I have never really cared too much about animation. I like animated films for the most part, but I rarely seek them out. I don’t actually know why that is, and it’s very possible that that will change in 2013. Why? Because 2012 was a damn good year for animated films. Yes, our nominees are the same as those chosen by the Academy, but it’s because all of the films chosen were just really gosh-damn good. But as good as the contenders in general were, there was definitely one standout film. One film that made all of the others look like they were created by babies on their Leapfrog tablet things (do those still exist?).
What is that film, you ask? Well… you should really know this one.
I remember seeing billboards for ParaNorman months and months ago. My only thought was, “What a stupid name.” So I skipped it when it was in theaters, but then it showed up as number one on Nick’s list of Best Hero Films of 2012 and number five on his list of Best Films of 2012 period. I was intrigued, and as it came time to start voting for these awards, I made sure that ParaNorman was high on my list of things to catch up on. And I am so very glad that I did so. In fact, looking back, ParaNorman is my number two film of 2012 (Detention being number one, if you were curious).
Our staff voting was pretty lopsided, and ParaNorman won with a clear majority. Only Wreck-It Ralph receiving a comparable number of votes. While the other nominees were solid films (despite the weirdly racist overtones in Frankenweenie), they just couldn’t keep up with either Wreck-It Ralph or ParaNorman in terms of their general awesomeness. But when it really came down to it, despite Wreck-It Ralph tugging on the heartstrings of a time that I wasn’t actually alive for, ParaNorman just took the cake. Everything about it, not just the technical awesomeness that was afforded to the creative team by 3D printing, was just incredible. If you somehow missed this one, you seriously need to remedy that situation, and you need to remedy it now.