The nominations for the 2022 Academy Award – Best Animated Movie have been released, and Letterboxd users have ranked their favorites here.
The nominations for 2022’s Academy Awards are out, and with it came some surprises and some snubs. This year’s animated category is anyone’s guess. Disney has walked away with three of the five nominations, leaving two non-Disney films to compete with some of the most popular films to be released last year.
While fans have to wait for the results for another month or so, Letterboxd users have indirectly made their vote clear. Most users on the social media site are major film fans and have quite a few opinions to share. While the academy may go in a different direction, it’s interesting to see what film Letterboxd thinks was the best of 2021.
5 Raya And The Last Dragon – 3.5
Disney’s first animated film of 2021 was Raya and the Last Dragon. The film follows Raya, one of the most heroic Disney Princesses, as she goes on a journey to find the last dragon, a creature she believes can stop the evil that is taking over her land. Throughout the journey, she meets others who have been ravaged by the same evil that took her father. Together they’re the last hope their home has.
The reaction to this film is fairly mixed on Letterboxd. The general consensus seems to be the dislike of the design of the dragon since she looks a bit too much like Elsa from Frozen. While some praise the plot of the film for being straightforward with likable characters, others take the opposite stance and consider the film one of the worst in the Disney Animation canon.
4 Encanto – 3.8
Encanto follows a family known in their village as the magical Madrigals. Everyone in the family has a special gift that allows them to help and protect their village, except for Mirabel, voiced by Stephanie Beatrice. But for some reason, Mirabel doesn’t have a gift and she isn’t looked at as important by the head of the family, Abuela. When the magic begins to falter and the house starts to crumble, Mirabel tries to figure out what can save it, only to find that she had to fix her family first.
Unlike Raya and the Last Dragon, this film faires better on Letterboxd, as most users who’ve left a review have enjoyed it. One reason could be that most found Encanto to be a funny movie with plenty of underrated scenes. The music in the film is notable for being some of the best earworms Disney has put out in a while, and considering the movie is also up for Best Original Song, it’s no wonder why. It’s easy for viewers to relate to the Madrigals and their individual struggles, which gives the film a broad appeal.
3 The Mitchells Vs. The Machines – 3.9
One of the early animated films to be released in 2021, The Mitchells vs. The Machines was a Sony animated film that was sold to Netflix early on during the pandemic. The film follows the Mitchells, a family who can’t seem to get along anymore. Rick Mitchell, the dad of the family, wants to reconnect with his daughter before she goes off to school and humanity’s last hope against a machine uprising.
While the film slipped under viewers’ radar initially, the award hype has only grown and so has the number of people who watched it. Most Letterboxd reviews are of people who watched it and were surprised that they loved it. The Mitchells are a family of “weirdos,” so it’s very easy for others to project themselves onto any one person or see their family in the Mitchells. The Mitchells vs. The Machines is a very relatable and epic story and sports some of the most inventive animations ever seen.
2 Luca – 3.9
The second Pixar film that Disney dropped on Disney+ at no extra charge, Luca follows a sea monster named Luca who wants to know what it’s like on the surface. He finds another sea monster who’s been living on the surface and together they go into the local town and begin to explore what it would be like to be human. In the town, they meet a young human girl who takes a liking to them and with her help, enters a race to win a Vespa scooter so they can travel the world. Even after Alberto’s betrayal in the Disney movie, Luca still finds it in him to help his friend.
While it doesn’t reach the upper echelon of Pixar films, most Letterboxd users greatly enjoyed the film, and the allegorical nature of the relationship between Luca and Alberto has resonated with many. The film also sports a unique animation style that is largely considered a breath of fresh air to the realistic approach to some of Pixar’s previous human characters.
1 Flee – 4.1
Flee is a unique entry since it’s also nominated for both International and Documentary awards. Flee is a unique documentary from 2021 that blends its format with animation to tell a unique story, the likes of which are rarely seen. The film follows Amin, a 36-year-old Afghanistan man living in Denmark who is getting married to his long-time boyfriend. When he was young, he arrived in Denmark as an unaccompanied minor and he’s been hiding a secret for over 20 years. The film is about Amin sharing that secret and story with his close friend before it threatens to ruin the life he has built.
The praise directed towards this film is incalculable. Letterboxd viewers are at a loss for words at how impactful it was. Some detractors mention the mix of animation and live-action footage doesn’t mesh as well as it should, but the message is clear. This film has a lot to say and is determined to say it in an inventive and unique way. For the most part, it succeeds, and some users felt that it put them right there with the characters.
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