Oscars 2011 Animated Features

It’s Thursday night at the Academy and that means time to honor the nominees for Best Animated Feature Film.  This year there were three nominees for Best Animated Picture – Feature Length: Toy Story 3, How to Train you Dragon and The Illusionist. Talking with Tom Sito, Animator and Host for the evening, he gave us some interesting trivia.  Tom explained that the award for Best Animated Feature has only been around for ten years, starting in 2001.  You may ask why they didn’t have the category sooner, and the answer is one that each of our honored guests felt passionate about, “animated feature films are not a genre-they are a medium.”

The filmmakers tonight would go out of their way to explain the modern feature film is a real movie; the only thing that sets it apart is the technique to render the images on the screen.  They also argue the modern animated feature is no longer “just a kids” movie, but rather a sophisticated family film.

In the symposium, we learned that in addition to the youth of the award, the award is still a “provisional” award, meaning the Board of Governors have to vote to keep the category each year.  Another interesting fact is that this year the number of nominees for Best Animated Feature stands at three.  Last year there were five.  The reason for the difference-according to the by-laws, if there are sixteen (16) or more Animated Features entered, then the number of nominees will be five.  If there are fewer than sixteen, then the number of nominees is restricted to three (3).

Tonight we would participate more than just getting the red carpet interviews.  We would enter the theater with the public to experience the Symposium as a member of the audience.  After watching clips and being emotionally moved to the point of moist eyes, I had to agree with the filmmakers: This is not child’s play; these are real, character-driven films teaching universal themes without offending the viewer.  Here’s hoping that Hollywood will keep in mind the success of these films and continue to give us films to enjoy with the whole family.

CableSuite 541’s coverage of the 83rd Academy Awards is made possible by the generous sponsorships of The Star Beacon, Kent State University at Ashtabula, ACMC, Carmike Cinemas, E.B. & Co., True North Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, www.whysoblu.com, Star 97, Magic Oldies 102.5 and 98.3 The Bull.


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