The rants and raves of a teenage cinephile who is just a little bit obsessed with Catherine O'Hara and Hayao Miyazaki.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Perfect Trio

The Oscars rarely have a category that is 100% perfect - but last year's Animated Film category has been on my mind lately and I can't help but consider it an anomalous example of this occurrence.

You all already know my adoration for How to Train Your Dragon, which was my pick for the winner last year (not that it had any chance). I rewatched it today, and while I was expecting it to drop in my estimation, I actually enjoyed it even more, especially John Powell's marvelous score.

Toy Story 3 was a wonderful winner, the perfect ending to a masterful trilogy. Really, it could not have been a more perfect ending to the long running series and somehow it manages to pack such poignance and emotion into an action adventure movie about toys. Pixar does it again.

And finally, there was The Illusionist, which I finally caught on DVD this past week. Had I seen it before I made my top 10 list, it surely would have grasped a spot on there and I'm even tempted I now prefer it to the other two for the win. What Triplets of Belleville lacked in emotional resonance, it made up for with sly humor - the opposite is true of The Illusionist. Though it doesn't sport the mocking humor of Chomet's previous work, it is instead full of beautiful animation and emotional resonance that carries through the entire film. Truly a beautiful piece of work.

So anyway, this is a rather random post but I had to pay homage to this great trinity of films. The Oscars are not always perfect but the past two years of animated films (don't even get me started on 2010) really have been worthy contenders.


  1. It was a good year for animation. In fact, 2009 was as well! So I guess this must just be the new renaissance of animated movies - considering some of the best of the past couple years have been from that genre... Oh, and John Powell's score was totally the best of the year! Good choice! :)

  2. Whalen (@whalen_z)June 2, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    These were definitely spot on, I'm glad we didn't have something underserving like Bolt or a weird outsider like Secret of Kells stinking things up. I loved The Illusionist and this is what perplexes me, it's great that lots of people who wouldn't catch it hear of it through the Oscars, but ghettoizing Foreign and Animated films always bugs me.

  3. I thought The Illusionist didn't have enough story to support it...

    But anyway, as I wrote after I saw it in the theatre: It's the best animation I have ever seen, from a technical perspective. An incredible care for details, as I had never seen before.


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