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The Old Man And His Oscar

At the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Oscar Awards on Sunday, March 26, 2000, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA by Alexander Petrov won for best animated short film. "Having been nominated twice before, now I can look at this award without irony," Petrov said. "I'm very happy to have received the Oscar as it has given THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA and my earlier films recognition. And like any artist I wanted to be first. I'm happy that the Academy has the category of animated short film, because it gives a chance to independent artists to show their work. This said, I think it's nonsense to dwell on the subject of awards. What is most important is that you do what you want to do for artistic expression and not worry about the prizes." Petrov's Imax epic beat out Annecy and Cannes winner WHEN THE DAY BREAKS; Peter Peaks' humorous HUMDRUM; Torril Cove's first animated film MY GRANDMOTHER IRONED THE KING'S SHIRTS; and Paul Driessen's enigmatic 3 MISSES for the Oscar. Even though Trey Parker and Matt Stone were decked out in lovely evening gowns, the song "Blame Canada" from their movie SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT was beaten by Phil Collins' TARZAN tune "You'll Be In My Heart." The speculation ended on Sunday as to what the producers of the ceremony were going to do with the curse-word laden song from Trey Parker and co-writer Marc Shaiman. With a chorus line behind him, comic cut-up Robin Williams belted out "bitch" and "fart" to the primetime audience, but turned to the gasping dancers to muffle the censors' favorite f-word. The whole dance number was a fun and humorous way of handling the questionable lyrics. Another big winner was the special effects spectacle THE MATRIX, which took home four awards including best special effects beating out STUART LITTLE and THE PHANTOM MENANCE. Other awards won by the sci-fi hit were best sound, best sound effects editing and best film editing. The Academy also recognized the amazing talent of Marc Davis in the "In Mermoriam" section of the broadcast. The animator behind such classics as BAMBI died on January 12, 2000.

Read Animation World Magazine's tribute to Marc Davis written by Chuck Jones and Charles Solomon at

Read Alyson Carty & Chris Robinson's in-depth Animation World Magazine article on the art and technique of Alexander Petrov's THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA at

If you want to know more about the Oscar winner and other nominees, you can watch clips and hear from the filmmakers by visiting Animation World Network's Third Annual Oscar Showcase!

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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