Despite nine Oscar nominations, Avatar actors got snubbed—and some speculate it’s due to their “animated” looks on-screen. Performance capture is much more than animation, argue some, who say actors like Zoe Saldana should be recognized for their performances. “I like to think of it as digital makeup, not augmented animation,” Steven Spielberg tells the Los Angeles Times.
The problem is Avatar, not animation, says best actor nominee Jeremy Renner: "It's not really an actors' kind of movie. It doesn't really allow for an actor to truly tell a story. The director's telling the story in that one." The Fantastic Mr. Fox, on the other hand, definitely qualifies as animation. Nonetheless, Stephanie Zacharek believes that is the performance George Clooney should have been nominated for, not Up in the Air. To discount a role simply because it’s animated “demands that we grade a performance according to how much toil and suffering went into it,” she writes on Salon, “instead of assessing how deeply the performance affected us.”