Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Peter T Chattaway

Disney-Pixar boycotts the Annie Awards

Recommended Posts

Links to our threads on the animation awards for 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Variety and the New York Times are reporting that Disney (the animation division of which is run by the guys at Pixar) is now boycotting the Annie Awards, partly because of a perception that the organization -- which has been giving prizes to the best animation in film, TV and other media since 1972 -- is too DreamWorks-friendly.

As it happens, the Annies and the Oscars have agreed on the Best Animated Feature of the year on all but two occasions since the Oscars first created their version of the award nine years ago. On one of those occasions, in 2008, the Annie went to DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda while the Oscar went to Disney-Pixar's WALL-E; but on the OTHER of those occasions, in 2006, the Annie went to Disney-Pixar's Cars while the Oscar went to Warner Brothers' Happy Feet (the main DreamWorks release that year was Over the Hedge; they also released Aardman's Flushed Away that year).

In the years in which the Annies and Oscars have agreed, the winners were:

  • in 2009, Disney-Pixar's Up -- DreamWorks released Monsters vs. Aliens
  • in 2007, Disney-Pixar's Ratatouille -- DreamWorks released Shrek the Third and Bee Movie
  • in 2005, DreamWorks' Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit -- Disney-Pixar released Chicken Little and Howl's Moving Castle
  • in 2004, Disney-Pixar's The Incredibles -- DreamWorks released Shrek 2 and Shark Tale
  • in 2003, Disney-Pixar's Finding Nemo -- DreamWorks released Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
  • in 2002, Disney-Pixar's Spirited Away -- DreamWorks released Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
  • in 2001, DreamWorks' Shrek -- Disney-Pixar released Monsters Inc. and Atlantis: The Lost Empire

So the Annies haven't been out of step with the mainstream all THAT often over the past decade, and on one of the two occasions on which they were, they were actually MORE Disney-Pixar oriented than the mainstream was.

In any case, in case you're wondering, here are the films that won the Annie awards BEFORE the Oscars began celebrating animated features (note: the dates are a little wonky because, prior to the Oscars' involvement, the Annies were handed out in the autumn, so films that were released at Thanksgiving or later were considered eligible for the FOLLOWING year):

  • in 2000, Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 2 -- DreamWorks released Chicken Run and The Road to El Dorado
  • in 1999, Warner's The Iron Giant -- Disney-Pixar released Tarzan and A Bug's Life, DreamWorks released Antz and The Prince of Egypt
  • in 1998, Disney-Pixar's Mulan
  • in 1997, Warner's Cats Don't Dance -- Disney-Pixar released Hercules
  • in 1996, Disney-Pixar's Toy Story
  • in 1995, Disney-Pixar's Pocahontas
  • in 1994, Disney-Pixar's The Lion King
  • in 1993, Disney-Pixar's Aladdin
  • in 1992, Disney-Pixar's Beauty and the Beast

And prior to that, it seems the Annies didn't give out awards for best feature film, per se.

It will be interesting, incidentally, to see how the animated-feature-film awards shake out this year. Toy Story 3 has box-office and good will going for it, true, but it's also a sequel -- indeed, a sequel to a sequel. None of the previous Shrek sequels have gotten the nod, so there's no reason to believe the new one will. But, hmmm, what about How to Train Your Dragon or even, perhaps, Despicable Me? I think Dragon, in particular, might have had Disney-Pixar a little spooked. (And that's not even taking into account the animated films that are coming out in the next four months -- but does anyone expect Tangled or Megamind or Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole to trump the films that are already out there?)

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but does anyone expect Tangled or Megamind or Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole to trump the films that are already out there?)

No, but The Illusionist might...

(A limited U.S. release happens Dec. 25.)

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but does anyone expect Tangled or Megamind or Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole to trump the films that are already out there?)

No, but The Illusionist might...

(A limited U.S. release happens Dec. 25.)

I know folks who've seen THE ILLUSIONIST, and their praise for it has been remarkable. I've been hearing Best Film of the Year comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm.

