Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross speaking to Deadline‘s Pete Hammond: “The theory is pretty simple for us…It’s thrilling that there is a separate category for animation and that allows animated movies to be recognized but for some reason an animated film has never gotten Best Picture and I always wondered was there not an appetite? We decided this year we have the biggest and best reviewed film of the year. If not this year, and not this movie, when?”
HE answer: Never, that’s when. It’s not going to happen so forget it, Rich. Animation is its own realm, and a beautiful and transporting one it is. Toy Story 3 is unquestionably one of the the best films of the year, but it’s an animated thing and that puts it on the other side of the Rio Grande reality realm. And you, due respect, are denigrating your own thing by clamoring for a Best Picture Oscar, which obviously implies that you feel there’s something second-class about a Best Animated Feature Oscar. That’s in your mind, fella.
Best Picture Oscars are for movies that present biologically realistic images of flesh-and-blood people living and struggling in more or less recognizable real-world realms. And which generally don’t cater to family-style emotionality or try to excite children with cartoony tropes and extra-radiant, killer-diller digital imitations of real-world forms and textures. As tightly written and smartly structured and emotionally engaging as Michael Arndt‘s script is, what I’ve just described is the realm and the style of Toy Story 3. As on-target as the characters are and as spiritually complete as the film is, Toy Story 3 is a first-class, triple-A fucking cartoon. Deal with it, live in that territory, embrace that thing and shut up.
If a critics group gives TS3 a Best Picture award, cool. If several critics groups give it their Best Picture awards, cool. But winning the Best Picture Oscar is out. Stay on your side of the fence, be proud of your own thing, and be happy in your work.