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Academy Awards

Animation fans will be disappointed with some Oscar nominations

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 January, 2015, 1:38pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 January, 2015, 6:59pm

For many animation fans, the 2015 Oscar nominations contained some disappointments.

Sure, an Academy Award will be handed out for best animated feature this year, as has been the case since awards in this category were first handed out in 2002. But 2015’s biggest Oscar nomination shock – aside from best picture nominee Selma not having been nominated in other categories besides best original song – may well be The Lego Movie’s sole Academy Award nomination coming in the best original song category rather than that for best animated feature film.

Of the five animated films that the animation branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences deemed better than Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s widely beloved film - which has an impressive 7.9 rating on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and a 96 per cent “fresh” rating on film review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes - it’s hard to argue with their peers’ choice of cartoon superhero movie Big Hero 6, while How to Train Your Dragon 2 was honoured as best animated feature at the Golden Globes.

And from an Asian viewpoint, it’s great to see Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya gain an Academy Award nomination weeks after his better known Studio Ghibli stablemate Hayao Miyazaki was presented with an honorary Oscar for his contributions to the motion picture industry; and this particularly since this year’s best foreign language film nominees do not include a single Asian title.

Also coming from outside the United States, traditionally animated and based on a myth or legend is Irishman Tomm Moore’s Song of the Sea, which currently has a high 8.3 rating on IMDb. Rounding out the list is stop-motion animation work The Boxtrolls, made using the animation method widely considered to be the most painstaking of all.

So it’s not as if the nominated films are not worthy. And animation fans can now cheer for their favourites in not one but two categories.

In fact, the nominations may not be half as disappointing as they at first seem.