It is not unprecedented for a foreign film to win the Oscar in this category; Spirited Away did it in 2002, but then, there were no Pixar films that year, and the best DreamWorks could do was that movie in which Matt Damon played a horse. (Big Disney, for its part, had the crowd-pleasing Lilo & Stitch and the expensive flop that was Treasure Planet. The five nominees were rounded out by the original Ice Age, which was released by Fox.)

Chomet's previous film, The Triplets of Belleville, was nominated for 2003, but the winner that year was Pixar's Finding Nemo; the only other nominee that year was Big Disney's Brother Bear.

So, it wouldn't surprise me if an independent flick like The Illusionist scored a nomination in this category, especially if the ballot extends to five nominees like it did last year when The Secret of Kells scored a nomination. But could it actually win...? I guess we'll find out!


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disney is boycotting an award that it has taken top honors in almost yearly with only a couple exceptions...because they favor Dreamworks-who has not taken the top honors even half the time...

Am I understanding this correctly...?


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think what this all comes down to is the fact that Kung Fu Panda beat WALL-E.

I don't think anyone would quibble all that much with Shrek beating Monsters Inc. and Atlantis: The Lost Empire, or with Wallace & Gromit beating Chicken Little and Howl's Moving Castle. (And in the case of Wallace & Gromit, Disney arguably lost to Aardman, not DreamWorks; in any case, W&G are very popular characters and the animation community could hardly pass up a chance to celebrate an excellent example of claymation -- especially in a year where there were no Pixar films and no strong Disney films.)

Those three defeats represent the only times that Disney has lost at the Annies over the past decade -- but I think the loss to Kung Fu Panda is what really stung them.

I think it would be unfair of Disney to blame the loss to dodgy membership rules or whatever. The Annies represent the picks of the animation community, and are not quite the free-for-all that the Oscars are, and animation experts such as Jerry Beck certainly preferred Kung Fu Panda to the Pixar film. Also, much to my surprise, when I posted this story to my Facebook wall yesterday, one of my friends (an actual friend, not just a Facebook friend) posted a comment to the effect that "Kung-Fu Panda was WAY better than Wall-E!!" So there are regular people out there who felt this way too.

But for whatever reason, Disney-Pixar apparently felt entitled to that award, hence the negotiations of the past year and a half.

And I think one reason they might have pulled out NOW is because they don't feel assured of a victory for Toy Story 3; it is, after all, a sequel and all that (and not the kind of sequel that everyone praises for being an improvement on its predecessors a la Toy Story 2), and there would seem to be a strong rival for the award this year in the form of How to Train Your Dragon, which got the kind of great reviews and positive word-of-mouth that DreamWorks doesn't often get.

So, by pulling out of the awards this year, they save themselves the embarrassment of losing again, but they also cast a shadow over whichever film DOES win. In the future, people might say that How to Train Your Dragon (or whatever) won the Annie this year, but people will always be obliged to footnote that by saying, "Ah, but this was the year Disney-Pixar boycotted the awards."


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I firmly believe that Kung Fu Panda is a very nice film that is not remotely in WALL-E's league, there is a perfectly reasonable case to be made to the contrary. More importantly, a difference of opinion on this one point is not enough to justify a charge of bias, much less an actual boycott. Anybody can be wrong once. It doesn't make them biased.

P.S. I also believe Shrek beating Monsters, Inc. was a mistake, though I recognize that there the contrary view would be more widely held. Curse of the Were-Rabbit, however, deserved to win.

And I think one reason they might have pulled out NOW is because they don't feel assured of a victory for Toy Story 3; it is, after all, a sequel and all that (and not the kind of sequel that everyone praises for being an improvement on its predecessors a la Toy Story 2), and there would seem to be a strong rival for the award this year in the form of How to Train Your Dragon, which got the kind of great reviews and positive word-of-mouth that DreamWorks doesn't often get.

So, by pulling out of the awards this year, they save themselves the embarrassment of losing again, but they also cast a shadow over whichever film DOES win. In the future, people might say that How to Train Your Dragon (or whatever) won the Annie this year, but people will always be obliged to footnote that by saying, "Ah, but this was the year Disney-Pixar boycotted the awards."

