D'you know, I think the 2013 animated feature nominations are the strongest I've seen in a few years. Let me qualify that, some years there are 3 noms, some years 5.....but there's such a clear winner the rest just pale into insignificance (Up, The Incredibles, Toy Story 3....hang on, they're all Pixar aren't they.....hmmm).
I'm going to be very controversial in my choice of favourite from this year's:
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (or in the UK: The Pirates! In an Adventure With Science!)
I know that lots of you aren't going to agree with me, and I probably won't choose the actual winner on February 24th.
Up until last week, Wreck-It Ralph would have been my favourite. I saw Wreck-It Ralph at Christmas with the family not expecting very much because the trailer hadn't wowed me.....but it's a nice movie and I'd recommend it if you've got a family or you're a big kid and have either liked gaming or American candy (lots of the puns would have been lost on me as a Brit, who grew up with sweeties, if I hadn't lived America for 3 years and now am aware of candy brands). It's a lot better than I expected. It has a nice story with nice twists, good voicing, and the animation is ok. So yes, it's good.
I give it 8 out of 10.
Plus it's worth going to see it in the cinema if you can (I hear it's opening now in the UK) because an Oscar nominated animated short Paperman is showing before it.....and that's very, very good. Mind you, if you want to watch the entire 6.33 mins right now and need a smile/warm fuzzy moment, you can see it here, and then you'll have knocked off another of the 53 movies nominated for Oscars this year....you're welcome ;) But I'll be talking about that more later in the month when I've seen all the animated shorts.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits we watched as a family at home probably around October. What can I say, it's Aardman, so as a Brit I'm biased. I hear that it's not gone down as well outside the UK because like the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics there are a lot of in jokes. But we liked it. It's getting increasingly difficult recently to find movies that are adult enough for Goth Child (15) who wants full-on action movies or rom coms, yet won't damage the 'innocent' eyes of Melchett (10). Pirates (and Wreck-It Ralph) kept both happy. It's not going to win but we liked it. I'd call it good road-trip or in-flight watching, if that makes any sense. It's pleasant.
I give it 7 out of 10.
Paranorman.....this is where I'm going to start losing you and you're going to start telling me I'm wrong. I did not like this movie. It was weeeeirddd. I didn't like the look of the stop-frame animated characters. And, don't get me wrong: I love classic horror movies (ones that major on suspense and dread not sell-out on gore and things flying at the camera), and I DO like movies that treat kids with respect, knowing they can handle sad things happening and like to be frightened (hiding behind a cushion watching a movie/Doctor Who episode is a rite of passage)...but there's a whole extended scene in Paranorman with a young witch and about the persecution of witches that was very scary and flicked my 'oh gosh is this feminism/PC preaching coming?' button to off. I wouldn't say don't watch it, because I know I've heard loads of people say they love it....Melchett even likes it.
I give it 6.5 out of 10.
Frankweenie.....uh oh, if you disagreed with me about Paranorman, you're going to start throwing stuff now......I REALLY didn't like Frankenweenie....I thought it was boring. Again, don't get me wrong, I adore homages to horror classics, I love Vincent Price, I adore Plan 9 from Outer Space, actually if you know me well, you know I love bad movies.....but Frankenweenie bored me. The stop motion animation annoyed me, the stylised jerky movement and the terrible movement of the mouths to the dialogue. I actually preferred the references to classic horror movies in Paranorman. Of all 5 movies, this is probably the one I'd be least likely to recommend watching.
I give it 6 out of 10.
And now, as I hide behind the settee to avoid the huge amount of stuff being hurled my way, I'm going to upset you the most. I loved Brave. Which was weird, as I'd been avoiding it until this week because of all the luke-warm and negative reviews. Perhaps it's because I'm a Mum of two daughters.....it might also have something to do with me being born in Edinburgh with lots of Scottish relatives....and can any movie that has Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson and Julie Walters in, even just as voices be bad? So for me, Brave is the best animated, the most rounded story and had none of the disappointment I expected watching it. I found it heart-warming, beautiful and uplifting. I loved it.
I give it 8.5 out of 10 and this is the only one of the five I think I'd watch again.
Which movie would I like to win the 2013 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature?
Which movie do I actually think will win it?
Ok, you can start telling me I'm wrong in the comments.....I'm woman enough for it, and I have a strong cup of tea ready to fortify me.
Want a list of all 53 movies you need to watch to see everything with an Oscar nomination in 2013? Check out my printable list here.
So far I've watched 19, but I'll soon up that number with the 15 shorts, which will beat my record from 2011's watchalong of 32 nominated movies watched before Oscar Night (this year Feb 24th), plus I've got some iTunes rentals still waiting in my queue.
Onwards....and stop hitting me.....