by Chris MaGee
I continue to be confused why more Japanese animated films don't end up getting nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards. Yes, Hayao Miyazaki's "Howl's Moving Castle" was deservedly nominated in 2005 and his brilliant "Spirited Away" took home the award in 2002, but for a country with a stellar reputation for animation it seems that Japan has been woefully short changed.
Maybe that will change this year as two Japanese animated films have been included in the shortlist for nominations in the category, namely Mamoru Oshii's "The Sky Crawlers" (above) and BONES' "Sword of the Stranger". Unfortunately I've yet to catch the latter, but I did see the former at TIFF this year and while it definitely wasn't Oshii's best work it still had some jaw-dropping aerial dog fight sequences. Will we hear either of these titles read out when this year's Best Animated Feature is announced. With competition from the other films on the shortlist, including "Kung Fu Panda", "Bolt", "Waltz with Bashir" and "Wall-E" I highly doubt it, but that's not through hoping beyond hope that I'm proven wrong. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Thanks to Anime News Network for this story.