That would be a really cynical and disgraceful move.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a feeling there is a lot more to this story behind the scenes. Disney/Pixar doesn't strike me as a company likely to behave like a snotty kid on the playground. Maybe they have very good reason to believe the Annies are messed up. Maybe I'm just naive, but the situation is just too weird for me to believe it's just about fear of losing to Dragon.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diszine:

Disney has made no secret of its feelings regarding the group in recent years. While not the case with most organizations that hand out awards, Disney feels the group responsible for the Annie Awards allows people to buy into membership, and this, in turn, gives more power to rival DreamWorks. Employees of DreamWorks are reported to receive free membership with this Hollywood guild.

Even though Disney has won in the past, if the claim about free membership for DreamWorks folks is true, and if Disney isn't given the same treatment, that does make the group's operations extremely suspect. Protesting unfairness even if you've won in the past seems rather admirable, IMHO.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there was nothing stopping Disney from giving memberships to its own employees in the past, too. (DreamWorks was buying memberships for its own employees; it was NOT a case of the Annies giving lots of free memberships to DreamWorks employees and nobody else.)

But as the stories linked above already noted, the Annies have made steps towards closing some of those loopholes, e.g. the original Variety story:

In response to Disney pressures, ASIFA tightened its rules somewhat last year, limiting the voting on individual achievement categories to animation pros (students and non-professionals were still permitted to vote in production categories, such as best animated feature).

Manoogian refers to those changes as a "midstep" toward this year's dramatic overhaul, which requires all members wishing to vote in the Annie awards to be approved by a qualifying committee. Non-pros will not be able to vote in any category.

That wasn't enough for [Disney-Pixar chief] Catmull, who had called for an advisory committee of toon execs representing each studio to recommend rule changes to the ASIFA board. . . .

It would be interesting to know which studios Catmull thought should be represented and which ones should NOT be represented.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diszine:

Disney has made no secret of its feelings regarding the group in recent years. While not the case with most organizations that hand out awards, Disney feels the group responsible for the Annie Awards allows people to buy into membership, and this, in turn, gives more power to rival DreamWorks. Employees of DreamWorks are reported to receive free membership with this Hollywood guild.

Even though Disney has won in the past, if the claim about free membership for DreamWorks folks is true, and if Disney isn't given the same treatment, that does make the group's operations extremely suspect. Protesting unfairness even if you've won in the past seems rather admirable, IMHO.

Yeah, the most generous interpretation of Disney's move here is that it's actually on behalf of the small animation studios. Up might be able to win despite a preponderance of Dreamworks employees, but could Persepolis or Waltz with Bashir? Not as likely... The problem is that IMHO neither of those deserved to win. I can't think of a year in which ASIFA was voting when I didn't think that either Pixar or Dreamworks had made the best feature.

P.S. Peter, in your list in the first post, you forgot Antz in 1998. You also attributed A Bug's Life to Dreamworks. :)


That's just how eye roll.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David Smedberg wrote:

: Yeah, the most generous interpretation of Disney's move here is that it's actually on behalf of the small animation studios.

That IS a generous interpretation -- and it's pretty much the opposite of my own.

Note here that Disney-Pixar is NOT boycotting the Annies because DreamWorks buys too many ASIFA memberships for its employees (though it's obvious why Disney bloggers might spin it that way); as the Variety story makes clear, that loophole is already being closed.

No, the reason Disney-Pixar is boycotting the Annies is because ASIFA won't set up an advisory panel consisting of executives from the studios; it is because ASIFA wants to maintain its independence from the studios. And I don't think it's very likely at all that Disney-Pixar is campaigning to keep a place on this panel for independent animators who work OUTSIDE the studio system.

I could be wrong, of course, which is why I would like to hear a little more from Catmull about who, exactly, he thought should be on this advisory committee. But to my ears, it sounds like Catmull wanted to nudge ASIFA in the direction of the MPAA -- an organization run by the major studios that rates everybody's movies but, surprise surprise, seems to be a lot more lenient with big-studio fare than it is with independent fare.

: I can't think of a year in which ASIFA was voting when I didn't think that either Pixar or Dreamworks had made the best feature.

