As usual, the weekend is over and there is so much to cover. I’m going to have to begin with the Oscars, it’s too big to hold off until later. As everyone knows by now, Lord of the Ringsswept the award show like an unstoppable force, and though I have been predicting major wins for Peter Jackson’s team, even I wasn’t expecting a tie with Titanic and Ben-Hur. I did believe that this year the series would be rewarded for its massive acheivements as a whole, and it was. Animated short went to Harvie Krumpet, and I’m sure that was an appropriate win. I hope to get the chance to see Australian Adam Elliot’s short very soon. Now Adam, about that outfit? Ah well, Finding Nemo won it’s well-deserved feature Oscar, and that counts big. All in all, as Oscar goes, and I’m an Academy Awards show history buff, it was a fairly classy night.
A big local even today was the Emerald City Comic Con, a convention that is only in its second year, but already has an impressive size. Thanks to everyone I got the chance to meet today, especially new Cartoonists Northwest President Scott Alan, who so graciously made space for our flyer. A number of other artists were also great to meet, so great that I’m going to do separate features on each this week.
Finally, the second Scooter and Ferret strip went up today. Even better, the new Flash game Rubber Hose Assault wrapped up this weekend and went live today. It’s a mindless time-waster and an homage to the Fleischer-style cartoons I love so much.
Oscar nominations are out today, and no great surprises there if you caught the Globes. What I noticed immediately while going over the list was my prediction was correct: Destino is in the running for Best Animated Short. Competition in that category is meager these days, but to be fair Destino is a solid entry, even if I didn’t care for it myself.
Everyone’s eyes will be on the animated feature category, where only three entries made it in this year: Brother Bear, Finding Nemo and Triplettes of Belleville. I expected this, and it was an easy prediction, that those that vote for what they don’t understand and is therefore art would end up duking it out with the rest of us. Already Ebert and Roper, two of my least favorite people on television, have made their case for “Triplettes”. I did enjoy “Triplettes”, as I said in a previous entry, but Nemo amazed me, and Pixar is more than deserving. Noticeably absent is Sinbad, though not undeservedly so in my own opinion. Brother Bear enjoys a nomination it has a very small chance of turning into Oscar gold, and as I’m not putting much faith in Home on the Range, it looks as if Disney traditional animation will fade into the night without ever having won an Academy Award for one of their features. Incredible, unbelievable irony.
And one particular note to Roper, who said last night on the O’Reilly Factor that conservatives are not creative: You might want to put some salve on that bias, Jack.
The Golden Globes were on last night, an awards show that has perhaps developed more clout than it deserves, considering the source. But as Finding Nemo was up for an award as best musical or comedy, it became animation news. “Nemo” would have been an unlikely winner, given that it’s difficult to make a logical comparison between it and Lost in Translationor Big Fish. I’ve always been a supporter of separating animated fare from live action, which is not a popular stance with a lot of animators. Particularly the younger ones, who may not understand the politics at play. It comes down to this: actors do not like to compete with cartoon characters, 3D or otherwise. It makes them feel like they’re being replaced. Now that we’ve gotten that news flash out of the way, I can express my gratitude that the Academy finally gave animated feature a category. I’m still expecting Finding Nemo to have its day in the sun on Oscar night.
That said, congratulations to Peter Jackson on his Golden Globe. I’m making a prediction that this will be the year when Lord of the Rings is evaluated as a whole and given its Oscar, ostentatiously for the last installment, but practically for all three. This trilogy was more than a series of movies, it was an experience. I was fortunate to be able to catch the first two in their extended versions at Seattle’s Cinerama, and I will be there next year right on schedule. After seeing Jackson’s versions, it’s hard to remember what it was like to pore through the books in high school, trying to figure out what Minis Tirith would look like.
On a final note, the first piece of US legislation intended to stem the tide of outsourcing to India is being aggressively lobbied against by said country. No surprises here of course, as awareness of what this is doing to American workers grows, we can only hope legislation will follow. Runaway jobs are not a partisan issue, and its important that voters on every side of the fence alert their respective representatives. So far the new law only seems to affect Federal jobs.