Why 2013 Might Not Be Disney’s Year at the Oscars

With awards season in full swing, I become a bit of a gambler. Any Disney-related nominee becomes my horse in the derby, and I become a protective and overly-invested owner. This year, my horse doesn’t look too hot and my chances of winning big money are slim.

Putting it bluntly, Disney got snubbed and the company’s films have serious competition in each category.

Let’s start with the obvious: Best Animated Film.

It is rare Disney movies ever lose in this category. “Best Animated Film” wasn’t created as a title until 2001, and by that point, a number of Disney and Pixar films were gaining critical acclaim rivaling Best Picture winners.  The category was practically created with Disney and fledgling Pixar Studios in mind.

This year, the Academy chose Frozen as the Mouse’s best submission. Normally, I’d say with full confidence Frozen would slaughter its competition. The Croods and Despicable Me 2 pale in comparison to Disney’s most innovative movie in years. But just when you think it’ll be a clean sweep… BOOM, MIYAZAKI FILM.

Studio Ghibli touts Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises as the directing genius’s final film. This equates to a doubled hurdle for Frozen: 1) the Academy frequently favors nominees retiring or who recently died and 2) Studio Ghibli is one of the few film companies who consistently beats Disney films in the animation category.

I have yet to see The Wind Rises, but if it equals the brilliance of Spirited Away or Howl’s Moving Castle, Frozen might not walk away with the statue.

Next Category: Best Original Song – “Let It Go”

Words fail me in describing my rage when U2’s “Ordinary Love” beat Frozen’s “Let It Go” at the Golden Globes. “Love” sounds like every other song U2 released (and coincidentally, most U2 songs sound the same…). Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez crafted an amazingly heart-felt ballad that showcased Idina Menzel’s powerhouse voice and Wonder Woman range.

Menzel said she’d perform at the Oscars if asked, so fingers crossed she shows up and humbles the holier-than-thou Bono. Better yet, let’s just hope the Academy favors grandeur and flawless orchestration over sentiment and synthetic pop music.

If “Let It Go” doesn’t walk away with the golden statue, I hope ANYONE ELSE in the category wins BUT U2.

The “Really? THAT got nominated?” Category: The Lone Ranger

Tis a truth universally acknowledged that Disney’s summer “blockbuster” was one of the biggest flops since John Carter. Razzie nominations shall ensue.

Which begs the question: how did it snag not one but TWO nominations?

Granted, the nominations are for Costuming and Visual Effects, but still… I didn’t think the stuffed raven was that impressive…

The Best Chance: Saving Mr. Banks and Best Score

Thomas Newman is no stranger to the Oscar ballot. His works have won many a statue, and his daintily orchestrated score for Saving Mr. Banks accompanied the film so well that I have little doubt he’ll lose the category. (But by saying that I just know I’ve jinxed his chances… Sorry about that.)

The Shocker: The Saving Mr. Banks snub

Yes, I understand on the whole why the Academy bypassed Saving Mr. Banks for its competition. It’s a bit fluffy when compared to the grit of American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, and Gravity.

However, the Academy ignoring Emma Thompson’s performance as P.L. Travers irks me. The woman did a stunning job with the script she was given. Granted, it’s not one of the company’s best scripts, but if Sandra Bullock can score a nomination and a WIN for The Blind Side, I don’t understand why Thompson was completely side-stepped.

The Oscars airs March 2. Check your local listings. 


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