Hmmm, not even when Warner won the prize for The Iron Giant? (Based on the cut-off dates being followed at the time, it seems that that film was up against Antz, A Bug's Life AND The Prince of Egypt; Disney also released Tarzan in that timeframe.) I think plausible arguments could be made for most if not all of those films, but The Iron Giant was quite respected at the time, and it may have even MORE respect now, in hindsight, now that Brad Bird has gone on to make his Pixar films.

: P.S. Peter, in your list in the first post, you forgot Antz in 1998. You also attributed A Bug's Life to Dreamworks. :)

Whoops. Fixed. Thanks!


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
: I can't think of a year in which ASIFA was voting when I didn't think that either Pixar or Dreamworks had made the best feature.

Hmmm, not even when Warner won the prize for The Iron Giant? (Based on the cut-off dates being followed at the time, it seems that that film was up against Antz, A Bug's Life AND The Prince of Egypt; Disney also released Tarzan in that timeframe.) I think plausible arguments could be made for most if not all of those films, but The Iron Giant was quite respected at the time, and it may have even MORE respect now, in hindsight, now that Brad Bird has gone on to make his Pixar films.

Good point. For me, TIG vs. TPoE is a little bit like Wall-E vs. Kung-Fu Panda -- an apples-to-oranges comparison. (One of my good good friends loves to say that we shouldn't "race art against art like horses", and these cases illustrate why I can see his point). These are both cases when I would choose... both, if you please. :)

P.S. On further thought, I realized that I should qualify what I said before, because it seems to exclude Aardman and Miyazaki. Really, I should have said that I can't think of a year when a movie made by one of these five studios (Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Aardman, and Ghibli) shouldn't have won. Of course, Aardman has always been distributed, and thus nominated for awards, by Dreamworks, and Ghibli and Pixar similarly for Disney.

P.P.S. I just realized that 1994 also featured The Nightmare before Christmas (Miramax) as a competitor with Aladdin.

Edited by David Smedberg

That's just how eye roll.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David Smedberg wrote:

: P.S. On further thought, I realized that I should qualify what I said before, because it seems to exclude Aardman and Miyazaki.

No worries; when I made the list of winners in the first post to this thread, I counted Aardman as DreamWorks and Miyazaki as Disney-Pixar because those are the studios that distributed those films in North America. (If memory serves, the Miyazaki films were distributed by Disney and/or its Miramax subsidiary, but the English dubbing was supervised by Pixar's John Lasseter, so it's all in the Disney family, as it were.)

And I tend to say "Disney-Pixar" these days (though I don't do so ALL the time, because it CAN be a mouthful) because the fact of the matter is that the two companies did merge over four years ago. And I say "merge" because, while technically Disney did buy Pixar outright, there is also the fact that Pixar's top executives (Catmull and Lasseter) were basically put in charge of Disney animation altogether (and, if memory serves, former Pixar owner Steve Jobs got a seat on the Disney board of governors, too). So who took over who, exactly, there?

: P.P.S. I just realized that 1994 also featured The Nightmare before Christmas (Miramax) as a competitor with Aladdin.

Actually, it seems The Nightmare Before Christmas (listed at the IMDb as a Touchstone film) lost to The Lion King. (Also in the running that year: Warner's Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.)

Aladdin won in 1993, when its fellow nominees were Fox's Once Upon a Forest and Hemdale's Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jerry Beck, an animation expert and a member of the ASIFA board of directors, tries to "set a few things straight" at Cartoon Brew, the blog he shares with Amid Amidi:

First, Disney’s withdrawal
does not
mean Disney films will not be considered or nominated, and does not mean the studio has no chance to win future Annie Awards. They certainly will.

Disney’s decision only affects the Annie Awards in two ways: Disney will not provide their traditional portion of co-sponsorship money (a role that dates back at least twenty years), funds that help mount the annual event at UCLA’s Royce Hall. And secondly, the company currently says they will not submit nominees from their feature animation studios.

