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Saturday, 21 December 2013

On-Screen Advent Adventure: Days Twenty & Twenty-One

With just four days to go until Christmas, our daily Best of 2013 Awards features are heating up, as we here at On-Screen reveal the outstanding victors of this year's entertainment release line-up. Today brings a bumper double-bill special of various 'Other' awards which aren't on the same scale as our major Film, TV and Video Gaming titles, but still warrant the viewer's attention as 2013 reaches an end.

Prepare yourselves, then, as we dive into a plethora of new awards reveals. Here's our latest round-up of 'Best of 2013 Awards' winners...

5. PAPERMAN- Accompanying Disney's Wreck-It Ralph in cinemas, this Oscar-winning animated short is beautifully designed, packing the same simple and heartwarming narrative approach that continues to bring the studio success in both its brief and elongated motion picture efforts. Should the studio bring us further understated hits like this, then their attempts to reclaim the magic of the classics will gain considerable substance.
4. THE BLUE UMBRELLA- Another work from the engineers of Walt Disney's legacy, The Blue Umbrella launched in the Summer alongside Pixar's Monsters' University. To outdo Paperman is one impressive feat alone, but to rival the main feature itself as Umbrella does is more remarkable still, an accomplishment which the Academy Awards committee would be fools to neglect!
3. DOCTOR WHO: THE NIGHT OF THE DOCTOR- The rumours were true! Paul McGann's 50th Anniversary cameo comes in the most unexpected form with Steven Moffat's prequel mini-episode The Night of the Doctor, a Doctor Who short boasting stunning budgetary implementation from the production team and McGann's finest on-screen performance yet...
2. MUPPISODE: FOODE FITE- If ever you've found The Muppets' Swedish Chef to be under-utilized by the series, then this first Muppisode prequel to Muppets Most Wanted needs to be your next port of call. Starring Gordon Ramsey and WWE Wrestlers, this hilarious minisode was a delightful surprise upon its première late last month.
1. ANINGAAQ- Following up Alfonso Cuaron's spellbinding Gravity with a spin-off short film must have been a daunting challenge for the director's son Jonas, yet the results in Aningaaq are more than on a par with his father's science-fiction epic. Set in the midst of the events of the original narrative, albeit taking place on Earth rather than in the stars, it serves as a glorious supplementary work and an inertly powerful standalone piece of cinema!

RUNNER UP: EX-MEN WOLVERINE- Pete Holmes' various Ex-Men online shorts haven't exactly been consistent in terms of quality comedy, but the series' début was certainly a hilarious viewing experience. Catch the original video below...

As ever, this year was filled with unexpected, thrilling news developments, but here at On-Screen, it was DICE's announcement of Star Wars: Battlefront III which topped our list. As fan campaigns go, the calls for a third Battlefront title were some of the most prominent in the video game industry's history, so DICE's election to respond and craft a sequel was a true shock at E3 2013. Runner-ups for this prestigious award include the BBC's announcement of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, Kingdom Hearts III's confirmed launch on Xbox One, the cancellation of Being Human and the commissioning of Venom and The Sinister Six spin-off films for the Spider-Man blockbuster franchise- excelsior, indeed...

WORST FILM- Despite notably abysmal performances from the likes of Oblivion and The Internship, ultimately January's woeful Movie 43 has scooped our equivalent to the Golden Raspberry Awards this year. The compilation of mismatched sketches ranged from tepid to downright unwatchable and thus resulted in an utterly painful viewing experience which any viewer would seldom desire to relive.
WORST GAME- On the bright side, the games industry didn't produce quite so many prominent duds in 2013. When the situation did turn sour, however, with Aliens: Colonial Marines, fans of Ridley Scott's horror franchise were offered up a horrific reminder of why Duke Nukem Forever's Gearbox Studios should never be given free reign with a beloved franchise, its stagnant FPS engine and its uncompelling core narrative still residing in infamy ten months after the product's release...
BEST REFERENCE BOOK- BBC Books have a hefty track record in terms of producing official Doctor Who reference books worthy of the show's high calibre televisual outings. Doctor Who: The Vault doesn't disappoint on this front, serving as a masterful bout of nostalgia for pre- and post-2005 fans through Marcus Hearn's captivating analysis of each of the key components which have made the show an iconic global franchise over the last fifty years!
BEST AUDIO DRAMA- Of all of Big Finish's Doctor Who audio releases in 2013, their Seventh Doctor drama Doctor Who: Starlight Robbery remains the incredible highlight of the roster. Housing a pure science-fiction stand off between the Time Lord and his potato-headed adversaries, as well as a stellar (pun fully intended) performance from guest star Jo Woodcock, this release remains a shining benchmark through which all future contributions from the studio will be held up to comparison and scrutiny.
BEST ATTRACTION- Though it only remained at the Museum of London on a temporary basis, the venue's Radio Times: A History exhibition was a spectacular retrospective on the British magazine's first century of publication. Incorporating artefacts from Doctor Who, Call The Midwife, the London 2012 Olympic Games and more entertainment hallmarks besides, the exhibition showcased the creativity of the Museum's talented staff behind-the-scenes. Next year will see the unveiling of an ambitious Sherlock Holmes exhibition in the Radio Times display's place, and this should easily demand a visit for fans of Arthur Conan Doyle's Great Detective...

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