Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Scanner Darkly - Animation Buzz?

At the 2002 Oscar ceremony the animated film category had three nominees: Shrek, Monsters, Inc., and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

One film, was noticeably ignored. The complex meta-physical film Waking Life, directed by Richard Linklater using a complicated animation style called retro-scope, which I usually refer to as painted film.

This year, there are enough films to warrant 5 animated picture nominees as this years academy award ceremony, and I've got to wonder if Linklater's more narrative-film A Scanner Darkly will get an Oscar Nomination.

The Oscar Igloo in it's story by Tom Houseman puts A Scanner Darkly in the fifth spot. Houseman says three animated films are already locks Cars, Flushed Away, and Over The Hedge. He places Monster House in the 4th spot, followed by A Scanner Darkly, and places Happy Feet at number 6, missing the nomination by a penguin beak.

Interestingly Nathaniel at the Film Experience at this stage in the game predicts Happy Feet as the number 1 most likely film to get nominated, followed by Cars, Monster House, Flushed Away, and Over The Hedge. For him, a Scanner Darkly comes in at number 8, after Ice Age: The Meltdown, and Open Season.

And Wesley Lovell, at this stage kicks out Flushed Away and includes Happy Feet and A Scanner Darkly in the mix with Monster House, Over the Hedge, and Cars.

Yet, Scanner Darkly is a bold choice. Technically the crew behind this film deserves recognition...the animation is, of course, fantastic. Yet in the animated world of Pixar and company, A Scanner Darkly just doesn't match up with the culture. Perhaps if this film was released in November or December it would be fresher in voters minds, but with the animation explosion, it's just really doesn't seem to have a chance in my mind.

Assuming Happy Feet has box office success, I'm assuming that it's in the nomination pool, although certainly not a winner.

Related Post:
The Pop Culture of Penguins
Linklater: Substance D and Mickey D's

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Terence Towles Canote said...

I think of the animated films released this year, only Cars and Over the Hedge are sure things when it comes to Oscar nominations. I would like to think that Monster House (which I think would appeal more to Oscar's Gen-X/Baby Boomer members) and A Scanner Darkly will get nods as well, but I am not at all sure they will.

Scott Roche said...

I think it's rotoscope.

Anonymous said...

The problem with A SCANNER DARKLY is that it is not well received. It was torn apart by critics and it's hard to find many people who actually liked it. We'll see, I guess. I think if it's going to replace any of the big animated 5, my guess would be FLUSHED AWAY.

SamuraiFrog said...

I have a hard time calling A Scanner Darkly or Waking Life true animation. You're talking about films that were shot in live action and then, basically, traced over with a computer program. Special effects, sure, but animation?

Heather said...

I thought A Scanner Darkly was brilliant, and the animation was really a critical storytelling vehicle. The anonymizing suits and the general confused nature of the characters was well suited by this technique. I hope this movie receives some Oscar nods, even if not in this Animation category.

general125 said...

I seem to remember when the 3D animation came out, people said it wasn't real animation. At the time, the critics said that 3D was done by computers and was elaborate CGI. A Scanner Darkly seems to take the computer animation to the next level, animating live action instead of creating the action from scratch. As long as the film uses this medium consistently, it should be considered an animated film.

MCF said...

I almost forgot about Scanner. It opened against something else(I think Pirates II) and I never got to it. I'll have to add it to my queue. And I think Scott's right about the rotoscoping, bringing back the technique from Fire and Ice, Snow White, and those animated Hobbit movies. It definitely looks amazing.

It's a shame that movies released at the end of the year always do better. There has to be a fairer system of nomination.

Lena Harris said...

Animation has also set a cornerstone for document imaging services today. The technology is almost similar.