Phil Lord and Chris Miller explode against contempt for animation at the Oscars

“Animation is not a genre, but a medium”. This motto has gained weight in recent years, when animated films experienced growing development combined with a large influx of audiences… without ever ceasing to face prejudices that linked it exclusively to children’s consumption. There were many reasons to think that 2021 was a great year for the medium, and that is why it was so disappointing that during the Oscar ceremony, when the category of Best Animated Film was resolved, these prejudices were once again present. the slap of Will Smith a Chris Rock overshadowed any other conversation these last few Oscars might spark, but it’s worth remembering what happened shortly before Charm will win the prize.

To present the category (where they were also studying The Mitchells against the machines, Luca, Raya and the last dragon Y flee), went on stage Halle Bailey, Naomi Scott Y Lily James. All of them linked to the Disney princesses, since while Scott and James have played Jasmine and Cinderella, Bailey will do so soon in The little Mermaid of Rob Marshall. Before presenting the nominees, this is what they said (and caused so much discomfort): “A lot of kids watch these movies over and over…and over and over and over and over…I think some parents know exactly what we’re talking about.”. In effect, the presenters were falling back on the cliché that animation was childish by default, which has ultimately led to Variety post a letter where Phil Lord Y Chris Miller express their discomfort at these words.

Lord and Miller directed The LEGO Movie Y rain of meatballsas well as produced The Mitchells vs. the Machines and a film as revolutionary as Spider-Man: A new universe. What happened at the Oscars has aroused her irritation, and the letter defends the medium while launching proposals so that nothing similar happens again. To describe the five Oscar nominees for Best Animated Feature as a product that parents have to grudgingly put up with might simply be an oversight. But for those of us who have dedicated our lives to making animated films, these oversights have become routine.. Lord and Miller, who debuted with an animated series (Clone High), they start to remember similar rudeness.

For example, when an executive told them that, if they approached their careers correctly, one day they could make live-action films (which they ended up doing, in the masterful diptych Undercover in class/in university). “Years later, an executive from another studio even told us that another animated movie we had done was so good it reminded him of a ‘real movie’”. Lord and Miller are aware that in Hollywood there are those who consider animation as second rate cinema, something especially outrageous at a time when a good part of Hollywood artists are demonstrating for more decent working conditions.

is the movement #NewDeal4Animation, which Lord and Miller recommend supporting. At the same time they remember that, while in this last Oscar ceremony CODA turned out to be the winner for Best Movie with the Lowest Audience in History, the set of Stripe, Charm, The Mitchells Y Luca had conquered the public. Not to mention that 13 of the highest-grossing films of all time are animated, and how important this industry turned out to be at the start of the coronavirus crisis. “During the pandemic, when much of the physical production was shut down, animators continued to work from home. These movies kept our business afloat.”. An illustrative case is that of LAIKA, which, although production stopped, continued to pay its animators.

They mention the victory of the Spanish Alberto Mielgo by windshield wiper (Oscar for Best Animated Short), and stand out Charm Y flee as examples of deep stories, which challenge the childish conception of the medium. Finally, they propose to the organization of the Oscars that it promote changes to improve the situation: “This brings us to a very simple proposition. Next year invite a respected filmmaker to present the award, and treat animation as cinema. Guillermo del Toro, who produces, directs and appreciates animation, could remind the public that animation preceded cinema, that without the zoetrope there would be no American Zoetrope”write about the jump from the toy that anticipated the cinema to the prestigious production company of Francis Ford Coppola.

“Bong Joon-ho could introduce why there were two of this year’s nominees in his top 10 favorite movies. Mahersala Ali, who alternates animated films and live action, could tell the world that animation is not a genre, but a medium that observes and amplifies all the nuances of our humanity”, add about the Oscar-winning actor who lent his voice to Spider-Man: A new universe. Finally, Lord and Miller draw attention to the fact that, of all the anniversaries that the Oscars celebrated at the last gala, none corresponded to Spirited Away either Beauty and the Beastdespite its importance in the history of the awards.

Beauty and the BeastIn fact, it was nominated for Best Picture at the time. “That nomination caused such a stir that there were those who worried that an animated film would win every year. A feeling that led to the creation of the Oscar for Best Animated Film. Partly to acknowledge the contributions of animation today and, in the opinion of some, to keep animated films from the ‘real’ award.” conclude the directors of Infiltrated in class.

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Phil Lord and Chris Miller explode against contempt for animation at the Oscars

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