Brave, by now, has won both the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for best animated movie of the year. But it wasn’t Pixar’s best, by far, and perhaps not the best animated movie of 2012. Then again, what does “best animated movie” mean? In terms of technical finesse, Brave far outruns the other movies in the genre. In terms of story and acting, it is middling. Perhaps the Oscars will pick a different movie for the honour.
Hotel Transylvania, though, is not in the running. And no surprise, that. Full of cliches, with antiquated animation, a story confused between Twilight-wannabe, coming-of-age and filial relationship themes, Hotel Transylvania feels like a worn-out gag reel that has been played one too many times. The animation is strictly functional, the characters forgettable, with the exception of the shrunken head Do Not Disturb signs, which were really the most interesting thing about the movie. I’d love to get me one of those!
My Rating: 1/5 (shrunken heads!)
ParaNorman, on the other hand, is on the nominees list, and I wouldn’t mind if this one won. Remember Coraline? Well, it’s much the same team that brings us ParaNorman, and while it never quite reaches the dizzying heights of Coraline’s wondrous animation, characterisation and story – it does have some very interesting moments indeed. In essence, it is very much a story of a socially outcast, lonely child who finds solace in a parallel universe and finally comes to terms with a unique talent. But it is garbed in the macabre fantasy of an accursed New England town living in the shadow of its distressing history of witch hunting. And it’s upto spiky-haired, quiet Norman, who can talk to dead people, to rescue the little town and put its demon to rest.
My Rating: 4/5 (clever, creative, spooky)