(Source: fxrant.blogspot.com)  Looking at the Oscar winners over the past 20 years, a specific trend is undeniable. The visual effects Oscar goes to a film that features synthetic, organic characters. This phenomenon became much more significant in the post-”Jurassic Park” era, where advances in computer graphics allowed filmmakers to tell extraordinary stories with fully animated characters that play a significant role in the narrative. We asked of each film: does the movie’s primary visual effects consist of organic creatures? And, as a second piece of criterion, if so, does the film contain CG facial animation, i.e. organic acting?

Can you see where this is going? “Babe” beat out “Apollo 13;” talking barnyard animals trump space travel. “Fellowship of the Ring” won over “Pearl Harbor;” Balrogs and cave trolls trump exploding airplanes. “Benjamin Button” tops “The Dark Knight;” CG human trumps miniature car chases. And, most significantly, “The Golden Compass” topples “Transformers;” talking polar bears trump robots made of metal and chrome. Academy voters have a strong preference in voting for films with organic creature effects, particularly with facial acting performances, rather than films whose visual effects surround action set pieces, extraordinary environments, or digital stunt work. We awarded films a point value for these two criteria.

Even with all of these fairly accurate criteria under our microscope, we still had a problem accurately predicting certain years’ competitions. “Death Becomes Her’s” 1992 win and “What Dreams May Come’s” 1998 win were naggingly baffling. Even though “Death” was not a sequel like its competition (giving it a slight edge), it suffered at the box office compared to fellow nominee “Batman Returns,” especially with the 1-2 punch of “Batman’s” huge box office and strong critical acclaim. Similarly, in 1998, “What Dreams” had strong statistical competition with “Mighty Joe Young.” Both films had nearly identical box office and critical acclaim, but “MJY” had an edge with its organic creature work while “What Dreams” primarily had environmental visual effects.

Full Article: fxrant.blogspot.com

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