We here at BookTrib are huge fans of Designer Daddy (a.k.a. Brent Almond) who graces our site with his knowledge of popular culture and blogs about (among other things) his preschooler, superheroes and the adventures of parenting. One of the pleasures of Brett’s work is his “Super Lunch Notes,” the colorful and wonderfully geeky slips of paper he sneaks into his kid’s lunch before he heads off to school.
And these notes aren’t just “Have a nice day,” or “I’m so proud of you!” These are notes full of fun, flair and all the magic today’s magical pop culture renaissance.
Recently, Almond was kind enough to share with us some of his latest Super Lunch Notes, which are based on the best animated films of the last year. They feature tributes to one of the favorites for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film—and one that stood out as one of Oscar’s biggest snubs of 2015.
Many observers think Big Hero 6, Disney’s mega-hit based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, may snag top animated film honors when the Oscars are handed out on February 22. The movie is the story of young Hiro Hamada, a robotics prodigy who puts together a super-team of young mega-geniuses to combat a mysterious villain responsible for the death of Hiro’s brother. The film also introduced audiences to Baymax, a gentle, loveable robot who, thanks to Hiro, becomes the most awesome superhero buddy ever to hit the screen. Thanks to Almond, the entire Big Hero 6 team has been immortalized in Super Lunch Notes.
Big Hero 6’s main Oscar competition may be How to Train Your Dragon 2, the second in the series of films loosely based on the books by Cressida Cowell. The film takes place five years after the series’ first chapter, and follows young Hiccup and his dragon Toothless as they lead the dragon-riders against Drago Bludvist, a madman intent on taking over the world. Having already won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film, Dragon is certainly flying high as the Oscars approach.
Almond also dedicated a stack of Super Lunch Notes to a film whose Oscar omission drew some of the loudest gasps as the Academy Award nominations were read in mid-January. Everything was awesome in 2014 for The LEGO Movie, the smash-hit film based on the interlocking construction blocks we all played with as kids (and stepped on in our stocking feet as adults). But while the movie’s theme song, “Everything is Awesome,” was nominated for Best Original Song, The LEGO Movie just didn’t seem to click with the Academy. Almond expressed the disappointment of all the fans with this appropriate lunch note.
Three other great animated films will also contend for the Oscar this year. The Boxtrolls, based on the novel Here be Monsters! by Alan Snow, tells the story of Eggs, a human boy who is raised by peaceful trash-scavengers who face off against a pest exterminator bent on their destruction. Song of the Sea is based on the ancient Celtic myth of the selkie, magical creatures who live as seals in the ocean but take human form on land. Finally, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, a Japanese animated film based on the traditional folktale “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” is the story of Princess, a miniature girl found inside a glowing bamboo shoot and raised by human parents.
Who is most deserving of winning the Best Animated Feature Oscar? It’s been the subject of lots of animated discussion in and out of Hollywood. But whoever wins, each of these films has earned a special place in the hearts of kids of all ages, proving that great stories not only resonate throughout a mass audience, but can help strengthen bonds between a boy and the dad packing his lunch as well.
Join us each week as BookTrib goes to the Oscar’s and let us know who you think should get Best Animated Motion Picture in the comments below.