Isn't it time they handed out an Oscar for Best CGI Character?

Goldenmonkey_lLast week, something strange and unexpected happened to me during a matinee showing of The Golden Monkey Compass: I started thinking about the Oscars. Not because the adaptation of the first book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy was particularly brilliant, but because I totally fell under the spell of the creepy daemon of Nicole Kidman’s Mrs. Coulter — a menacing CGI monkey with coppertone fur and a haunting pink face. That scene where Kidman goes all Mommie Dearest by slapping the little guy silly, then tenderly holding him in an apologetic fit, I just can’t get it out of my head. Much like Treebeard in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, I say the golden monkey deserves a golden statuette as the year’s Best CGI Character. Come on, you know you’d enjoy marking this slot on your Oscar ballot more than the "sound editing" and "sound mixing" categories combined. All together now: Mon-key! Mon-key! Mon-key! (Slow clap implied.)

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  • arryana

    i totally agree that they should have this award!!! but if they were to start handing the award out for past performances, they should SO give it to smeagol/gollum from the LOR series first…don’t you think?

  • paige

    a better category (which i made up many years ago because i am oh so awesome)would be Best Animated Character which would be awarded to the animator and the vocal actor. So, if this award was created years ago Robin Williams wouldve won for Aladdin and Andy Serkis wouldve won 3(!) 2 for Lord of the Rings and 1 for King Kong.

  • to paige

    that’s a great idea. james earl jones would DEFINETLY have won at least best supporting animated character for his portrayal of Mufasa in the Lion King. it’s a great performance. also the guy who played Rafiki.

  • new yorker

    Paige, I totally agree with you; Doug Jones would be nominated for Pan’s Labyrith. And on that same note, the Academy should seriously consider best acting noms to the actors who voice a lot of animated characters. Patton Oswald would get a nom for Ratatouille. On a different note Slezak, although I thouroughly enjoyed Kate Ward’s ANTM TV Watch, I want to know your take on the season finale. Maybe a popwatch post on it? Let me know.

  • Rakeem

    I’ve wanted a category like this to exist ever since Andy Serkis did Gollum! There was no way he would’ve been nominated for Supporting Actor (which is a shame), but that man deserved an Oscar!

  • wheres my monkey

    sadly the monkey was the best part of golden compass. we should all have golden monkeys who carry out revenge for us.

  • Ceballos

    It’s never a good sign when the MTV Movie Awards (who gave out a “Best Virtual Performance” award a few years back) is more forward thinking than the Oscars.
    On a semi-related note, was I the only who thought that, when Nicole Kidman slapped her daemon, she’d be hurting herself? There were several other instances of the characters in the movie feeling their daemon’s pain, and this apparent inconsistency robbed me of the chance to say “why are you hitting yourself?”

  • Court

    Here, here! There should definitely be a way to recognize at least voice actors. Andy Serkis deserves some sort of special award for everything he’s done, though.
    Ceballos when Coulter slapped her daemon she definitely had a big red mark/handprint on her face. I saw it after she hugged him and turned her face to the camera.

  • aramis

    Ceballos – Doooood! I was so thinking the same thing when I saw that scene. I really was fighting the urge to say repeatedly “why’re you hitting yourself? why’re you hitting yourself” in an annoying “say uncle” kind of way.
    And to further note, that monkey is seriously creepy. Like “Monkey shines” kind of creepy.

  • JMC

    Plus, think of the hilarity that would ensue as each studio creates an in character Thank You speech. Because Gollum cursing out Dobby was just about the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen.

  • Ceballos

    Court…I missed that…thanks for clearing that up.

  • RightNextToMarsBlog

    Any post that ends with a monkey chant and slow clap gets my full support.

  • BrandonK

    Absolutely…there are enough CGI characters nowadays to populate a field from which to choose the best. If they do that, though, they should have a special Oscar for best CGI character before the award was created, so Gollum and Treebeard and Grendel and Alvin and the Chipmunks could get their due. (Kidding about the last one, obviously.)
    One question, though…would this be limited to CGI characters in live-action movies? Technically, computer-animated movies feature CGI characters.

  • paige

    james earl jones would sooo have one for The Lion King. Also, I think Frank Oz would have soo one for Empire Strikes Back!

  • Daniel

    To claim that having an Oscar for best CGI character would indicate that there is enough competition to warrant such an award. Sure, there are some great performances like Williams’ Aladdin, Andy Serkis in Lord of the Rings, but is that really enough to warrant the creation of a new award? There aren’t really any other performances that stand out other than these two, making it hard for me to see that if this award was created that we would get years of nominees that were totally forgettable and giving them an award that is supposed to honor the highest caliber of work in film.
    And on another note, to say that Sound Mixing and Sound Editing is a boring award of course doesn’t usually have the most amazing speeches, but if you discount something that is such an art form and intricate part to every film you see, then you probably should be thinking MTV is years ahead of the Oscars anyway.

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