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Liveblogging Animation at the 2015 Oscars

by on February 22, 2015

The award ceremony for the 87th annual Academy Awards is about to be broadcast at 8:30 PM Eastern Time on ABC, and once again Toonzone will be doing a liveblog for animation-related things tonight. Once again we have five nominees for the Best Animated Feature award and for Best Animated Short Film as well.  This year’s nominees and links to their official sites follow below.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Best Animated Short Film

  • The Dam Keeper, Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi. Produced by Tonko House LLC.
  • Feast, Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed. Produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios.
  • Me and My Moulton, Torill Kove. Produced by Mikrofilm AS and the National Film Board of Canada.
  • A Single Life, Joris Oprins,Marieke Blaauw, and Job Roggeveen.
  • The Bigger Picture, Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees.

Additionally, the song “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie is competing for Best Original Song. Shawn Patterson is credited for the music and lyrics. “Everything is Awesome” is up against “Glory” (Selma), “Beyond the Lights” (Grateful), “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me” (I’m Not Gonna Miss You + I’ll Be Me) and “Begin Again” (Lost Stars).

Stay tuned for more throughout the night.

8:38 PM: Host Neil Patrick Harris acknowledges that the night is for computer animators and just about everyone else who contributes to bringing movies to the screen. Well spoken.

9:00 PM: An unfortunate lead-in to tonight: Per USA Today, at an event on Thursday meant to honor the nominees for best animated feature, Academy Governor Bill Kroyer remarked that “Animation is literally the most successful genre in the history of motion pictures.” In fact, literally speaking, animation is simply a medium for storytelling. It is unthinkable that anyone serious would dream of referring to live action film as a “genre”, and it’s unfortunate to see this dubious double standard manifest yet again at an event specifically meant to honor animation as though all animated works could really be considered the same – and, perhaps, as if only output from a major American studio really counts. It’s particularly unfortunate from an individual like Mr. Kroyer, who has been part of the animation industry since the 1970s. The media might often get this wrong, but folks who have been in the industry should, like Brad Bird, know better and refer to animation as the unique medium it self-evidently is.

9:04 PM: I’d further add that How To Train Your Dragon 2 director Dean DeBlois got it right at the same event, calling animation a “disarmingly powerful medium,”. “If we treat it correctly and don’t misuse it as dumbed-down fodder for kids only, it can communicate some important ideas, and a lot of wonder and a lot of emotion.”

9:25 PM: Yes, this was really the sight during the performance of “Everything is Awesome.” And yes, Batman was there too.

awesome1 awesome2

9:35 PM: A video montage of honorary lifetime achievement award recipients included some highlights of Hayao Miyazaki’s acceptance speech at the 2014 Governors Awards, as well as some of John Lasseter’s praise of the man. Official video of Hayao Miyazaki’s acceptance speech can be viewed in full here, and you can click here for John Lasseter’s comments honoring the director.

9:58 PM: Per director Chris Miller himself, that was Will Arnett in the Batman costume during the “Everything is Awesome” performance. And, oh yes, he was wearing the Batman suit from Batman Forever. You can’t make this stuff up.

10:04: Interstellar takes the Oscar for best visual effects. Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher all share in the achievement.

10:09 PM: Disney’s Feast wins the Oscar for best animated short. This is the 1st Oscar for Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed.

10:14 PM: It’s a Disney sweep tonight: Big Hero 6 has won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. That’s the first win for directors Don Hall and Chris Williams, and for producer Roy Conli as well.

10:36 PM: Here’s transcriptions of the acceptance speeches for Feast and Big Hero 6 as well.


Patrick Osborne: “The shorts are so freakin’ amazing this year. Thank you, the academy, for recognizing short animated films, they’re my favorite thing to make and watch. Thanks John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Andrew Millstein for letting me make my film. To Jeff Turley, my production designer. He’s the best painter alive and the reason the short looks so great. And the rest of the crew at Disney animation, you guys are the best in the business. To Mom and Dad, I love you and everybody back in Cincinnati watching right now and my wife Ally, thank you.”

Kristina Reed: “To my husband Mack, to my kids Cooper and Miranda. Thank you for all the nights you let me miss so I could pursue this crazy career! Thank you.”


Don Hall: “We’d like to thank the academy for honoring our film. Congratulations to all our fellow nominees, this has been an amazing year for animated films and we are privileged to be in your company. Thank you to everybody at the Walt Disney Studios, especially Mr. John Lasseter, the best boss in the world. To the cast and the crew of Big Hero 6, thank you for your talent, thank you for your passion. You guys put your heart and soul into this movie and we are forever eternally grateful. To our wives, thank you guys – Astrid, Mary, my Denise, thank you for supporting us while we got to live out our dream every day. Once upon a time there was a freckle-faced little boy who told his Mom and his Dad that one day he was going to work at Walt Disney Animation, and they did something amazing: they supported him and believed him and from the bottom of his heart, he thanks them. Thank you.”

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