Tag Archives: Puss in Boots

For Your Consideration: Hugo Award Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

The deadline for nominating works for the Hugo Awards is March 11, 2012. Members (as of January 31, 2012) of Renovation, Chicon 7, or LoneStarCon 3 are eligible to nominate. For the Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category, I have compiled a list of productions that could be considered.

A number of people are recommending Hugo be nominated. Hugo is by far my favorite film of 2011, but I just don’t see how people can consider it a fantasy. It’s got an automaton as a plot point, but that’s based on a real invention. I suppose Hugo could be considered an alternate history, but that seems to be stretching the definition too much.

A multi-part production such as Game of Thrones or Torchwood: Miracle Day can be nominated in the Long Form category if nominators feel that the mini-series should be taken as a whole, rather than as individual episodes. The dividing line between Short Form and Long Form is 90 minutes running time, but may be adjusted slightly one way or another if a majority of nominators place a borderline work in the other category.

My expectation is that Game of Thrones will be nominated no matter what, so I will use my nominations for other works. I will surely nominate Rango, and most likely Arthur Christmas, Puss in Boots, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and X-Men: First Class will make up my other choices. The Adventures of Tintin and Source Code would also be worthy, in my opinion.

For your consideration:

The Adjustment Bureau

The Adventures of Tintin  [Annie Award nominee]

Another Earth

Arthur Christmas [Annie Award nominee]

Captain America: The First Avenger

Cars 2 [Annie Award nominee]

Cowboys & Aliens

The Divide

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos

Game of Thrones, Season 1 [Emmy Award nominee]

Gnomeo & Juliet

Green Lantern

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

In Time

Kung Fu Panda 2  [Annie Award and Academy Award nominee]



Midnight in Paris [Academy Award nominee]


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Puss in Boots  [Annie Award and Academy Award nominee]

Rango [Annie Award winner and Academy Award nominee]

Real Steel

Rio  [Annie Award nominee]

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Source Code

Super 8

The Thing


Torchwood: Miracle Day

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Winnie the Pooh

X-Men: First Class

Academy Award Nominations

The nominees for the Academy Awards were announced today. There were some interesting inclusions and omissions. As for the snubs, with only nine pictures nominated as Best Feature, why couldn’t Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 be thrown a bone? Sure, it would never win, but it would be a nice honor for the end of this landmark series.

The second omission, and this is no real surprise, is that Andy Serkis was not nominated for his performance in Rise of the Planet of the Apes—the Academy’s actors are not ready to recognize performance capture as legitimate acting.

The third omission, a little more puzzling but related, was not nominating The Adventures of Tintin in the Best Animated Feature category—apparently animators are just as finicky about what they consider to be animation as the actors are of what is considered acting.

Finally, I was a bit surprised that I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat from Warner Bros. was not nominated in the Animated Short category—although personally, I’m not a big fan of the CGI versions of these beloved characters.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year


A Cat in Paris (2010): Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli
This French crime caper has garnered a lot of critical praise. The preview looks great and I’m looking forward to seeing it. I’ll be surprised, however, if it takes home the Oscar.

Chico & Rita (2010): Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal
This Spanish-language romance is full of amazing music and deals realistically with the political tensions between the U.S. and Cuba. The artwork is gorgeous, but as with A Cat in Paris, it will be hard for a foreign language picture to win.

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011): Jennifer Yuh
Yeah, it made a boatload of money, but it was a pale imitation of the first Kung Fu Panda movie. A better choice would have been Arthur Christmas or The Adventures of Tintin.

Puss in Boots (2011): Chris Miller
A charming adventure story whose success is due to the charisma of Antonio Banderas as the title character. Forget the last two Shrek movies—Puss in Boots is a funny, action-packed escapade that deserves to be nominated.

Rango (2011): Gore Verbinski
My choice for the best animated feature. It was an exciting action movie with tons of humor that paid tribute to classic westerns.

Best Short Film, Animated


Dimanche (Sunday) (2011): Patrick Doyon blog.doiion.com
The first of two nominated shorts from the National Film Board of Canada, Dimanche tells the story of a bored boy on a typical Sunday—going to church, visiting his relatives, and getting into mischief. The animation style is simple and rendered beautifully. Although it has almost no dialog, it is charming and witty.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011): William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg www.morrislessmore.com
This short film mixes miniatures, CGI, and traditional animation into a delightful journey into a fantasyland of living books. William Joyce (Robots, Meet the Robinsons) pays tribute to Hurricane Katrina, silent films, and the power of literature. This is my pick to win–it is the best short animated film I’ve seen in a long time. The film is available as a free download from iTunes.

La Luna (2011): Enrico Casarosa www.pixar.com
La Luna tells the story of a boy being introduced to an unusual family business. It’s hard to bet against anything Pixar produces; if Morris Lessmore doesn’t win, La Luna almost certainly will. La Luna is scheduled to be released with Pixar’s feature Brave later this year.

A Morning Stroll (2011): Grant Orchard, Sue Goffe www.studioaka.co.uk
This is a British short about a New Yorker’s early morning encounter with a chicken. It’s a clever shaggy dog (er, shaggy chicken) story with an inventive mix of styles and techniques.

Wild Life (2011): Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby www.nfb.ca
The second of two shorts from the National Film Board of Canada, Wild Life chronicles a rich young man’s attempts at cattle farming in Alberta in 1909. Told in a pseudo-documentary style, this beautiful, traditionally animated tale shows the folly of someone arrogantly disregarding common sense.

Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots (2011)
Screenplay by Tom Wheeler; directed by Chris Miller

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Spinning off the fabulous Puss in Boots character from Shrek 2, Puss in Boots is a stand-alone story that has nothing to do with the Shrek universe. Whereas the Shrek films are flat-out parodies, Puss in Boots is a comedic swashbuckling adventure.

Puss in Boots is set in a generic Spanish/Mexican desert frontier. Puss (Antonio Banderas) is quickly established as a suave and seductive rogue with a price on his head. Basically, he’s Zorro with a fur coat. The main plot involves a scheme by Puss’s boyhood friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) to steal magic beans from Jack & Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris), climb the magic beanstalk, and steal the treasure in the giant’s sky castle. Along for the heist is Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), who predictably goes from Puss’s rival to love interest.

Banderas steals the show voicing Puss, just as he did in the Shrek films. The other actors hold their own, creating plenty of action and humor for kids and adults. The visuals are stunning, especially in 3D (the cloud sequence is simply amazing!). The music by Henry Jackman is wonderful, using traditional Latin sounds to enhance the story.

Puss in Boots is the most interesting cat in the world — and he rides a horse!