By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
Normally, I never tell people what they should vote for when Oscars time rolls around. Not that their votes matter anyway, I’m pretty sure I don’t know any members of the Academy. But when we, as consumers of the almighty film reel, are gifted with something as amazing and intricate as The Boxtrolls, I have to speak up.
Too often I hear people nowadays discredit stop-motion animation as aesthetically “creepy” or not as impressive as the computer graphics (CG) epics like Big Hero 6. Yet when a film like The Tale of The Princess Kaguya is suddenly talked up—not only because of its narrative, which I will admit is beautiful—but because it employs traditional animation (i.e., hand-drawn frames), which is considered so much more tedious and difficult than CG, I have to wonder: what makes that more valuable than stop-motion animation?
If we’re measuring a film by depth of process and dedication of team then hands down The Boxtrolls should win. As someone who has attempted stop-motion animation before, it is far more difficult than any traditionally animated film. Not only does every character need to be modelled, but they also need to be modelled for every movement that they will make during the duration of the film.
To put it into perspective, one of the most famous stop-motion animated films in recent history is The Nightmare Before Christmas. The main character, Jack Skellington, had over 500 heads. And that was just his head! Imagine how many pieces it took to animate the rest of him!
All of those models must be sculpted by hand, unlike traditional animation where frames can be traced over top one another.
Of course none of this would matter if the concept and the writing weren’t good. I loved the story behind this film. Not only is it wonderfully imaginative, but it also teaches valuable lessons against classism, limiting yourself with preconceived notions, and what makes a family.
In my opinion, though The Tale of The Princess Kaguya is wonderfully written, so are all of the nominees for the Best Animated Film category. From Big Hero 6 to How to Train Your Dragon 2, well-written, family-centric narratives were really big this year. Nevertheless, only one movie goes that one step beyond with its animation style, and I definitely think it should be rewarded for that.