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Rango wins Academy Award

Rango and Gore Verbinski took home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. The trophy for Animated Short went to William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann, and Alex Henning won the Oscar for Visual Effects for their work on Hugo. And Bret McKenzie’s Man or Muppet from The Muppets took the prize for Best Original Song.

A full list of winners is available at Oscars.org.

Quotes from the Academy Award winners follow:

Verbinski: (on live action vs animation filmmaking) “They’re two completely different hats. I suppose underneath all of it it’s just, you know, finding a story you want to tell in the same way you would as you were if you were sitting around a campfire or something. But completely different. I mean there’s no there are no gifts in animation. We have to fabricate everything including the anomalies, you know, and yet now I’m two days into shooting a live action picture. I actually go back tomorrow to shoot, and you know, there’s chaos and you can’t you can’t orchestrate things exactly how you want them, but when events happen, they’re set in stone and you’re done. So completely different hat.”

William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg: “Our short was to serve two purposes. One, to tell a great story, two, to serve as a calling card for our company, Moonbot Studios. And the whole point was to just try to get the world to recognize what we’re capable of in Shreveport, Louisiana, and that there’s a level of quality that they can come to expect based on what this short exudes…. I mean, we have 35 young employees and we’re basically surrounded by bayous, and they’re incredibly gifted and so from the swampy lands of Louisiana, we have crawled forth with this, and it’s lovely to be recognized.”

Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning: (on combining visual effects and 3D) “What we are trying to do with the 3D of the movie itself is to basically extend the art form of cinema by using the depth that you get and every shot was designed to take advantage of the depth that we would enhance the model of the story. So, every shot was literally made to be in 3D and designed to give you some depth or emotional response from it. Then, the then the hard part is what these gentlemen had to do which is to actually perfect the 3D in a very complicated way… Really, we had fun with it. And there’s a lot of science behind it, but we try to take the science and distill it down to something that is so simple that it doesn’t interfere with your instinctive creativity… I think it’s just about keeping it to be a story telling device. More than anything else and not just doing for the sake of doing it.”

Bret McKenzie: (on if he feels the pressure to live up to the Muppet legacy of movie songs) “Like the classic Rainbow Connection? I absolutely do. And a friend of mine said, when I got the job of working on the film, a friend of mind said, ‘You will need to write another Rainbow Connection‘ And I said, ‘You’re right.’ And I didn’t. And it’s an honor to get this because Rainbow Connection didn’t win an Oscar, but there’s no doubt that that song is, you know, an absolute, timeless classic, and this is nothing in comparison.”

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