Disney and Pixar artists (and all animators, anywhere) should be aware that they can submit their own work for Annie nomination
without
studio assistance. Also, Annie nominating committees have the power to nominate work which was not submitted. Nominations are decided by peer-group committees, not studio execs, and winners are voted on by Asifa’s professional membership. So again, I predict Disney and Pixar to be well represented come award time.

ASIFA was established by animation artists such as Norman McLaren, John Hubley, and John Halas in 1957. ASIFA’s Hollywood chapter, a non-profit organization, was started a few years later by Bill Scott, Stephen Bosustow, Ward Kimball, William T. Hurtz, Carl Bell, Les Goldman, June Foray, and Bill Littlejohn. The Annie Awards have always been presented by artists, for artists.

Long before the Oscars and Golden Globes thought animated features worthy of their awards, the Annies recognized features, TV shows, direct-to-video movies and commercials, as well the animators, story artists, background painters, voice actors and other behind the scenes talent.

It’s a wonderful thing when those who run the corporations that profit most from the artform support and celebrate the people who actually create the work. From what I know, the Annies will go on this year with strong support from Nickelodeon, Sony, Dreamworks, Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, Fox, Universal and Starz.

Disney management, in an email sent to Disney/Pixar employees last week, encouraged its employees “to maintain their memberships and support for the Annies as they deem appropriate”. Somehow, someday, I suspect Disney will return to supporting the Annies – at a time they deem appropriate.

Note, BTW, the recurring theme of "by artists, for artists" as opposed to "studio execs".

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark Walton (via Cartoon Brew) on this year's Annie Award nominations, which saw nominations for Toy Story 3 and Tangled in the Best Animated Feature, Writing and even Directing categories but nothing else:

- I am getting really tired of hearing, again and again, that the fact that “Kung Fu Panda” won for Best Animated Feature (and several other categories) is PROOF that the Annie voting system isn’t fair, that the DreamWorks voting block was “bought”. I liked “Wall – E”, but I thought that “Kung Fu Panda” was an amazing film on just about every level (story, acting, animation, character design, art direction, etc., etc.), and totally deserving of the awards it got, and I didn’t work for DreamWorks. A lot of people in the animation community that I know ALSO really liked KFP. I knew many people at DISNEY who, rightly or wrongly, liked KFP better than “Wall-E”. A LOT of people I know thought KFP was one of the best animated films they’d seen in years. It is not only really, REALLY insulting to the crew of KFP to assume that a majority of the voters couldn’t have possibly, HONESTLY preferred KFP, it’s kind of ridiculous, because:

- the voting process is completely anonymous. There is no way to be directly rewarded or punished by Jeffrey for voting for a DreamWorks project.

- Since Dreamworks started participating in the Annies, 6 of the 10 “Best Feature” awards have gone to Disney nominees, including last year’s “UP”, which anyone, regardless of artistic position, can vote on. DreamWorks has, to my knowledge, always paid for their staff to have ASIFA memberships. In that time, only 3 DreamWorks features have have won Best Feature.

- Disney put pressure on ASIFA to change the voting procedure so that only story people could vote on storyboarding, etc., and they did. You can argue whether or not this was a good idea, but who still thinks this is just hearsay? This is pretty common knowledge, guys. It is also worth noting that the nominating committees are made up of professionals, chosen from all different studios, that are sometimes not even ASIFA members.

- I agree that “Tangled” should have been better represented in the individual achievement catagories than it was – particularly in animation and character design, where it really stood out. We’ll never know for sure if it would have been nominated, let alone would have won, in any of those categories, but the fact that the movie WAS nominated in almost every general category it could have been, in spite of their snubbing of the Annies, makes me think Disney really shot themselves in the foot here. The only thing for we know for sure was that DreamWorks submitted reels for their employees, and Disney didn’t give them any competition.

Sometimes I really agree with the ASIFA winners, sometimes I don’t. I particularly don’t like how certain films from several studios tend to sweep all the categories they’re nominated for, including some that they were (IMHO) clearly not the best in, robbing other deserving contenders. (This sort of “robbery” happens ALL THE TIME in the academy awards – frankly, though I usually watch them, I am usually incensed at many of the winners and the deserving people who aren’t even nominated, as well as the almost perrenial tendency to award actors or directors one or several years AFTER they actually deserved to win – I think ASIFA’s choices give them at least as much credibility as the Academy, if not more) I don’t know why this happens. I can’t imagine any organization trying harder to be fair than ASIFA does, where you are actually forced to watch part or all of a nominated submission before you’re allowed to vote in a category – which the Academy does NOT require of its voters. . . .


