Talk about the minis slaying the majors! It doesn’t get much more defined in those terms than in the financial divide between the nominees for this year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar. In one corner you have Paramount, which in addition to their own first big foray into the ‘toon competition with front-runner Rango has a distribution deal with Dreamworks Animation, which landed both of their 2011 films — Puss In Boots and Kung Fu Panda 2 — in the hunt. In the other corner you have tiny upstart GKIDS. Who?
The small New York outfit that became a distribution offshoot of the New York International Children’s Film Festival incredibly has the other two animated feature nominees with their indie pickups Chico & Rita and A Cat In Paris. Counting their initial foray into the Oscar race two years ago with The Secret Of Kells, this tiny distrib now has three ‘toon nominees in just a couple of years. Not bad. Left feeling shell-shocked are Disney/Pixar, a perennial nominee and winner in this category for the past four years running; Sony Pictures Animation, which touted Aardman’s Arthur Christmas; and 20th Century Fox’s Rio from Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age) — not to mention Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson’s intial animated effort, the motion capture The Adventures Of Tintin. (more…)