Pixar took its usual place at the awards season table tonight by winning Best Motion Picture, Animated for the studio's movie Inside Out. Directed by Pete Docter, the film follows the different emotions inside a young girl's mind, and was seen as a creative return to form for the studio, which has been dabbling a little too much in ho-hum sequels and tepid originals over the past few years. (Almost like an instant reminder of how lacking some of its recent output has been, Pixar followed Inside Out with the release of The Good Dinosaur in November.)
Inside Out was actually nominated against Dinosaur, as well as The Peanuts Movie and Shaun the Sheep, but one of the most compelling animated films of the year it beat out was Anomalisa. Written by Charlie Kaufman and co-directed by Kaufman and Duke Johnson, Anomalisa used stop-motion animation to tell the idiosyncratic story of a man in the middle of a midlife crisis, using the style of animation to create a dreamy, surreal look into his mind. Inside Out was certainly a much more emotionally accessible film, but Anomalisa could easily show up when it comes time for the Oscars next month.