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Assignment #7

Rarely has there been so much buzz surrounding an animated film as there was this past year with Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studio’s Ratatouille. The storyline is simple enough, it follows a young rat into the city of Paris where he hopes (and later does) fulfill his dream of becoming a chef. So what is it about the film that has caused so much talk? Many critics feel that Ratatouille goes beyond what standards were set years ago for animated films, and that the category in which it’s nominated for “Best Animated Feature” at the upcoming Academy Awards limits the film’s worth. The article “Was ‘Ratatouille’ ripped off in Oscar race?” (credited to the New York Associated Press and linked below), takes a deeper look into some of the reasons that Ratatouille should have been nominated for other categories such as “Best Director” or “Best Film”, and how it’s limited by the “Best Animated Feature” category. Not only is Ratatouille made with traditional film making techniques in mind, but the film also has garnered higher ratings on such websites as ‘Metacritic.com’ than films like Pulp Fiction and all of the current “Best Film” nominees (“No Country for Old Men,” “There Will Be Blood,” “Juno,” “Atonement,” and “Michael Clayton”. With a total of five Oscar nominations, Ratatouille is the most nominated computer animated film ever, and the second most nominated animated film behind Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. These Oscar nominations are proof that the academy does indeed like the film, as does the international body of critics. Overall Ratatouille has pulled in $206 million in the box office domestically, and went on to make $410 million internationally. This is more money than all of this year’s “Best Picture” nominees combined. In the end, with a film that has been enjoyed by millions, loved by critics, and nominated so widely for awards, is it safe to say that the “Best Animated Feature” category limits many of today’s animated films and should new steps be taken to ensure that such films get the recognition they rightly deserve?

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