Chasing Oscar: Tumult in Toon Town

Where have all the pixels gone? That's what cartoon mavens were asking about the Oscar finalists for animated feature. At a time when computer-generated imagery (CGI) bedazzles the box office, when Disney dumps its 75-year-old traditional-animation unit and spends $7.4 billion to buy CGI leader Pixar, the three nominees are defiantly old-fashioned and handcrafted: two delightful stop-motion movies--Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Tim Burton's Corpse Bride--as well as a hand-drawn fantasy, Howl's Moving Castle, from Japanimator Hayao Miyazaki. Meanwhile, three big-studio CGI hits--DreamWorks' Madagascar, Disney's Chicken Little and Fox's Robots--got shut out.

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