I am still a little dumbstruck by Kung Fu Panda’s sweep of the Annie Awards, where WALL-E failed to win even a single honor. Voice Acting is a category in which KFP had a natural advantage, and Nico Marlet’s brilliant character designs certainly deserved recognition, but I cannot understand how Panda won best picture over both WALL-E and Waltz With Bashir. Steve Hewlett at The Animation Guild blog has some additional comments, mostly plugging Dreamworks for their contract hiring and good wages. I appreciate that angle as a job-seeking artist, but while I enjoyed Kung Fu Panda immensely, I did not feel it to be the strongest film. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the Oscars to see how the chips fall… The Annie Awards and Oscar animated feature winners have almost always matched up perfectly.
Will Smith and Steven Spielberg are set to tackle their own adaptation of the revenge manga Oldboy, previously adapted by Park Chan-wook as the second film in his Vengeance Trilogy: the film was a disturbing, bloody, and unsettling masterpiece of cinematography. I have immense respect for Park, and had the pleasure of attending a guest lecture he delivered at Brown University several years ago; although I am not sure I could watch it again, I loved his Oldboy. MTV’s splashpage report is right to question what Spielberg will make of a project so very family unfriendly.
Finally, Pixar Animation Studios turned 23 yesterday. England’s Telegraph brought us an article about John Lasseter today, although the interview was about Bolt and Disney Animation more than Lasseter’s Pixar history.