Friday, March 1, 2019

Academy Awards 2019 re-cap

What a breath of fresh air!  Or maybe I was drunk on the rum and cokes - but the Oscar show was so great!  I was on the waiting list for the Academy viewing party and I got very lucky when a couple of the confirmed attendees had to cancel, and Sandrine and I were able to get tickets at the last minute!

First the show kicked off with some classic rock from Queen - and it felt like the Oscars were on speed.  The awards and highlights kept on coming, and it was fun.  Someone told me that they thought they should dump the performances of the songs in competition, but to me that was the strength of the show.  Bette Midler performed "The Place Where Lost Things Go" from "Mary Poppins Returns", David Rawlings and Gillian Welch sang "When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" from the excellent film "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs", and then of course, the hit of the decade, and some might say the best Oscar moment ever, the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper duet of "Shallow" from "A Star Is Born".

But not only all that, the show hummed along at a quick pace, yet never felt rushed.  I could argue with some of the choices for the nominations, like for Best Actor, but that's out of anyone's control. However, I was disappointed in the wins for both Best Animated Short, which I thought was a little too cute and sweet for my taste, and Best Animated Feature, since I fell asleep during the screening that I went to.  In my opinion, "Animal Behavior" and "Incredibles 2" should have won in these categories.

And surprise, surprise, the show ended right on schedule after three hours, so I actually got to bed at a decent hour.   So it seems maybe we don't need a big star to act as an M.C. - although I still miss Bob Hope, he was so Hollywood.

I'm very busy right now with numerous projects - so I'm always juggling artwork - sometimes it gets very confusing and I often accidentally put the wrong background to the wrong animation - or use one color for a different animated scene.  You should see my couch, it's stacked high with different folders from different commissions and my own personal work.  It's mayhem!  Plus, as I color or draw I always have my TV on - of course, I'm watching CNN to follow the latest Trump scandal, so occasionally I'll get caught up in the cavalcade of corruption and totally screw up my coloring or animation.  See how Trump is messing up the world?  If my next film fails to win an Oscar, it's Trump's fault!

But I must admit, I'm addicted to the whole Trump fiasco - it's like a great detective film.  It begins with the tragedy of the 2016 election and we follow all these clues and oddball characters, hopefully to a happy resolution.  It's filled with tragedy, irony, hyperbole and humor, but not a lot of romance. I'm sure it will end up being the subject of many movies.  I only with that Mel Brooks could write and direct.

One last thing, I spent last weekend with my Scribble Junkies partner, the great Pat Smith, and we talked all about the Oscars and the current state of animation: hand-drawn vs. computer, what's happening with Disney taking over Fox Studios, and the ramification of that sale - I pray to God that Disney would also take over Plymptoons Studio, that's what I need.

Anyway, Pat's working on some new shorts that are fantastic - watch out for them.  I can't say any more, they're secret - but just to let you know, they're in a very different style.  And below is my weekly cartoon -

Later, Scribble fans!

--Bill P.

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