Oscars 2012 Update: Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Short Subject Shortlists

The final Bond article is gonna be a bit late today. It got held up due to unforeseen circumstances. Not that too many people read the things as soon as they go up (and if they do, I’m sorry, and you’re awesome), so I’m thinking that after today, it won’t really matter.

So I figured, since I needed something to go up, let’s do an Oscars Update, since it’s almost that time again, and I might as well start looking into it, since I really don’t even start looking until December. But I caught that two categories were shortlisted recently, so I figure I’ll put that up. If anything it’ll be a placeholder article until later.

One of them is, as the title says, Documentary Short, so it’s not that interesting, though I’m sure we can probably pick a winner based on the nominees, since that category is so easy to figure out.

The other is Best Animated Feature, which is much more interesting. So we’ll look at those lists and see if we can maybe even figure out what the categories are gonna be.

First, Best Documentary Short Subject:

They shortlisted eight films. They said the category will be 3-5. It’s been 5 films since 2008. Before that, there were a couple of 4s. So I don’t know. We have to operate under the assumption that it’s five (that’s how I do it. I do 5 and then rank them, so that way if there aren’t a certain number, my list cuts off after the number that it is. That’s what I do with Best Picture, since they have that ‘sliding scale’ thing going on now), but either way, this is a very transparent category. You can always tell what’s gonna win.

The eight shortlisted films are:

(And by the way, these are the IMDB synopses, so they’re written in such a way to try to sell you the film. So don’t get so hung up on that. They need to write them that way.)

  • The Education of Mohammad Hussein — An intimate look at how the largest Muslim community in America responds to the provocations of an anti-Islamic preacher. Through the eyes of children, the film examines what it is like to come of age as a Muslim in the United States ten years post 9/11. (38 min)
  • Inocente — A personal and vibrant coming of age story about a young artist’s determination never to surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by being an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past. INOCENTE is both a timeless story about the transformative power of art and a timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America: children. The challenges are staggering, but the hope in her story proves that the hand she has been dealt does not define her, her dreams do. (42 min)
  • Kings Point — In the 1970s and 80s, hundreds of thousands of senior citizens migrated from New York City to Kings Point, a typical retirement community, located just outside West Palm Beach, Florida. Lured by blue skies, sunshine, palm trees, and the promise of a rich social life, they bought their way to paradise for just a $1,500 down payment. Now, as an aging community faces its own mortality, paradise has begun to exact a higher price. Through the experiences of six longtime residents, ‘Kings Point’ captures both the allure and the darker complexities of living in a world where ‘nobody gets too close.’ Poignant, funny and dark, ‘Kings Point’ is a deeply empathetic portrait of the last act of the American Dream. (40 min)
  • Mondays at Racine — Every third Monday of the month, two bold, brassy sisters open the doors of their Long Island hair salon to women diagnosed with cancer. As locks of hair fall to the floor, women gossip, giggle, weep, face their fears, and discover unexpected beauty. (39 min)
  • Open Heart — Eight Rwandan children leave their families behind to embark on a life-or-death journey seeking high-risk heart surgery in Sudan. Their hearts ravaged by a treatable disease from childhood strep throat, they have only months left to live. Open Heart reveals the intertwined endeavors of Dr. Emmanuel, Rwanda’s lone government cardiologist fighting to save the lives of his young patients, and Dr. Gino, the Salam Center’s head surgeon, who is fighting to save his hospital, Africa’s only link to life-saving free cardiac surgery for the millions who need it. (39 min)
  • ParaÍso — Three Mexican immigrants risk their lives every day rappelling down some of the tallest skyscrapers in Chicago as they wash windows. ‘Paraiso’ reveals their thoughts about working, mortality and the people they observe inside the high-rises they clean. (10 min)
  • The Perfect Fit — Looks at professional ballet through the eyes of a shoemaker who pounds his soul out making each pair perfect, trying to ease the burden on the dancers’ feet. (10 min)
  • Redemption — Redemption is a documentary about New York City’s canners – the men and women who survive by redeeming bottles and cans they collect from curbs, garbage cans and apartment complexes. You’ve seen them combing through the trash, but never got to meet them. The film is an unexpected and intimate look at post-industrial gleaners, struggling at the edge of our society. (35 min)

So that’s everything. Looking at that list —

What it’s like to be a Muslim (and children)… check. Big issue.

Underprivileged child who is also an artist… check. Something they can make into a movie.

Old people in a retirement home… ehh… maybe, but I won’t immediately think so just yet.

Hair salon for women with cancer… major check. Emotional.

Rwandan children traveling to get open heart surgery…. that’s a bingo.

Mexican immigrants rappelling down buildings… great idea, but it’s only ten minutes. Will they nominate something that’s ten minutes? (I’m not looking at that until I make my picks in January. But will they?)

Ballet shoemaker who wants to make good shoes… ehh… and it’s only ten minutes. Not crazy about this one’s chances.

People who collect cans in order to survive… fascinating. That seems like a check.

Right off the top, I’d call this category:

  • The Education of Mohammad Hussein
  • Inocente
  • Mondays at Racine
  • Open Heart
  • Redemption

That seems real easy. Inocente and Redemption are the two most likely not to make it. I can almost guarantee at this point (which doesn’t mean it’ll happen, it just means I’ll stick with it until it doesn’t) the other three will be on the final list (with Open Heart being an almost surefire winner, unless Mondays at Racine can take it on the emotional hook). And if I had to pick two more right now, those would be the two.

