my opinion, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and Song of the Sea deserved the win more so than Big Hero 6. AND THAT’S NOT COUNTING THE FACT THAT THE LEGO MOVIE DIDN’T EVEN GET A NOMINATION. THAT MOVIE ABSOLUTELY DESERVED ONE LET ALONE THE WIN- can you tell I’m upset at the Academy? ‘Cause I am. How can you look at a movie like The Tale of Princess Kaguya, or Song of the Sea, in all of their emotion and beauty and think ‘Nah, Big Hero 6 was better’ (again, I’m sorry if some of you really like Big Hero 6, but if you’ve seen these other movies then perhaps you would agree with me). The other fact that kind of upsets me is how Disney already has a few Animated Oscar wins (and goes on to win more in later years) whereas these other films were by newer, underrated studios who barely have a single win under their belts. I- just-... come on, Disney. Give everyone else a chance, please?
Moving beyond those gripes of the Oscars, the rest of that year’s movies still hold up pretty well. You know, reflecting on all this, 2021 is also a pretty great year for animation when I think about it. We’ve got Raya and the Last Dragon, The Mitchells VS The Machines, Vivo, Wish Dragon, Flee, Belle, Luca, and Encanto all this year. That’s eight good animated movies in one year, which is quite the feat. I’m not exactly counting all the animated TV shows, but there were some good ones I’ve heard of, like Star Wars: The Bad Batch, What If...?, Invincible, Star Wars: Visions, and the amazing-looking Arcane. I’m not sure what this year’s Oscars (since this is written before anything has been announced) will look like, but it’s certainly going to be unlike any other year we’ve had. I expect all of these movies will get nominated, but I’m not sure if there’s a limit or something (my hope is kinda leading towards The Mitchells VS The Machines winning). All in all, I hope y’all learned a thing or two from my rant on animated movies. If you’re up for it too, I highly recommend all the movies and TV shows that were mentioned. So if you ever need to watch anything animated, you’ve got like, over 15 things to pick from.
Thanks for reading, keep making art everyone!