Hi everyone. Even though we are far away from another Oscar ceremony, I have a related topic I want to discuss, involving the past 2 winners of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature; Inside Out and Zootopia....No, I'm not discussing which one is better if that's what you're thinking. Before the nominees were announced, I was sure both films would also be nominated for Best Picture based on how well they mixed in adult themes in animated films even if they didn't win. We could have more animated films having the unique honor of being nominated for Best Picture. I wasn't upset when they weren't but I will say that I was a little shocked. Of course, they were still huge critical and financial hits, and of course they won for Best Animated Feature. If neither Zootopia nor Inside Out are the Oscars' ideas for Best Picture, I have no idea what is. So why do I think Zootopia and Inside Out are Best Picture worthy? I will discuss both films individually.
I'm just going to start with Zootopia just because I feel like it and I've just watched it 3 days ago. Like I've said before, I initially didn't think Zootopia was going to be great since I thought it was just going to be a plain typical cop movie and animals wouldn't make a difference. Turned out I was wrong, which emphasizes that Zootopia is one of Disney's best "don't judge a book by its cover" movies. The story mixed in the political themes of discrimination and prejudice judgments so surprisingly well with dramatic and emotional moments. Nick getting scorned just because of the stereotypical belief that foxes are sly tricksters, Judy for being thought of as too small and timid to be a cop, the elephant's "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" line (which represents a bad racist time in the 50's and 60's), the peace group rally, Gazelle's speech about diversity, the list goes on. I have noticed a lot of Best Picture nominees that are about fairness and judgment, and Zootopia does it very emotionally well. In addition, much like some of Disney's other "don't judge a book by its cover" movies such as Beauty and the Beast, there is the element of who is really a monster. (Spoilers for those who haven't seen it yet) Bellwether and her henchrams are, you know, sheep and rams which are prey in real life. None of the predator civilians have stalked or hunted anyone in the film. But the bad guys target them anyway to make them go savage and to get the city to think that predators are nothing more than monsters. It just goes to show that Bellwether is the real predator because of the evil harm she caused on everyone, both physically and emotionally. But Judy's refusal to let everyone suffer from stereotypes and her partnership with Nick show that working together regardless of differences is the better way and that discrimination truly does nothing. Even if the world is difficult, we must try to be ourselves and learn to cope with those who are different. I have no clue as to why the Oscar judges didn't give it a Best Picture chance. Maybe they thought animals don't qualify. Oh well. Next.
As you know, Inside Out is my favorite Pixar film, let alone one of my favorite animated movies of all time. It's funny, colorful, creative, and most importantly it's emotional. Most movies that have been about a regular real life tend to bore me, like some of the ones I have had to watch in High School health classes. But like a lot of their other films, I think Pixar balances the story and visuals very well for adults AND kids. The funny ideas of the emotions working in a factory or land is visually appealing and the emotions themselves get a lot of great moments when they express their opinion, especially Fear. His paranoia cracks me up. Now how about the story? Life is tough and there are some things we can't change no matter how much we dislike it (trust me, I know). Sometimes we just have to work around these problems in healthy ways. Sometimes a big change or certain words (the first one in this film's case) can strike us. Infact, I have recently read the 4th entry of a book series called The Penderwicks, where the protagonist Batty overheard words from one of her sisters that her birth was not necessary AND sent away the family's close friend Jeffrey. The stories and problems are different, but the emotional difficulties are very similar. The conflict seemed mentally dark and even depressing much like what you see in Headquarters without Joy. Infact, Just like Riley, Batty also tried to run away on a bus ride. After she was caught, she wouldn't eat or talk to anyone. She eventually did talk about what happened to her whole family much like what Riley did in the end and let the sadness out. We often think feeling sad is unhealthy, but when you need to conquer an emotional problem, it IS healthy to help you get rid of the stress. And wouldn't you know it-everything turned out all right in time. That's the sign of a good dramatic story. Why the Oscars denied this masterpiece from a Best Picture nominee, I have no clue. But if there was a ceremony where I gave such awards, Inside Out definetly would have a chance.
And those are my thoughts. What do you say? Do you agree or disagree with me? Feel free to comment below. I'll see you next time!