But that’s Documentary Short, that category no one cares about (but just know, for pick the one that’s got an emotional hook and is about a major issue — Africa and open-heart surgery for children seems like the easy winner. Last year it was about a surgeon who tries to fix women’s faces after they have acid thrown in them in Pakistan. See what I mean?). Onto the category that is pretty interesting….

Best Animated Feature. 21 films shortlisted:

  • Adventures in Zambezia
  • Brave
  • Delhi Safari
  • Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
  • Frankenweenie
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • Hey Krishna
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift
  • A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman
  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  • The Mystical Laws
  • The Painting
  • ParaNorman
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • The Rabbi’s Cat
  • Rise of the Guardians
  • Secret of the Wings
  • Walter & Tandoori’s Christmas
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Zarafa

Right off the top — Brave is on, Wreck-It Ralph is on.

  • Adventures in Zambezia
  • Delhi Safari
  • Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
  • Frankenweenie
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • Hey Krishna
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift
  • A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman
  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  • The Mystical Laws
  • The Painting
  • ParaNorman
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • The Rabbi’s Cat
  • Rise of the Guardians
  • Secret of the Wings
  • Walter & Tandoori’s Christmas
  • Zarafa

Then, off the top of my head…

The Pirates! Band of Misfits is off. Secret of the Wings will never make it. Madagascar won’t be nominated. Ice Age won’t make it. Hotel Transylvania probably won’t make it.

The Lorax has a decent shot, but Horton Hears a Who didn’t make it on, so I don’t know. It wasn’t that great, but it made money, so maybe.

Rise of the Guardians is a wild card at the moment. I don’t know how good it is.

Frankenweenie and ParaNorman are also wild cards depending on how they respond to them.

From Up on Poppy Hill was magical, but I don’t know how the branch will respond to it. Personally, anything Ghibli should be put on.

That leaves ten films…

  • Adventures in Zambezia
  • Delhi Safari
  • Hey Krishna
  • A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman
  • The Mystical Laws
  • The Painting
  • The Rabbi’s Cat
  • Walter & Tandoori’s Christmas
  • Zarafa

I know nothing about these. Let’s look them up.

Zambezia is a Rio rehash. Not happening.

And so is Delhi Safari. Nope.

Hey Krishna is Indias first stereoscopic animated movie… problem is, it’s about Krishna’s early life. It’s gonna have to be real good to get nominated here.

A Liar’s Autobiography is self-explanatory. I don’t see it, but it could happen. My instinct says they’ll have to really love it for it to go on over the heavily pushed studio stuff.

The Mystical Laws — based solely on the poster… not happening

The Painting — this looks good. I wanna see this. This has a real outside chance. Based on last year, when they went with gorgeous animation — don’t be surprised to see this get on, especially since now they definitely have five nominees.

The Rabbi’s Cat — this looks great too. This has an outside chance on animation alone. (I’m not looking too closely now, just generally. And generally, this has a real shot.)

Walter & Tandoori’s Christmas — not fucking happening.

Zarafa — I’m real curious to see if they vote this on. I’ll give it a shot for now.

Here’s what I see at the moment:

Locks:

  • Brave
  • Wreck-It Ralph

Decent Chances:

  • Frankenweenie
  • ParaNorman
  • From Up on Poppy Hill
  • Rise of the Guardians

Dark Horses:

  • The Painting
  • The Rabbi’s Cat
  • Zarafa
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

No way:

  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  • Secret of the Wings 
  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift
  • Adventures in Zambezia
  • Delhi Safari
  • Hey Krishna
  • A Liar’s Autobiography
  • The Mystical Laws
  • Walter & Tandoori’s Christmas

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3 responses

  1. BlueFox94

    As expected for Best Animated Feature. Here’s hoping that “WRECK-IT RALPH” wins! A Disney canon film needs to win for once. That and the video game aspect make it the best animated film of 2012 for me ^_^

    November 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    • BlueFox94

      I’m actually wanting to see it three times (Yes, THREE) and eventually get it on DVD. And I’m a guy who only purchases DVDs very intermittently.

      I saw “BRAVE” and “MADAGASCAR 3” twice when they came out. I personally think the latter stands a decent chance at a nom, seeing that the series has been improving critically, those circus sequences actually made Katy Perry sound decent (best 3D sequences this year by far), and the silly moments still lie within a certain boundary of plausibility (having your script done by Noah Baumbach doesn’t hurt:). Kind of a guilty pleasure at first glance, but i stand by my opinion that it was better than expected.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    • BlueFox94

      Oh yeah, my personal noms for BAF Oscar so far:

      “BRAVE”
      “MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED”
      “THE PAINTING”
      “THE RABBI’S CAT”
      “WRECK-IT RALPH”

      I’m still skeptical about “RISE…” as much as I am skeptical of “LES MISERABLES” Oscar chances. I wait until I see them, because the first seems more novel and less story and the latter is a great musical, but will that hinder its cinematic translation? (I look at the pundits putting it 2nd to “ARGO” (my fave film of 2012 so far) and I just scoff. I kinda caught your rightful tendency to be suspicious of the awards chances of plays/musicals being made into films)

      November 15, 2012 at 11:30 pm

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