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Liveblogging Animation at the 2014 Oscars

by on March 2, 2014

The award ceremony for the 86th annual Academy Awards has begun, and a liveblog for all things animation-related will be happening right here. As always the academy will be offering golden statues for the best animated film of 2013, as well as the best animated short. Let’s review our nominees below.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

  • The Croods DreamWorks Animation (Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson)
  • Despicable Me 2, Illumination Entertainment (Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri)
  • Ernest & Celestine, Les Armateurs and La Parti Productions (Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner)
  • Frozen, Walt Disney Animation Studios (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho)
  • The Wind Rises, Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki)

Best Animated Short Film

Notably, the much-beloved song “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen, composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, is also competing for best original song, and we will see a live performance from none other than the great performer Idina Menzel, the voice of Elsa in the film. Competing against the number tonight is “The Moon Song” from Her, “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 and “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

8:50 PM: Jim Carrey takes the stage to introduce a fun montage of “beloved” animated heroes from over the years. Cameos included Mr. Incredible and Dash from The Incredibles, Mickey Mouse as seen in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon, Roger from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Wall-E from Wall-E, Merida from Brave, Shrek and Fiona from Shrek, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Po from Kung-Fu Panda, Dumbo from Dumbo, The Pink Panther, Peter and Wendy from Peter Pan, and Snow White and the Prince from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

8:55 PM: We get performances for all four nominees for best original song tonight! First up is “Happy” from Despicable Me 2.

9:06 PM: The “Happy” performance was certainly energetic. Lots of young folks dancing on the stage!

9:14 PM: This will be a surprise to more than a few: Mr. Hublot takes the Oscar for Best Animated Short. Many were looking for Disney and Get A Horse! to take it for calling back to the classical take on Mickey Mouse, and Possessions was certainly a viable dark horse as a part of Katsuhiro Otomo’s well-regarded anthology Short Peace.

9:26 PM: Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares took the stage to accept the Oscar for Mr. Hublot, with a very emotional Witz reading a statement off a piece of paper. Naturally many thanks were extended to family. Witz disclosed that Mr. Hublot was his first film was a producer and director and Alexandre Espigares’ first project as a co-director. Witz certainly feels this fact makes the victory all the sweeter, going so far as to say that this victory demonstrates a fulfillment of the American dream.

9:30 PM: In what is arguably the least surprising award of the entire evening, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen has indeed taken the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. This comes on the same day the film has grossed $1 billion worldwide, with an opening in Japan still to come. Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho all took the stage and each played a small part in accepting the award for Frozen.

9:32 PM: The Frozen team spoke briefly. Mr. Buck thanked the entire Walt Disney studio for helping to make Frozen as magical as it was, Jennifer Lee acknowledged all their “family and dearest friends”. Peter Del Vecho closed out by singling out his son.

9:42 PM: Not purely animation-related, but of relevance even so: Gravity takes the Oscar for best visual effects. The last animation-related item tonight is the matter of the award for best original song.

11:13 PM: Idina Menzel delivered a good performance for “Let It Go” with delivery that was distinct from what was in Frozen, yet not all was perfect: they cut the song down for time. Let’s be honest, folks: who among the viewers at home wouldn’t have traded that whole bit with the pizza delivery and one or two other jokes for the complete musical performances tonight?

11:40 PM: “Let It Go” takes the Oscar for best original song. Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez took the stage to give a whimsical acceptance speech that thanked just about everybody in the studio and in their lives in rhyme, including a line directed straight at their compatriots: “Happy Oscars to you, let’s do Frozen 2!” An emotional Kristen Anderson-Lopez went on to pay tribute to their two daughters, saying that “Let It Go” was inspired by their love for them and their hope fear and shame never stops them from celebrating who they are.

11:48 PM: Cate Blanchett, winner of the Oscar for best actress, partly dedicates her award to those in the film industry “foolishly clinging to the idea” that female-led films are “niche experiences.” “Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money.” 2013 has certainly seen several compelling examples backing up a point that should, frankly, be obvious: Gravity, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire…and, of course, Disney’s Frozen, where two sisters are front and center in a film that has become second only to Toy Story 3 in box office revenue for an animated film.

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