Animated Predictions Ahead of the 95th Annual Academy Awards

My predictions will be about the animated content that are nominated for the 95th Academy Awards, and afterwards, I’ll name my top three favourite feature films.

The Oscar Statue and the 95th Academy Awards Out of all the categories I’m interested in for the upcoming 95th Academy Awards, all I need to know is who’ll take home the statue in the category of animated shorts and films. Next is feature film only because the list will see a lot of top contenders–most of which I’ve seen–go head to head. I’m not only considering technical achievement but also the best performer in the package. And later tonight, I’ll find out if I’m even close to seeing my favourite works take home The Oscar.

When I’ve seen all these films than the handful when compared to previous years, what I offer are thoughts on who’ll make the top three out of the five or ten that’s been nominated in each:

Animated Shorts

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse Promo PosterThe Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse

The deeper symbolism nestled in an otherwise surreal narrative defines why this work must be one of the best. I enjoyed it because of the netherworld quality. But to know more, I recommend reading my review, since I’m finding it tough to say anything new without repeating myself.

The Flying SailorThe Flying Sailor

Like Puss and Boots: The Last Wish, a dreamy short takes the idea of asking, should we be afraid of Death? How can we confront it after being thrown by an explosion, and the only thoughts are, “am I going to survive the landing?” There’s more to this work, which my analysis and review covers. Between this piece and the next, they define the top two choices of which should win.

The Ostrich Told MeAn Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It

This stop-motion marvel wins because of its crazy meta moments. For example, there’s The LEGO Movie and The Matrix. That combination is a simple winner to me, after watching this work, I even have to question existence. And although we can’t penetrate past the veil of current reality, perhaps what’s out there is truly scary, indeed. The dialogue will leave you thinking about life, the universe, and everything, too!

Animated Films

Guillermo del Toro’s PinocchioGuillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Del Toro can do no wrong in his retelling of a classic tale. It’s dark and enchanting. I don’t need to say anymore. And between this and him also executive producing the next work, this year may well see him needing to build a shed to house all those awards he has.

uss in Boots: The Last WishPuss in Boots: The Last Wish

The exuberance and challenge of facing death upfront is what makes this movie special. With this title, we can learn why the writers went the direction they did, and hopefully cheer for Puss as he regains a new set of “regenerations” (but not like in Doctor Who) to allow more stories to be told in his future. For a full review, please check out my original post.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes OnMarcel the Shell With Shoes On

I’d be very surprised if this work wins. There’s a simplicity in this film’s design to really tug at the heart, and you just have to read my review to understand why this movie rounds out my top three choices for taking home the Oscar.

Feature Films at the 95th Annual Academy Awards

To be fair, some people are watching just to find out if their favourite film will take the top spot for best all around. In the 95th Academy Awards Feature Film catagory are these top three choices.

A poster of two men standing by a sea shore with a dog lying between them. The tagline reads: "Everything was fine yesterday."The Banshees of Inisherin

When stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are paired up to play two lifelong friends only to have it self-destruct, what’s not to like? We can learn from this film. Some of it will break your heart, given the lost friendships that happen to us all, but as for how we can all grow from it, that’s why this film deserves special mention.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

This wicked sci-fi family drama really breaks a lot of conventions, and Michelle Yeoh gives a performance of a lifetime when she plays herself, a character, a rock, and even more. Although it’s essentially about dysfunction, why this picture shines is that it too recognises the value of cinema and the choices we make. For spoilers, my movie review can be read here.

The FabelmansThe Fabelmans

After giving my review, some voters may well have to honour Stephen Spielberg. Even though they’re putting this work ahead of others, the film celebrates the early days of cinema from a perspective few rarely know about. To see how these early pioneers become the greats we respect now depends on how much of the real backstory you know.

That fictional version of Spielberg can also be the next Cecil DeMille or even D. W. Griffith (minus the rough spots). But after watching the mini-docs about the making of this work, it’s easy to know who this movie loves.

Evaluating Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and Why Handling The Trident Hurts

This home video release of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish offers a bit of everything for fans of all ages to enjoy.

Puss in Boots The Last Wish Blu-ray + DVD
Available to purchase on Amazon USA

Universal Studios
Movie review can be read here.

