Should a motion-capture film be nominated for Best Animated Film?
In 2006, MONSTER HOUSE became the first motion-capture film to be nominated for a Best Animated Film Oscar. But last year, a decision was handed down stating motion-capture animated films would be ineligible for the Best Animated Film Oscar. Up until this point, however, Steven Spielberg had never directed a mo-cap film. That's all about to change this holiday season as Spielberg releases THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN. It's a movie both he and Paramount feel has the chance to be nominated for an Oscar - namely the Best Animated Film. But is TINTIN really an animated film and should the Oscars make an exception?
Spielberg has touched off a controversy within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a notoriously stodgy and old-fashioned group if there ever was one, about whether motion-capture films and, specifically, THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN are eligible to be nominated for Best Animated Film. Their decision last year claimed, "Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique." But expect an appeal on that decision in advance of this year's Oscars.
The AMPAS would very much like to accommodate Mr. Spielberg, a legendary director whose clout bucket overfloweth, but at the same time isn't really convinced that mo-cap films are animated. For one, they're based off live-action performances. Well, OK, so was RANGO and that was surely animated. But with mo-cap, the animation is all centered around the actor who is basically puppeting a 3D model. There are parts of mo-cap films that are most definitely animated but there are parts of ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS that's animated and that's certainly not getting nominated.
Both Spielberg and Paramount will be making the case for mo-cap films and I'm assuming they'll be joined by Warner Bros. who have HAPPY FEET TWO coming out later this year. So where do you stand? Should these films stand alongside Pixar movies that are 100% animated with zero motion-capture technology or should the Academy stand strong?