zootopia_animals zootopia_animals

‘Zootopia’ Wins The Oscar for Best Animated Feature

Disney’s Zootopia, directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, won the Oscar tonight for best animated feature.

A Walt Disney Company-produced animated feature has won the animated feature Academy Award for nine out of the last ten years.

In the animated short category, Disney/Pixar’s Piper won.

In the visual effects category, Disney’s The Jungle Book won. Rob Legato, Adam Valdez, Dan Lemmon, and Andrew R. Jones accepted the award.

More updates to come…

  • I would like it if an artistically inclined animated film would win FOR ONCE!

    • Too Many Cooks

      I wouldn’t be that mean to Zootopia. The environments were really creative.

      • white vader

        I wish the character design had been as good. So very standard Disney!

        • edge13

          i rarely see critics to Zootopia Character designs
          ,to me atleast its much better than ‘Sing’ Character designs

          • white vader

            Sure, but for me that’s damning with faint praise. And I’m not saying they were bad in the slightest. Just the same old same old centreline 2d/3d Disney stuff, imo. Pixar may (nearly) always go with the same ‘signature’ glass-eye design, but at least there’s a lot more variation in the rest of the bodies and it’s based on story concerns. Marlet and De Seve are fantastic too.

      • afortiorama

        Zootopia is a really good movie in general. The environments, the characters and the story had actually something to say.

        • Too Many Cooks

          I thought it had something to say when I first saw the movie, but as time has past I’ve started to think it bit off more than it could chew on the subject of race relations.

    • ea

      Since this is shaping up to be a meh year for animated movies, maybe GKIDS can help.

      • Dusty Ayres

        The sentiment is getting tiresome-please stop.

  • jhalpernkitcat

    Not surprised here. Jokingly told my father that it won “Cuz it’s Disney.”
    On a more serious note though, Zootopia actually did deserve it, although it would have been great if “Kubo and the Two Strings” won instead.
    Also glad Piper won–it was adorable.

    • MartinMcD

      I don’t think Kubo should have won to be honest. Definitely second best out of the group in my opinion, but Kubo’s story and themes were a bit to muddled and attempts to stay focused and patch the two themes together didn’t work out as smoothly as it could have. Then again, it is one of Travis Knight’s first times directing.

      • I loved Kubo but this is exactly why it didn’t deserve best Animated film. It really was a muddled story but it was stunning to joy to watch.

        Zootopia was not only gorgeous it had a very tight story and there was little wasted time.

  • Sam the God

    I wanted Borrowed time to win, I am so fucking salty

    • Inkan1969

      I was torn between “Piper”, “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” and “Pearl”, which seems absurd considering how different those shorts were. I loved the sincere premise and the theme of using your imagination to solve a problem in “Piper”, as well as the graphic novel style and ambitious storytelling of PC&C, and the heartfelt relations in “Pearl”.

    • Sean McGinnis

      Same here, man.

  • Jason

    Congrats Zootopia. It was a timely and phenomenal film. I know some people wanted Kubo to win because “Disney wins too much” or “Laika is the underdog so it should be rewarded”, but I think awards should be decided by the quality of the film, not by what studio won too much or what studio is the underdog. Do you think it’s fair to the directors who made a film to not get an award just because the studio they work for “won too much”?

    • Mermaid Warrior

      I often complain about Disney winning so often because the wins aren’t always deserved. Disney wins because it’s mainstream, well-known, and the voter’s kids like it. However, I can’t be angry at Zootopia winning. While I did want Kubo to win, Zootopia was fantastic and there’s no shame in losing to it.

    • Too Many Cooks

      I’m not mad about them winning this year.

      I’m mad about them winning last year.

      And the year before that.

      And the year before that.

      And the year before that.

      But I’m mostly mad about last year, because that’s when Anomalisa was nominated.

      • KW

        Are you saying you think Anomalisa should have won?

        • Too Many Cooks

          I think Anomalisa was a masterpiece, so yeah. I was sort of mentioning that as a joke, though.

      • Anomalisa had some truly stunning animation, but I’m not even slightly surprised, or even really disappointed in the fact that it lost to Inside Out. Anomalisa suffered from its creators’ bleak, deeply uncomfortable and nihilistic view of the world. It featured a reprehensible, sad old creep as a main character, like most of Kaufman’s films. Certainly a work of art, but do you really expect Oscar judges to award a film like that? Against Inside Out? When the competition is something so emotionally uplifting in a truly effecting, intelligent way? A film that is also beautifully done, and took thousands of man hours and immeasurable creativity to create? We’re talking about two different categories here: Best Animated Film, and Most Impressive Animation in a Film – a distinction that doesn’t exist but probably should.

