Time For Animated Films to Get Nominated For Best Production Design?


The folks over at The Hollywood Reporter ponder whether Big Hero 6, Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and The Lego Movie should be nominated for Best Production Design (which used to be named Best Art Direction).

According to THR:

Though no animated feature ever has been nominated for the best production design Oscar, there’s nothing in the rule book to prevent that from happening. Animation filmmakers argue it’s time that their production design teams get their due. After all, everything they create is built entirely from scratch.

While I appreciate the work done by these brilliant design teams, I have trouble supporting them in this category even though they create amazingly immersive worlds.  The reason is they have an incredibly unfair advantage in the creation of sets because they have no limitations in animation while their peers have to build a a real world set  operating under the laws of physics (like reigning champion, The Great Gatsby).  Of course, the line blurs when a film like 2009 winner Avatar is essentially a cartoon with very little real world design.  Avatar was beautiful but should it have beat out Sherlock Holmes or Young Victoria?  It’s not like we can make Robert Downey, Jr fly or anything…

Eh.  Maybe we should just say a cartoon has already won the award and give the statue this year to the Lego Movie?  Take THAT Grand Budapest Hotel!

Article Over at the Hollywood Reporter

3 thoughts on “Time For Animated Films to Get Nominated For Best Production Design?”

  1. There is no “incredibly unfair advantage” in designing a film that is animated, especially in the computer. The design challenge is precisely the same. In many ways, it’s disadvantaged BECAUSE it’s eventually realized in the computer–no physics or practical anything. Everything has to be designed into every set, shot, costume,characters etc. But the design challenge is the same.

    Films like Ratatouille, Wall-e, How to Train Your Dragon, Coraline, and Brave involve considerably more work from a design point of view than virtually any live action film, and should be considered for nomination. Many of them are nominated for Art Directors Guild awards, fyi.

    They should also be judged by the same criteria (a given, since it’s the same job). Animated films like Bee Movie and Corpse Bride, weak on concept, design and execution would fall by the wayside, while films like those listed above would receive more serious consideration.

    A film like Ratatouille is on par, and arguably better designed than any other live action film Academy nominated in 2007 on every level.

    Now that several production designers of animated features are in the Design Branch of the academy, I can see their denial of serious consideration-if worthy-changing very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know if it’ll be better that often…there’s an awful lot of cg crap out there. Most of it, in fact. Ultimately, it’s the thinking and character behind the design of a film that matters most–not the medium it’s produced in.

    Liked by 1 person

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