The Golden Globes began awarding their Best Animated Feature category in 2007, and have continued each year to nominate three to five films (not the standard five as in other categories). Every year, beginning in 2007 (for the year 2006), a Pixar (or Disney-Pixar) film has been nominated; and every year wins the award. It began with Cars in 2007 (up against Monster House and Happy Feet), then Ratatouille in 2008 (up against The Simpsons Movie and Bee Movie); in 2009 WALL-E took home the prize and not Bolt or Kung Fu Panda. The year 2009 marked the first time five films were nominated, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog, and Up. Even with two more films competing against them, Pixar was victorious with Up. Now, 2010 was a tough year for Pixar at The Golden Globes competition wise and the winner was not clear going into the award show. Dreamworks Animation had finally produced an equally good product as Pixar with How To Train Your Dragon and it was anyone’s guess whether Toy Story 3 would reign victorious (the other films nominated were Tangled, The Illusionist, and Despicable Me although none had a chance). Dreamworks may have been hopeful but Pixar reigned King once again as Toy Story 3 won–I myself think it had to do with the instantaneous weeping the film caused a viewer, beginning with the incinerator scene.
Now we find ourselves in the year 2012, for the year 2011 awards, and with five nominations in the Best Animated Feature category. Two of the films could arguably be seen as more adult-oriented animation, Rango and The Adventures of Tintin. The other three are all about the kiddies, with Cars 2, Puss in Boots, and Arthur Christmas. Immediately we can toss out all hope for Arthur Christmas and Puss In Boots. They were both great films, and very fun to watch, but they are not strong enough to go up against the other three films story-wise or with enough clout behind their filmmakers. The Adventures of Tintin was directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson; it is immediately the front-runner in this category because those two names are attached (politics) but the story and somewhat lackluster performance of Tintin may hurt its chances–even with the amazing long-take airplane ride. Rango was a hit with audiences everywhere, but it was also a tad dark and angled more at adults than children. It is a strong contender, and the homages it plays to the Western-genre may help its chances with voters. The final nominated film is Cars 2, and it is the Pixar film for the year. BUT, and this is a huge BUT, Cars 2 was terrible; the only reason it is nominated is simply because it has to be nominated because it is a Disney-Pixar film (politics, again). While I am not a fan of Rotten Tomatoes it has a current score of 39% rotten; a favorite quote comes from Leah Rozen at The Wrap, “Don’t tell the kids, but Santa Claus isn’t real and Pixar is fallible.”
Pixar is not perfect, as any movie studio is not perfect. They produce great movies, mediocre movies, and sometimes just plain awful ones. This is not Pixar’s year; this year belongs to those who have become the underdogs at the Award shows ever since Pixar’s magicians started making movies. All best are off with who will win the Best Animated Feature award at The Golden Globes 2012. If it is indeed Cars 2 than the legitimacy of The Golden Globes will no longer need to be questioned, we will all know they are a complete fraud.
Read FilmFracture’s reviews of the five nominated animated films from 2011:
Arthur Christmas by Kathryn Schroeder
Cars 2 by Kristin Sales
Puss In Boots by Kathryn Schroeder
Rango by Russell Espinosa