Ratatouille’s batch of technical nominations in the categories where adults are allowed to play renders this contest a no brainer. The real story here—the myriad reasons why The Simpsons Movie wasn’t nominated in favor of Surf’s Up, especially in a category that has shown the desire to not be seen as merely one for the kids with the nomination for Persepolis—have been assessed by a number of Oscar bloggers in a way that puts them in the same provincial light as the branches deciding Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Mixing. To wit, if those technical branches time and again display a noticeable preference for work that, in its blockbuster showiness, would render the films around them irrelevant in their absence, the animation feature category appears to have been partially decided with the branch’s own vocational bottom line in mind. The Simpsons has long outsourced its animation duties to Asian production houses, which can’t sit well (especially in this, our election year) with those who see developments such as this and the shuttering of the Mouse House’s analog animation unit and howl, like the blue collar population of South Park, “Dey turker jerrrrbs!” I don’t really know which is a bigger joke: said South Park residents conducting a mass gay orgy to prevent the people of the future from coming back to take their jobs, or the Academy’s cartoon branch pretending that Surf’s Up honestly merits awards consideration the very year after Happy Feet’s far more heartening penguins snapped the prize from Pixar’s then-stalling creative engine. Their hive-minded mentality only furthers Persepolis’s reputation as an anomaly, instead of a reminder of when refined work such as Spirited Away seemed to offer the category the hope to earn its own existence on artistic, not corporate, merits.
Will Win: Ratatouille
Should Win: Ratatouille