CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER OF THE OSCARS 2014 BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM…
We parents are always on the lookout for amazing movies to share with our kids. Animated films are often the first films our children will see. But where can one begin to look for the very best animated films? The Oscar nominees for Best Animated Feature and Best Animated Short are a great place to start.
CHECK OUT REEL MAMA’S REVIEW OF ALL THE NOMINEES FOR BEST ANIMATED SHORT! THEY ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON ITUNES AND ON DEMAND!
Each of the Best Animated Feature nominees this year has something unique to offer, and you are sure to find something that your kids will enjoy:
Frozen has been a box office phenomenon that is quickly approaching the billion dollar mark in box office earnings. It is the charming tale of two sisters, a queen, Elsa, and a princess, Anna, and how Elsa’s hidden powers to freeze everything she touches threaten her friendship with Anna, and ultimately the entire kingdom. (CLICK HERE FOR REEL MAMA’S REVIEW OF FROZEN.)
Why was it nominated? In addition to a clever story line, the characters are charming and the visuals are stunning. Frozen is a musical, and the songs, from the girl power ballad “Let It Go” to the humorous “In Summer,” sung by Olaf the Snowman fantasizing about warm weather, are memorable and touch on every emotion.
Where can you see it? Frozen is still playing in theaters, and it is also available in Digital HD! It will be available on Blu Ray on March 18!
The Croods was a mainstream Hollywood release and one of the most successful family films of 2013 at the box office. It tells the story of Eep, a prehistoric teen who wants to experience adventure beyond the confines of her family’s cave. When a changing planet forces them to leave, Eep gets that chance, and ends up finding out that she will always be daddy’s little girl, even as she is growing up (tear!)
CLICK HERE FOR REEL MAMA’S REVIEW OF THE CROODS!
Why did it get nominated? Unlike many kids’ films of 2013, The Croods is not a sequel. It features a headstrong but lovable (and very relatable) teenage girl at the heart of its story. The animation of prehistoric earth is beautiful, and the theme centering on the importance of family, and especially the father-daughter relationship, is touching.
Where to see it: The Croods is now on Blu Ray and DVD!
Despicable Me 2
CLICK HERE FOR REEL MAMA’S REVIEW OF DESPICABLE ME 2.
Sequels sometimes have trouble being original, but Despicable Me 2 manages to overcome this problem based on the strength of its characters. Gru is the surprisingly lovable ex-villain. He is now successfully raising his three adopted daughters, but he’s a lonely heart in spite of a legion of minions, those funny yellow creatures who act as his assistants, to keep him company.
That is where Lucy comes in. In spite all of her own hangups, Lucy is on a mission to save the world, and Gru is the only one who can help her. Gru seems an unlikely prospect for romance, but Lucy just might see in him what makes him a good guy after all: his heart.
Why was it nominated? Despicable Me 2 is all about quirky fun, and that is exactly what sets it apart. The Minions’ antics keep things lively, but what really makes this movie a success is its heart, especially Gru’s love of his daughters, and their love for him.
Where can you see it? Despicable Me 2 is on Blu Ray and DVD!
The Wind Rises
Among the nominees, The Wind Rises is a no brainer. This film is the final work by Japanese anime master Hayao Miyazaki, best known for My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, based on his manga. It was produced at the legendary Studio Ghibli studios, that has brought exquisite works such as The Secret Life of Arriety to the screen. There is something so inspiring about the originality and consistency of this vision; it’s pure poetry in motion.
Here is a brief description from Wikipedia:
The Wind Rises is a 2013 Japanese animated historical fantasy adventure film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and adapted from his own manga of the same name which was loosely based on the short story The Wind Has Risen by Tatsuo Hori, a writer, poet and translator from mid-20th century (Showa period) Japan. Kaze Tachinu is a fictionalized biography of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Mitsubishi A5M and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero; both aircraft were used by the Empire of Japan during World War II.
Why was it nominated? Being that this will be Miyazaki’s last work for the screen, and that The Wind Rises is a spectacular swan song, it would have been a crime not to nominate it for the Oscar. This nomination is a nod to all the accomplishments of Japanese animation, and Studio Ghibili is the last major studio to remain dedicate to the 2-D look in animation.
Where can you see it? The Wind Rises is in theaters now!
Ernest & Celestine
Ernest & Celestine
is the story of an unlikely friendship with simple animation and a very French sensibility. Is is a French and Belgian collaboration based on the Ernest & Celestine children’s book series by Gabrielle Vincent.
Here is the official synopsis from distributor GKIDS:
Deep below snowy, cobblestone streets, tucked away in winding tunnels, lives a civilization of hardworking mice, terrified of the bears who live above ground. Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer and when she nearly ends up as breakfast for bear Ernest, the two form an unlikely bond. But it isn’t long before their friendship is put on trial by their respective bear-fearing and mice-eating communities.
Why was it nominated? The Academy loves foreign films, and specifically French movies. While Ernest & Celestine is the underdog in the Best Animated Feature Films Oscar category this year, its a story that feels timeless: inspired by Aesop’s fable, it has the inspiring message that difference aren’t to be feared, but rather celebrated. According the Examiner.com, the movie has also been lavished with awards on the international festival circuit.
Where can you see it? The movie will have a limited release in movie theaters on February 28, 2014.