“The Simpsons Movie”
Only in its second year, the Globes’ toon category remains relatively unproven. Their 2007 nominees matched the Oscars, though when it came to giving prizes, they picked Pixar’s “Cars,” while the Academy opted for “Happy Feet’s” dancing-penguin antics instead.
There was a resounding “huh?” from the animation community when the HFPA’s choices were announced this year. Though all three films were also nominated for the Annies (awarded by Hollywood’s unofficial animation society), it struck some as odd that “Persepolis” showed up in the foreign-language category, only to be edged out by “Bee Movie” here — likely the result of the org’s fondness for star power. Given the group’s track record, cynics probably wouldn’t put it past the HFPA to award “Bee Movie” just to have seen Jerry Seinfeld accept the award at the putative fete.
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Pixar is represented again with “Ratatouille,” although it’s tough to predict whether those foreign journos prefer internationally themed toons (“Ratatouille” takes place in Paris) to all-American stories (such as “The Simpsons Movie”). “The Simpsons” has a strong cachet within the industry, but not so the HFPA (in the show’s 20 years, it’s only once been nominated for a Globe), making it all the more interesting that the movie version earned a spot on the ballot.