Vote of the week: The best of the animated Best Picture nominees
By Robert NilesThis week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 83rd annual Academy Awards. For just the third time, an animated feature film was nominated for the Best Picture award, Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3.
Published: January 27, 2011 at 10:33 PM
Since the animated film industry is so closely tied to the theme park business, I thought the nominations a good choice for this week's vote. No, I'm not asking you to pick the winner for this year's Best Picture. (I suspect that the Disney fans among us would skew that vote heavily toward Woody and the gang). But I am going to ask you to pick your favorite among the three animated Best Picture nominees.
In addition to Toy Story 3 (the highest-rated of these three by Rotten Tomatoes' Top Critics survey, earning a perfect score), the two previous Best Picture nominees are:
Up (2009) - Cynics might claim that Up made the cut only because the Academy expanded the Best Picture field to 10 last year. But I defy anyone to watch for the first time the nearly five-minute, wordless recounting of Carl and Ellie's life together without breaking into tears. I still can't do it, and I've lost count how many times I've seen this film.
Beauty and the Beast (1991) - It's hard now to watch the first animated film to win a Best Picture nod and not think of Shrek's hilarious spoof of its ending. (For what it's worth, I've heard from many folks - including some Hollywood insiders - who insist that the Academy created the Best Animated Feature award in 2001 specifically to prevent Shrek from claiming a Best Picture nomination that year.)
But let's not overlook Beauty and the Beast's place in history. Watch "The Mob Song" - a great metaphor for public rejection of the different - and remember that the lyricist (Howard Ashman) was a gay man, dying of AIDS in the late 1980s, who would pass away before the movie premiered.
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Cast your vote, and please tell us in the comments why you think your choice is the best of the three.
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