FAST FIVE Oscar Watch: Best Animated Feature

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
Sorry, Pixar. I hate to be the one to break it to you but for the third time that you have released an eligible feature in the history of the award you will not be taking home the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Cars 2 is about to break your streak of four in a row, a streak that goes back to the release of the original Cars, with the only other Pixar film that failed to win the award in its history being Monsters Inc.

And with the Pixar powerhouse out of the running - Cars 2 may be nominated purely because of the Pixar brand but no way does it win - the field is wide open for a new power to emerge, for a fresh face to take the podium. And ladies and gentlemen, I suggest to you that the film to end Pixar's current four year consecutive run is Fast Five.

How can this be? No, I am not going to make the obvious jokes about Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's run of Disney family comedies or Paul Walker's lack of expressiveness. No, for the answer I ask you to look to the past. To 1988, in fact, and Robert Zemeckis' Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

No, the Best Animated Feature award did not exist in 1988, I am well aware of this. But if it had I suggest to you that Roger Rabbit would very likely have won. What is of interest here is the question of how animated a feature has to be to be considered animation.

Is Who Framed Roger Rabbit an animated feature film? Absolutely yes. I doubt there is any serious question around this fact. But how can this be the case for a film that features such a high percentage of live action work? The answer lies with Roger himself. The film's title character, the axle around which the entire story revolves, is animated and that simple fact is enough to place Roger Rabbit clearly as an animated film.

So how does this impact Fast Five?

I've already told you I'm not making the Dwayne Johnson argument so how can Roger Rabbit possibly have an impact on how we view Fast Five? Simple. Ask yourself what is at the core of Justin Lin's creation. Who is really the main character of Fast Five? Around what axle does this film revolve? It's not Dwayne. It's not Paul. It's not even Vin. No, if you take a step back and take an objective look at the film the answer becomes clear. Fast Five is not about any of those character. No, Fast Five is a movie about The Safe.

The Safe is what drives Fast Five from start to finish as surely as the pistons in any of the high powered cars featured within. Its steely, implacable face is the motivator of everything that happens. The Safe is Fast Five's reason for being, just as surely as Roger is the core of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and, having accepted that let me ask you this very simple question:

Does anyone out there believe that they really dragged an actual safe at high speeds down the streets of Rio de Janeiro? Of course not. Sure, there may have been a shot of an actual safe scattered throughout here and there but let's be honest: For the vast majority of The Safe's screen time - and virtually all of its key moments - it is a digital creation. It is a work of animation. And, thus, just as Roger makes Who Framed Roger Rabbit an animated feature The Safe does the same for Fast Five. And having already argued - quite convincingly, if I may say so - that Fast Five deserves to win Best Feature how can we then deny it its rightful win as Best Animated Feature as well? If it qualifies as both and deserves the more encompassing of the two then surely it must deserve the more limited option as well.

And there you have it. Clearly Fast Five deserves to win Best Animated Feature.

[Support the Fast Five Oscar Watch: Tweet the hashtag #ConsiderFast5]
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