Caesar (from Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Captain Haddock (from The Adventures of Tintin) are both up for the same prize at this years Silver Lenas Awards. I had to give my head a scratch at this. Why? Because for all intensive purposes, both these animated characters are for all intents and purposes, as I would argue, are the *Leads* in both of their respective films.
How so? Well, for one thing each of the characters are not simply major protastsgonist in each film, the film’s are essential about them and their arcs, and all of the other characters in the film’s purpose is designed, whether by helping or obstructing, to achieve their personal ends. While James Franco’s scientist is ostensibly the the lead in Rise of The Planet of the Apes, his character is basically a cipher who has next to no character arc, an instigator and helper who pushes Serkis’ Caesar (whether by comission or omission) into turning into a chimpanzee Moses who leads his tribe to freedom (I’m sure it’s not a mistake that they have to cross a body of water.
Captain Haddock is similarly supported and pushed by Tintin to recover his memories, recall his ancestors struggle and face and battle his enemy Sackarine in the movies climactic battle. I know, it’s kind of odd for Tintin to be a supporting character in his own film, but The Adventures of Tintin isn’t actually about the titular hero, it’s cobbled from 3 stories to be about Captain Haddock and the recovery of the Haddock legacy. It’s not a mistake in the script for the last lines are directed at Serkis’ character:
“How’s your thirst for adventure, Captain?” Tintin wants to know.
“Unquenchable!” Haddock asserts passionately.
It’s a weird thing about awards, that for whatever reason they mix up lead and supporting characters. Sometimes it seems that they are not clearly watching the films they are voting on, sometimes it’s for political purposes, sometimes they want to vote in a role but there’s no room left on the list. And they’ll even use lesser awards as a consolation prize (Lost in Translation, Best Screenplay? Really?!
Truly, Haddock and Caesar should be battling it out for Best Animate Character, not in the running with Snowy for a supporting nod. But, hey, that’s just me. Hopefully the award will go to at least one of Serkis’ commanding performances (and seriously, how did Haddock not get a nom for Most Overplayed Role?)
Note: Andy Serkis’ role as the Titular King Kong in Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake for Best Animated Character (Lead) was his most recent Silver Lenas performance nomination.
Update: this year’s Best Animated Charater (Supporting) went t0 Andy’s Captain Haddock, one of The Adventures of Tintin’s 2 winning awards
Go to the 31st Annual Silver Lenas Movie Awards Nominations Announcement Posting