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Remy Was Robbed?

Ratatouille Was Ratatouille -- that adorable, moving, clever, funny, charming, brilliant, beautiful piece of wonderful cinematic wonderfulness -- get robbed of an Academy Award Best Picture nomination? Yes, yes: it was nominated for a Best Animated Picture Award (along with only two other movies), but that's not the same thing. Why distinguish? It's all film. It all takes tremendous dedication, talent, and sacrifice on behalf of its actors, director, and staff.

Ratatouille2 Should Ratatouille, about an ambitious young rat in Paris who dreams of becoming a chef, as a piece of cinematic art, be considered alongside No Country for Old Men and Atonement? Should Brad Bird, Ratatouille writer, director, and all-around creative genius, see his name up there with the Coen Brothers and Paul Thomas Anderson and DGA Best Director winner Julian Schnabel?

The difference really only boils down to very specific artistic techniques. Is sequencing an animated scene in which Remy the rat runs all over the kitchen any different than tracking a shot in which our hero runs away from gunfire in the street from all directions? Well, yes, it's technically different -- but does it require a difference in skill level? Creativity level? Is it different in artistic merit?

Now some critics are saying the film was robbed, seeing how the movie has been dubbed the "best reviewed film of the year" by Tom O'Neil of The Envelope, plus scoring killer reviews and a score of 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. What do you think? Should we just let movies be movies? Or are these categories necessary?

--Anna Bengel

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Correct me if I'm worng, but I think Beauty and the Beast was the last animated film to be nominated for best picture, before the "Best Animated Feature" category was created.

It seems like since the creation of the new separate category, it's easier for Academy voters to just sequester "cartoons" away from live-action films and honor them separately. I don't know if this is intentional (after all, foreign language films are often nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film), but I think if any animated movie deserved the nod, it was Brad Bird's "The Incredibles" of a few years ago. Just a stunning step forward for Pixar and animation, and a stronger film, in my opinion, than "Ratatouille."

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