To watch Puss in Boots: The Last Wish on home video again is a joy and what’s said here is more of a look at the bonus features. Also, after looking at many of the Universal Studios recent disc releases, one detail I’m greatly appreciating is a consistent menu design. It’s a step to giving all of this company’s releases a regular look, and it’s a very easy to navigate.

As for the extras, half of what’s available are for youths to enjoy. The other segments give a bit of insight for future animators to understand the production. The segments I enjoyed more are when the performers are behind the microphone. Banderas is amazing in these parts, and in contrast, the kitty cam is filler. It’s milking a concept not everyone can appreciate, but if you love watching cats being cats, this video segment is worth leave running in the background while doing chores. It may entertain your own cats at home.

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Unicorn Wars is an Anti-Fable With a Strong Message

Depending on how well you know Alberto Vázquez’s works, Unicorn Wars is more of more of a precautionary tale.

Unciron WarsGKIDS
Coming to theatres and VOD Mar 10, 2023
Played at the Victoria Film Festival Feb 9th

Anyone enamoured with the colourful visual teases from the trailers for Unicorn Wars by Alberto Vázquez will get more than an anti-fable presented to them. That’s how this filmmaker describes his work. Here, his animated work looks at the conflict for power at the Magic Forest, where the teddy bears here are taught a myth where if one can kill and drink the blood of the last unicorn, they will be king. The idea is a nastier spin on what Lord Voldemort believed in the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and the cost looks worse!

The rivalry between these two species is age-old, and as for who is truly pure, we’re not meant to really know for certain. I don’t want to side with either given how horrible the depths of hatred runs deep.

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What’s Next for Ninjago in 2023?

After giving the entire 16 season series many views over the holidays and into the new year with the knowledge of their future, upcoming seasons have been foreshadowed for Ninjago in 2023. 

Ninjago in 2023The LEGO Ninjago animated series isn’t over. Although Crystalized concluded with an epilogue showing Sensei Wu, Lloyd, Jay, Cole, Nya and Zane rebuilding, what’s slated for the future may well be akin to Star Trek: The Next Generation. After giving the entire 16 season series many views over the holidays and into the Lunar New Year with the knowledge of their future, upcoming seasons have been foreshadowed for Ninjago in 2023.

One major example includes Wu often mentioning how one can’t mess with “The Hands of Time,” which started in season two’s “Child’s Play.” It seems Wu knew a lot more than the Ninja when they got turned into kids, and had to use a potion to restore them back into young adults, along with Lloyd. This later season would also see Wu age and get thrown to a void, only to be reborn as a baby and relearn everything, which demonstrates how cyclic this series’s narrative is.

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The Rabbit Jumped over the Moon and Going Beyond with this Year’s Lunar New Year Top 10 Movies

This list of Lunar New Year Top 10 Movies includes shorts, and must touch upon some aspect of the celebration.

Chinese New Year Rabbit Free Stock Photo - Public Domain PicturesNot every film released during the start of the moon calender truly reflects the celebration, and to put together a proper list that does so is tough. In my Lunar New Year Top 10 Movies list, I consider that the story has to touch on either some aspect of the celebration or extols some virtue from it. To really be reflective upon this South Asian celebration means putting some meaning behind the work rather than releasing it at this time of year.

Sometimes these movies feature the zodiac animal as part of its story and other times, they do not, just to help commercialise it. Those living in China had two films–Legend of a Rabbit and Moon Castle: The Space Adventure to enjoy back in 2011 when this bunny leaped into everyone’s hearts. Jumping twelve years later to now, all I could find is the charming-animated short, “Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit!” by animation studio Game Science.

Depending on whom you ask, this jubilee can mean one of a few things. The better ideals include wishing others spiritual well-being, celebrating family togetherness, and looking ahead to brighter futures.

While I have a stockpile of Asian films to watch during the 15-day celebration, not all of them are about this special occasion. A few titles from last year took a while to offer up a home video release I could purchase, others are from the Internet (in public domain or hiding on YouTube), and the rest are playing at cinemas for all to enjoy. I could watch a film each day, but I don’t feel there are enough appropriately themed takes to fill a top fifteen. I am adding shorts which are just as great.

The two Wandering Earth films will count as an entry, and before I go into greater detail about the latest that debuted today, I feel the seminal work that really represents the spirit of the day begins with:

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