'Rango' Progression Reel Showcases the Evolution of Its Animation (Video)

Academy voters got a closer look Thursday at what went into creating the unique look of Rango as Paramount released a behind-the-scenes featurette highlighting its CGI progression. After receiving nominations from other organizations such as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association but coming home empty-handed, the distributor of Gore Verbinski’s unconventional odyssey is making sure that any and everyone within voting range knows what the film is, and how it was achieved.

PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Award Season Roundtable Series: Animation

There are only ten days to go before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces their winners at the 2012 Oscar ceremony on Feb. 26, and competition is heating up as studios attempt to promote their nominees in dozens of categories. But even as debates rage over the merits of Best Picture candidates and moviegoers argue about whose performance is better than their competitor’s, visual effects and animated feature categories seem to be drawing the most contentiousness. And the companies and filmmakers behind these superlative efforts are sparing no effort letting voters know exactly how much work went into bringing these spectacular images to life.

Primarily, the two and a half minute clip showcases the multiple layers of detail that went into creating the characters and environment of Rango, from its title character to peripheral creatures who populate his dusty universe. Additionally, the featurette shows footage of the filmmakers making directorial decisions in virtual space that show up in real time within the movie, and how those movements are rendered and brought to life within the completed film.

Rango’s new sizzle reel follows in the footsteps of Paramount’s Super Bowl clip for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which championed that film’s special effects – purely for voting purposes – on a national scale. Needless to say it remains to be seen how much of an impact these clips will make, but at the very least they create an awareness of these films that should affect voters – even if that just means being turned off by the studios’ hard sell.