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Sunday, 29 January 2017

WWWT: What would Walt think?

Hey friends,

I hope you're all enjoying your Sunday whether that be by lazing around or going for brunch or shopping or whatever it is that you enjoy doing during your leisure time!

Sadly, Grumpy (that's my Boyfriend) is really ill today so I'm playing Nurse whilst writing this simultaneously. Lucky me!

My current set up: there's a poorly Grumpy in bed behind me!

As it's award season and the Academy nominations were announced earlier this week, including both Walt Disney's Moana and Zootopia which were nominated for Best Animated Feature Film, this got me thinking...

"A dangerous past time... I know..."

Okay so, it's widely accepted that Walt Disney often felt during his lifetime that his animated movies were never quite met with the critical acclaim that they deserved. It's often reported that he felt that he was never taken 'seriously' amongst other filmmakers nor, the coveted academy.

Many believe that this 'rejection' Walt felt was the pure and simple reason for his more 'quirky' creations such as Fantasia and Mary Poppins; the latter, a brilliant adaptation of a popular Children's novel in which Walt used cinematic innovation to blend together the animated world harmoniously with live action. This movie was a huge success for Walt Disney studios, earning several academy awards including Best Actress for Julie Andrews in the title role. The same however, can not be said about Fantasia...

"A carnival of cultural elements using animation as a vehicle to highlight the greatest masterpieces in classical music and art."

That is how I would describe Fantasia. Innovative, forward-thinking and too much, way too much... ultimately, Fantasia was a failure for Walt Disney and consequently, did nothing for his quest to prove the worth of animation. People just, didn't get it!

Now you may be thinking, "hey wait a second, didn't Disney win an Oscar for Snow White?" Well, technically yes that is true; Walt was famously awarded one big Oscar and seven miniature Oscars for his first ever feature length, animated movie Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, however, this was an 'honorary mention Oscar', the movie was never actually nominated for 'Best Picture' despite popular belief. The first animated movie to ever be nominated in that category was "Beauty and The Beast" and whilst a Disney movie, with it's release in 1991, 25 years after Walt's death, he never actually saw one of his animated creations nominated.

Shirely Temple presents Walt Disney with his honorary Oscars.

Stay with me, I do have a point.

All of this: Walt's obsession with the academy recognising animation and the fact that there is now a dedicated 'animation' academy award category, is what spurred the major thought that I have been having:

Would Walt Disney, if he were alive today in 2017 be pleased that 'Best Animated Feature Film' is a category at the Academy Awards?

What I mean by this is would Walt Disney be pleased that animation has been separated out into it's own category? Would he be pleased that the medium of animation is finally being recognised or would he feel cheated, almost as though this category is inferior to Best Picture?

Of course there are instances such as Disney Pixar's Up, where by a movie is nominated in both categories, but surely this suggests that Best Picture remains superior, undermining the award for Best Animated Movie.

I personally feel, and of course this is all speculation as unsurprisingly, at 25 years old, I never had the pleasure of meeting Walt, that he would feel cheated slightly at the separation the academy have created between animated and live action pictures. Of course, the recognition would be an achievement accredited to him and he would therefore, surely be beaming with pride yet, I feel in some ways, it is almost a set back for his quest at getting the film industry to respect and take seriously the art of animation.

I would really be interested to hear what you all think regarding this. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments; I truly love hearing from you.

Enjoy your week ahead - Grumpy seems to have perked up slightly during the time that it has taken me to write this - yay!

Mercedes xXx

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