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh. You know...I thought KFP was okay...but better than Wall-E? I could see How to Train Your Dragon beating Toy Story 3... but KFP is no HtTYD.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh. You know...I thought KFP was okay...but better than Wall-E? I could see How to Train Your Dragon beating Toy Story 3... but KFP is no HtTYD.

Interesting... I would totally flip your statement on its head. I definitely liked HtTYD. but it's no Kung Fu Panda. Which, BTW, is not a statement about Wall-E vs. KFP at all, since trying to compare the two is IMHO a vain endeavor, they're apples and oranges.


That's just how eye roll.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Huh. You know...I thought KFP was okay...but better than Wall-E? I could see How to Train Your Dragon beating Toy Story 3... but KFP is no HtTYD.

Interesting... I would totally flip your statement on its head. I definitely liked HtTYD. but it's no Kung Fu Panda. Which, BTW, is not a statement about Wall-E vs. KFP at all, since trying to compare the two is IMHO a vain endeavor, they're apples and oranges.

I'm with David, I think.

I also agree that it is perfectly possible and even plausible to find WALL-E so flawed that KFP is a better movie. Wrong, but plausible.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know... KFP felt like a step up from Shrek, but still related to it. HtTYD felt like it's own world.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know... KFP felt like a step up from Shrek, but still related to it. HtTYD felt like it's own world.

That's fair. But there are other considerations. Here's how I might break it down, at least partially:

Protagonist: Po > Hiccup. Decision: KFP.

Father figures/mentors: Oogway + Master Shifu + Mr. Ping > Stoick + Gobber. (As great a character as Gobber is. Do your own math.) Decision: KFP.

Peers/supporting cast: Furious Five < Astrid + [various other trainees]. Decision: HtTYD.

Significant character not otherwise accounted for: Toothless ≈ Tai Lung. Could go either way.

Climactic father figure emotional breakthrough (in confrontation with above-named character): Shifu confronts Tai Lung > Stoick rescues Toothless. Both awesome, but still. Decision: KFP.

Opening action sequence: Pseudo-anime dream fantasy sequence > dragon raid on Viking village. Decision: KFP.

Initial ritual humiliation training sequence of pathetic hero: Po trying to do kung fu > Hiccup trying not to get killed by dragons. Decision: KFP.

Breakthrough action set piece: Dumpling training sequence ≈ First flight. Both awesome. Could go either way.

Climactic action set piece: Po vs. Tai Lung < Hiccup + Toothless vs. monster dragon. Decision: HtTYD.

Other action set pieces: Tai Lung's escape + Tai Lung vs. Furious Five at bridge > (anything in HtTYD). Decision: KFP.

Voiceover narration: No > Yes (at least in these two examples). Decision: KFP.

Additional coolness: Shifu's superhuman interaction with environment (manipulating air currents to extinguish candles, levitate flower petals, etc.) ≈ dragon species lore. Could go either way.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more important ingredient (adopting SDG's format):

Moral lesson imparted: "There is no secret ingredient" -- i.e. work hard, accept your strengths and weaknesses... basically the Serenity Prayer > Listen to and learn to accept those different from you. Both good, but IMO Decision: KFP.


That's just how eye roll.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Overall tone: Slightly corny martial arts spoof < fantastical adventure. HtTYD

I'll take this as a restating of Nezpop's original point. I'll grant that HtTYD is more ambitious and original in its world-building and dramatic structure, and to that extent has the edge on KFP. I only take exception to "slightly corny," which appears to reflect a mere preference for one genre over another.

Here's an incomplete comparison that I invite others to complete for themselves:

Most glaring plot hole/problem: [unidentified] </> Captured Toothless inexplicably forced to guide Vikings in unexplained manner to dragon nest. Decision?


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...