Golden Globes Revise Rules for Animation Category, Limited Series

9:00 AM PST 08/05/2014 by Alex Ben Block
AP Images/Invision
Theo Kingma

The HFPA has rewritten the rules to allow foreign-language movies into the animation category and has replaced the miniseries category with limited series.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has tweaked the eligibility rules for the upcoming Golden Globe Awards in the areas of animation and for any series of a show that wraps up in a single season, the group's president, Theo Kingma, said Tuesday.

Kingma said several committees of HFPA members dealing with TV and movie nominations, as well as those who compile the list of eligible projects each November, went over several different sets of rules to put everything into one document for the first time.

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One priority was to better define what makes a movie qualify as "animated."

"This was one of the most time-consuming ones," says Kingma. "We needed to come up with a very clear definition of what an animated motion picture is."

What they decided was that an animated movie has to be at least 75 percent animated — where the movement and characters are created or manipulated frame by frame.

Adds Kingma: "Where the work is done by an animator or through hand drawings or stop-motion or pixelation."

That means motion-capture movies like The Polar Express and the 2009 movie A Christmas Carol would not qualify as animated.

The HFPA also opened up the animation category to movies from all over the world, in all languages, even if they do not have a U.S. release, as long as they were shown in their home country.

Kingma says they were being asked why animated films from another country, not in English, were not eligible for best animated movie. "And they had a good point," admits Kingma.

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He cited the 2013 Japanese historical drama The Wind Rises, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, as the kind of movie that would now be eligible for the first time.

However, foreign-language animated movies will no longer be eligible in the category for live-action movies in languages other than English that are made outside the U.S.

Kingma isn't worried about these foreign-language films competing with the megabuck blockbusters from Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Fox and other American studios. "I don't think that will be a problem," says Kingma. "Absolutely not."

In live-action, the miniseries category has been eliminated and replaced with a new category: limited series.

"We did that because there seems to be a new trend to come out with shows that wrap up in one season and have one storyline and one cast," says Kingma, citing True Detective and Fargo.

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Kingma says the other change is that all the HFPA members have or have been provided with equipment that allows them to stream shows on their own television, mostly TV programs. In some cases, networks also give HFPA members access to streaming sites.

Increasingly, that is how members are watching TV shows, which is helpful because the HFPA, unlike the Emmys, doesn't require each show to submit a specific episode for consideration. They often watch multiple episodes of each show.

"We judge based on the entire season," says Kingma, who waves off any questions about just how many episodes they watch.

"We know when a show is good," he says. "I think our track record proves that. We watch a lot of television. We binge-watch a lot."

The Golden Globes will air Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, live from Beverly Hills on NBC, produced once again by the HFPA and Dick Clark Productions.

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