Why Aren't Oscar Zealots Fighting for Toy Story 3's Best Picture Chances?

Disney's been leading the charge on Toy Story 3's Best Picture gambit in recent weeks, arguing on behalf of its strong reviews (now, Golden Tomato-winning), and box office success, but is it time for Oscar statisticians (e.g. the Movieline readership) to take up the fight too? It lacks the blunt-force topicality of The Social Network and the historical grandeur of The King's Speech, but does Toy Story 3's expensive commercial triumph warrant a grassroots movement?

Absolutely. The case for Toy Story 3's Best Picture award is fairly logical: An animated film probably will win the big prize some day, so why not now? (That Toy Story 3 is the most deserving animated candidate in two decades should only help matters.) Further, the broad themes of Lee Unkrich's film -- those beingg self-worth and mortality -- have an unassuming gravity, dimensions that make Toy Story 3 leagues deeper than the average animated romp. Or even the average 2011 Best Picture contender. To wit: The Social Network's alpha-male machinations are salacious, but not sumptuous; The King's Speech's drama is elegant and intellectual, but expected; True Grit is notable for its quirk-free Coen treatment and performances, but not its story; and Black Swan is a sterilized Rosemary's Baby, with all the satanic elements circled in black permanent marker from act one.

Toy Story 3, on the other hand, is a seamless genre medley -- action, tearjerker, psychological drama, and even an evocative mood piece during its grimmest moments -- and the year's perfect balance of convulsive spectacle and restraint. We've settled for one or the other with its competitors, while Toy Story 3 happily offers both; this is the type of filmmaking that practically defines "Best Picture."

So, where's the outrage, Oscar junkies? Would you greet the continued ghettoizing of animated beauty with gnashed teeth were Toy Story 3 to lose in the biggest category next month? Personally, I'm willing to crawl in a box and FedEx myself to be used as a preschool plaything in support of this one; what about you?


  • epochd says:

    The movie is good. that's all. its not worth all the fuss. it's solid for two-thirds then has a really cool third act. but it does not live up to this hype.

  • Renard says:

    "TOY STORY 3" deserves Best Picture for sure!!! Shame on epochd for saying that it was merely "good".

  • josh says:

    the animated film that should have won came out in 2009 and wasn't even nominated.

  • TWC says:

    THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS LOUIS!!! I've been asking myself the same question. I personally think this could be the year history is made at the oscars! GO TOY STORY 3!

  • AL says:

    Is Toy Story 3 deserving this year? yes.
    Is it the most deserving animated film of the last 2 decades? Hardly. I'd say we had 4 last decade, and 4 the decade before.

  • Renard says:

    Yes Al, you MAY be correct.
    However, the fact that THOSE past animated films DIDN'T WIN, makes "TOY STORY 3" even more deserving THIS YEAR. not last year. Not 10 years ago. THIS YEAR.

  • KevyB says:

    I loved TS3, but not as much as the one before that, which had a similar plot, or as much as Finding Nemo, which ALSO had a similar plot. People are reacting more to the emotional "end of the franchise" scenes than the rest of the movie. And that's basically why I don't care whether it gets nominated or not. Pixar really needs to retire the "characters get separated and try to reunite" plot for all future movies. 2010 was a great year for animated films. Winning that Oscar shouldn't seem like a secondary award, not like in years past.
    Besides, if Oscar voters can leave 127 Hours off their lists because they think James Franco will get nominated, or Blue Valentine because its stars will get nominations, or Winter's Bone because its star will get nominated, then why not ignore TS3 because it is one of two guaranteed OSCAR WINNERS (the other being screenplay for The Social Network). The Oscars are all about politics and really the only place voters can make an underdog score big is in the Best Picture race, now that there are 10 slots. Don't you think there are boatloads of Academy voters out there just pleased with themselves that they got A Serious Man, District 9 and An Education nominated last year? And probably Up too, but the field was less crowded last year, so Up was practically a gimme.
    As far as I'm concerned, the fighting should be for Lee Unkrich in the Best Director category. If Cameron can be nominated for a movie that was almost all CGI, then the doors should be opened for animated films in the Director category. David O Russell didn't do anything special in The Fighter. The Coens didn't do anything special in True Grit. Yet a man who made us cry TWICE over a bunch of toys doesn't get a mention. Now that's the crime.

  • ddd1301 says:

    TS3 is the best. If How To Train Your Dragon cannot win, TS3 should.