Will Rango take home the Golden Fishie this year?
After a stunning Oscar win last year for Toy Story III, Disney was nowhere to be found in today's Academy Award nomination announcement for Best Animated Feature Film; neither was Steven Spielberg's mo-cap epic, The Adventures of TinTin. Instead, the noms were a mix of critically-acclaimed indie films and DreamWorks sequels...and a strange chameleon with the voice of Johnny Depp.
Here's this year's contenders, via MTV News:
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rico
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
What happened with Disney/Pixar, after a previous season that included not only the aforementioned Toy Story but the dazzling Tangled? Well, the Cars franchise, while hugely popular with kids, has been one of the less well-reviewed Pixar productions. However, if you count the nod to "Man or Muppet" for Best Original Song -- traditionally a category that is a Disney staple -- the studio still had a rather high-profile nomination this year.
Critics and fans expressed some concern that TinTin wasn't nominated in the Animated Feature category -- speculating perhaps that its motion-capture technology was considered a strike against it (though it did get a nom for Best Score). There were also some who mourned the omission of Sony/Aardman's well-reviewed Arthur's Christmas from today's nomination announcement.
My personal prediction for the winner? Gore Verbinski's Rango, which seems to have just the right mix of indie uniqueness and big-studio "name" recognition that the Academy voters might go for. Oh, and "Man or Muppet" for Best Song, hopefully jump-starting a new era of puppetry in cinema.