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Peter Lord, the director of Sony Pictures Animation’s Pirates! Band of Misfits, wasn’t even aware the Oscar nominations were being announced today, as he came back to his desk after a leisurely lunch in London, where Aardman Animation is based.
“I had kind of given up, you know?” Lord said. “The movie came out in March, after all.”
He then heard a lot of yelling from another room and a colleague burst into his room with the news the movie had been nominated in the best animated film category.
“I’m just delighted. We were very low key and (the movie) wasn’t shoved down people’s throats. I’m happy people remembered it fondly from when it was out,” he said.
One aspect that Lord marvels about is the strong resurgence of stop-motion – Frankenweenie and ParaNorman join Pirates! as fellow nominees that were produced in the old-school medium.
“It is downright bizarre,” he said, “but it does seem that there is more stop motion than ever in history.”
He praised stop-motion for having a magic touch that CG animation, as good as it is, can’t match.
“It’s an illusion, like all animation, but it’s an illusion that’s made by hand, and because it takes so long, made by love. It has fingerprints on it, it has the human touch,” he explained. “And the audience knows that it’s tangible. With CG, you can do anything and you can do it beautifully but our brains instantly tell us that it isn’t real.”
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