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'Beowulf' slays old Oscar attitudes toward animation

November 8, 2007 |  2:25 pm

Many Oscar-watchers breathed a sigh of relief today when "Boewulf" got approved for submission to the race for best animated feature. Thus the academy now welcomes a new definition of film animation that it has resisted in the past.


While "Beowulf" certainly contains more than 70 percent animation, as per academy Rule Seven (CLICK HERE), the animation looks very real, being based upon live action. That is, Angelina Jolie looks so real on screen because she, Anthony Hopkins and other actors performed in a room full of electrical sensors that recorded their movements.

According to Rule Seven, "movement and characters' performances (must be) created using a frame-by-frame technique." In the past, some films that used digital animation to enhance live-action footage didn't qualify. However, now that the technique is a routine part of the production of maintream animated pix, the Oscars risked being accused of not keeping step with modern times if "Beowulf" had been snubbed. In fact, many movie bloggers were waiting for the bad news today, ready to pounce.

But now that "Beowulf" is in, it looks like a good bet to be included among the three nominees for best animated feature, along with "Ratatouille" and "Persepolis" and "The Simpsons Movie." Ooops, that's four. One of them — sorry! — has to go! There can only be three slots in this category since the number of eligible entries fell below 16. To see the list of 12 that made the cut, CLICK HERE. Since "Persepolis" is France's selection for best foreign-language film and it has strong critical support, there's a real chance that it may become the first animated film ever nominated in the category for overseas pix.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Well, the biggest thing wrong with this article is that these 12 films were SUBMITTED for consideration for nomination. It doesn't mean that they have all been deemed ELIGIBLE. Last year "Arthur and the Invisibles" was submitted but then later deemed ineligible, so "Beowulf" or any of these films could be thrown out of the race based on the rules.

- kch,

Tx, bblasingame, I see that you're right about Scanner -- fixed that. I don't know what you mean about subtitles. I don't mention that

I also forgot to add a third error. The Triplets of Belleville, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle were all films from overseas, and I recall The Triplets of Belleville being subtitled as well.

Sorry, but there are just too many false facts in this article.

First, Beowulf is not the first film to make the cutoff list and be filmed through motion capture. The Polar Express did the same thing.

Second, both Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly DID qualify and make the cutoff list. They were simply not nominated. If any of these films were at one point disqualified, it wasn't made very public.



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