So, the HFPA has already set a date for next year’s Golden Globes. January 8th. Mark your calenders, unless it’s Ricky Gervais again, in which case you can probably just skip it.
But the big news is that at the HFPA has placed some stricter limitations on what they will nominate as a ‘Comedy/Musical’. You can read the whole list of rules here, but this is the official statement.
“Motion pictures shall be entered in the category that best matches the overall tone and content of the motion picture. Thus, for example, dramas with comedic overtone should be entered as dramas.”
Now, this is obviously addressing last year’s controversy of The Martian being nominated as a comedy, but I personally never thought it was that big a deal. Personally, I thought Her being classified as a comedy was a lot more ridiculous.
To me, the bigger deal is that the Musical/Comedy categories are going to get pretty dry and barren. Which wouldn’t be so bad, if they allowed animated films to be nominated in those categories. But they don’t.
“Animated motion pictures are not eligible for the Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy or Best Motion Picture — Foreign Language awards.”
And then, just to rub salt in the wound;
“Voice only performances are not eligible in any acting category.”
So, it looks like the HFPA really hates animated movies. But it wasn’t always that way. Animated movies used to be nominated for Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) all the time. In fact, let’s recap all the animated movies that the HFPA rightfully included among the best of the year.
1989: The Little Mermaid (lost to Driving Miss Daisy)
1991: Beauty And The Beast (WON)
1992: Aladdin (lost to The Player)
1994: The Lion King (WON)
1995: Toy Story (lost to Babe)
1999: Toy Story 2 (WON)
2000: Chicken Run (lost to Almost Famous)
The very next year, the category of Best Animated Feature was introduced at the Oscars. However, the HFPA did not create the category. This led to three Oscar winning animated films being recognized with a Globe nomination.
2001: Shrek (lost to Moulin Rouge)
2003: Finding Nemo (lost to Lost In Translation)
2004: The Incredibles (lost to Sideways)
And this was when the HFPA decided to create a Best Animated Feature Film category. Fair enough, but when they created the category, they indirectly ended up separating live action films and animated films into different categories.
Oh, and in case you think that the Golden Globe Best Musical/Comedy category is strong enough to stand on it’s own without animated films, you’re dead wrong. To prove it, let’s take a look at how some of these lineups could have been improved with a splash of animation.
Across The Universe
Charlie Wilson’s War
This category has a distinct lack of Magorium, but that’s a topic for another day. I think the obvious move is to replace Charlie Wilson’s War with Ratatouille.
Burn After Reading
Happy Go Lucky
Vicky Christina Barcelona
Obviously, WALL-E replaces one of these. And honestly, in this lineup, I think WALL-E is a clear winner. Personally, I think Burn After Reading is the one to leave out, but you can make an argument for literally all of them.
(500) Days Of Summer
Julie & Julia
First of all, don’t ask me why A Serious Man couldn’t get nominated. Once again, in a pretty weak category, the animated film (in this case, Up) looks like a much stronger winner than any of the nominees. I think most people would take off It’s Complicated.
Alice In Wonderland
The Kids Are All Right
This year is probably the biggest proof that Animated Films need to be represented. Three of these films have ‘rotten’ scores on RottenTomatoes. In fact, this is probably the one year where you can make a case for two animated films to be nominated. Toy Story 3 gets in and probably wins. And then there’s How To Train Your Dragon, a movie that I personally classify as a drama, but I guess I wouldn’t complain too hard if it got nominated in this category. As for what movies get knocked off, take your pick.
Now, 2011 – 2014 seem pretty scarce for animated films. You could make the argument that Frozen gets on in 2013, but look at that year’s lineup! (American Hustle, Her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, The Wolf Of Wall Street.) Which one gets knocked off?
The Big Short
Inside Out almost assuredly makes it in, which means the film will have more momentum going in to the Oscar nominations. I’m pretty sure it replaces Spy.
So what can I say? Animated films matter. And the HFPA had better change this rule if they don’t want their Musical/Comedy categories to be really weak. And moreover, seeing more animated films being represented at the Globes might possibly persuade the Oscars a little bit.
I don’t know about you, but I would like to see an animated film win the Oscar for Best Picture in my lifetime. That’s the thought that drives me, and fills me with determination.
(I just referenced Undertale, which means that this post is gonna get five million views!)