Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fairy Tale Oscar Watch 2012

While there isn't a specific fairy tale to keep an eye on this year there are a few fairy tale-like movies/and shorts to keep an eye on.

First (these are in no particular order by the way) is the animated short film La Luna, a Pixar short, set to accompany Brave when it screens in theaters in June.
This year’s entry from Pixar, La Luna is a coming-of-age tale about a little boy who is allowed to go out in a rowboat on a moonlit night with his father and grandfather. To his surprise, they hoist a ladder and climb up to the Moon, which is covered with golden stars that the three of them proceed to rake and sweep. Dad and Grandpa are always bickering. The little boy tries to emulate them both, but in the end he finds his own way. The story concludes with a great visual punch line. (source HERE)

Next is The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which I fell in love with when I saw it a few months ago.
The hero of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmorehas the eyes of Buster Keaton and the mouth of William Buckley. Heis a bookworm who is swept away by a tornado (the film was produced in Louisiana) and finds his way to a house filled with books. These books are alive and become his close companions for life. Some are old and some are new, but they all have something to offer. They help him and he helps them. Along the way, he writes a book of his own and leaves it behind for future bookworms. (source HERE)

In the Best Animated Film category we have Puss In Boots, which although doesn't follow the Charles Perrault fairy tale plot, does draw from it, according the the "Art Of" book. Dreamworks initially intended to have the film be Perrault's Puss In Boots fairy tale but decided it was too small a story for a feature film, so they instead looked at the character of Puss, as portrayed in the text, kept him in a world of fairy tale and nursery rhyme and built a story from there. With this in mind you can see very much a fairy tale spirit there. There's so much going on artistically in the details and background of this film with odes to fairy tale and nursery rhyme, it takes more than one viewing to catch them all. Fairy tale people will appreciate a read of The Art of Puss in Boots too. I'm curious to see how it fares at the Oscars as I was surprised by the Annie results this year.

Finally Hugo Cabret  - which is not a fairy tale but has a lot of that vibe - is up for Best Picture, among other categories. If you haven't seen it, read the incredible book first then by all means go and see it. :) Many classic film buffs have gone bananas over this one with all the odes to film making (though personally I'm not thrilled when the storytelling gets interrupted to show this off) and this article HERE (10 Classic Films You Must Watch Before Seeing Martin Scorsese's Hugo) - complete with neatly laid out comparisons - will definitely make you appreciate the film even more as well as see other shades of fairy and fairy tale within Hugo.

I think the one to beat is The Artist, which isn't at all fairy tale, except in the Hollywood meaning of the word. I wish I'd gotten to see that one on the big screen.
Happy Oscar watch!


  1. I think The Fantastic Flying Books short should win. It was one of the most touching and beautifully written short stories I have seen in a long time!

  2. So glad it did! I think everyone I knew was hoping it would - and for good reason. Yay!