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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Brave, Frankenweenie, and Ralph - An Oscar Showdown

Disney executives woke up to a pleasant surprise a few mornings ago. All three of their 2012 animated releases were nominated for an Academy Award as best animated film. At least I think it was pleasant surprise. All 3 were well received by critics though not quite the lofty status of Pixar's best efforts like Toy Story 3 or Wall-E. The public came out in good numbers to see Brave and Wreck-It Ralph but stayed away from Tim Burton's Frankenweenie (which uses stop-motion animation as opposed to being completely computer generated like the other two films). And while both Pixar's Brave and Disney Animation's Wreck-It Ralph turned nice profits, they weren't the over the top type of numbers again like Toy Story 3 which was a billion dollar box office smash. So there isn't really a clear head and shoulders winner of the three and maybe Disney's nightmare is they split the Academy's vote and another animated feature swoops in and picks them off.

I'm certainly not the one to pick a favorite because I haven't seen any of them. I never felt compelled to do so. I passed on Brave because well, I'm sorry to say, it just looked too much like a girls movie. I could be wrong about it but that's the way it is. It's been available on video for a couple of months and I still haven't seen it. I passed on Tim Burton's Frankenweenie because it just looked too weird and seeing a beloved family pet being dying only to be brought back to life is just not a subject matter that appeals to me. I've had far too many pets pass away in recent years so that is kind of a touchy subject. Besides I thought Burton hoodwinked me with his Alice in Wonderland, an enormously popular movie that I absolutely hated. 

Which brings me to Wreck-It Ralph, a movie I really wanted to see but just never got around to it in the theaters. I still want to see it so the home video is one I really look forward to picking up in another month or two when it hits the stores. This movie just looks like a lot of fun and that's the main reason why I want to go to the movies.

So I really don't have a horse in this race. As of now, I just don't care who wins and who loses. If I were I betting man (and I'm really not) I'd put my money on Brave simply because Pixar has a way of combining all animated movie elements (technical craftsmanship, story, music, editing, etc.) into eye popping, dazzling films if we can excuse the horrid Cars 2 (which I never will because it was such lazy effort after a string of great, great movies). I don't know but I would also think that Brave costs as much to make as the other two movies put together. Maybe that's my clue. If Brave goes out and wins and Academy Award, it might be worth my while to actually sit down and watch it.

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