Monday, February 11, 2008

The Year of the Oscar® Rat?

In this Year of the Rat in Chinese astrology, it is may be only fitting that the Academy Awards honor Remy, the young rodent chef wannabe. The Academy members may, or may not, but the Annie Award, which is almost as important to animators as the golden statuette, did.

Pixar Animation Studios' RATATOUILLE dominated the 35th annual Annie Awards Thursday night. The International Animated Film Society (ASIFA, Hollywood) honors the best in animated features.

The Chinese consider the Year of the Rat lucky, and the Chinese lunar year 4705 (06) began 7 February, the day before the Annie Awards. The determined charismatic rodent not only took the top prize for the best animated feature movie, but the top directing and screenwriting awards for Brad Bird as well, a total of nine overall, which included character animation, character design, music, production design, storyboarding and voice acting.

RATATOUILLE is nominated for an Oscar in the best animated feature category along with PERSEPOLIS and SURF'S UP. The latter received Annies for animated effects and animated production artist, but the other ASIFA nominees, PERSEPOLIS and THE SIMPSONS MOVIE, came up empty handed.

The Annie Award has become one of those "predictors" for winning an Academy Award® in the best animated feature category. However, last year ASIFA gave CARS the Annie, and the dancing penguins won (HAPPY FEET). Win some. Lose some.

PERSEPOLIS was submitted by France to compete in the Best Foreign Language Film (BFLF) Oscar category instead of submitting THE DIVING BELL and the BUTTERFLY. The irony? PERSEPOLIS missed the Oscar BFLF nod, but is nominated in the best animated feature category.

Well, what about people born in the Year of the Rat? They are noted for their charm and attraction for the opposite sex. They work hard to achieve their goals, acquire possessions and are likely to be perfectionists. They are basically thrifty with money. Rat people are easily angered and love to gossip. Their ambitions are big, and they are usually very successful.

Are you a "rat person?" You are if you was born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, or 1996. If so, this could be your lucky year, too. Uh, oh. Time to stir the Sauce BĂ©arnaise. See my Chinese New Year Page.

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