Friday, February 5, 2010

What's Up with 'UP?"

It made me cry. Then it made me laugh. Then it made me cry. Then it made me laugh. The latest gem from Disney/Pixar, “Up,” was a beautiful roller coaster ride that entertained me from start to finish. However, with award season well underway and the Academy Award nomination announcements Tuesday, something very upsetting has happened.

In 1991, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” became the first (and would be the only for nearly 20 years) animated film to be nominated for the Academy’s highest honor, Best Picture of the Year. It lost. 10 years later, the Academy created the Best Animated Feature category and has since honored such works of art as “Shrek,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” and “Wall-E.”

While “Up” was one of the best films I saw in 2009, I do not believe it should have been nominated for Best Picture. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe any animated film should be nominated for Best Picture if there is a Best Animated Feature category (there are certain provisos that must be met in order for it to appear).

When the nominations were announced on Tuesday, “Up” was not only nominated as Best Picture but Best Animated Feature as well, though I believe its Best Picture nomination was only a result of the Academy’s expansion from 5 nominees to 10 in the category. However, if “Beauty and the Beast” could not beat down the barriers of Academy prejudice against great animated work, then “Up”, which while good, was not superior, won’t either.

Why put it in a category where you ask for it to be defeated by another practically animated film (“Avatar”) and be angry, when you can keep it with the animated films (where it will win) and be happy it got an Academy Award? And more importantly, why nominate it in both places? Could the Academy members really not find another film to nominate for Best Picture? The list of 10 nominees seems like it was a stretch to compile in the first place, so where is the harm in nominating a film from other unsung genres like “Star Trek" or "(500) Days of Summer?"

Bottom-line? “Up” is an animated feature and for the emotional roller coaster it put me on, its social message is nowhere near “Beauty and the Beast’s.” It’s going to lose Best Picture to “Avatar” and win Best Animated Feature. Why nominate it twice?

No comments:

Post a Comment