        • KW

          I agree with that. I remember going into the theater excited to see an animated feature that was rated R because it was a drama and not because it had crude humor. Then I found myself getting progressively more and more annoyed with the main character that by the time I was 20 min into the film that annoyance had turned in to full blown hatred. Its fine to have a main character not be a good person, but they need at least some level of likeability to them. Michael Stone had none. If it was on purpose they went too far.
          Around the same time I had listened to an interview with Charlie Kaufman plus watched the Hollywood Reporter Animation Direction roundtable with him. And they both gave me the sense that he has delusions of grandeur pertaining to himself. As if his animated film is somehow above or more important than the other animated films out there. Anomalisa made me hate not only the main character of the film, but Charlie Kaufman as well. And I think the live action movies he’s written are great.

          • Too Many Cooks

            It’s weird to me when people say they were frustrated with Stone. I found him likeable enough that I wanted him to be happy, but not so likeable that I didn’t understand why he can’t be happy. He did hurt people (mostly women), but it was out of thoughtlessness and a desire to find the one who would complete him, not maliciousness.

    • ValjeanLafitte

      If you think awards should be decided by the quality of the film, then you should be upset that Your Name, the highest grossing film of 2016, wasn’t even nominated. The fact that a thinly veiled allegory for American social issues won isn’t even surprising. There would have been a backlash if it *didn’t* win.

      • Hankenshift

        The Japanese cartoon Y our Name will be released in North America April of this year. It was not eligible for an Academy Award 2016.
        And it was not the “highest grossing film of 2016.” Live action OR animated. Not even in the top 27.

        • Ap

          You’re wrong. Your Name was eligible, but it wasn’t nominated. There was a qualifying Los Angeles release in 2016.

        • ea

          Your Name was submitted last year, but didn’t get nominated. It can’t compete anymore.

        • Os
          • TheDisbeliever

            Just so you’re aware, “highest grossing film of 2016” and “highest grossing anime of all time” are two different things.
            While “Your Name” is the highest grossing anime of all time, it is definitely NOT the highest grossing film of 2016. That was Captain America: Civil War.

          • Os

            I never said it was the highest grossing film I said highest grossing anime there was no mistake here. Hankenshift said or animated he is wrong since anime is animated

          • TheDisbeliever

            I know what you said and that point is correct – Your Name was the highest grossing anime.

            However, ValjeanLafitte DID say it was “ the highest grossing film of 2016”. Hankenshift then correctly pointed out that it was not.

            At this point you incorrectly said Hankenshift was wrong because Your Name was “highest grossing anime of all time”. And while that is true, it doesn’t invalidate his assertion BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING.

            Can you understand that it can be the “highest grossing anime of all time” but also NOT be “ the highest grossing film of 2016”?

            The highest grossing animated movie last year was Finding Dory, followed closely by Zootopia. Your Name didn’t even come close.

            Hankenshift was correct. You seem confused.

          • Os

            I mean you can’t say both assertions are correct only one of the two were hence the whole statement is erroneous

        • AmidAmidi

          Your information is not correct. Your Name was submitted this year, and it is no longer eligible for the Oscars. We reported this last November: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/awards/breaking-record-breaking-27-animated-features-submitted-2017-oscars-144839.html

          • ea

            HOWEVER, it may be submitted and nominated the following year for other categories, like what happened with City of God.

        • ValjeanLafitte

          You’re wrong in that it was eligible (submitted in 2016, as noted by Amid Amidi), but you’re right that it wasn’t the highest grossing film of 2016. What I meant to say was that it was the highest grossing anime of 2016–and all time, surpassing even Spirited Away.

      • ea

        Did they really need to nominate TWO Disney movies? C’mon, we already had a critically-loved sea-themed film (The Red Turtle); putting Moana there felt redundant.

    • Michael O’Callaghan

      I wanted Kubo to win because it was absolutely the best, not because it was an underdog. Not sure I would call Laika underdogs. Zootopia was very good (and Moana) but Kubo was something very special

    • white vader

      Do you think it’s possible and fair that people might have sincerely thought Kubo was a better movie as I did? Because I don’t care who’s won what and when, but while I thought Zootopia was much better than I expected I still felt it was the umpteenth variation of “don’t judge a book by the cover” (with generally very by-the-numbers design) Disney incessantly churns out, yet I thought Kubo was a new classic.

      But then, I also think The Jungle Book should have won for best animated feature. Because bar the little boy, it really was an animated movie (photorealism or stylised/cartoony is beside the point). The marketing people just didn’t dare sell it that way and played to both the LCD audience and stuffy biased voting types.

      • I disagree on The Jungle Book being nominated for Best Animated Feature, let alone winning the award. It wasn’t a good film, but also, the animation could’ve been better (the Illusion of Life wasn’t as strong as I would have liked for it to be in the movie).

        • white vader

          My point was mainly that it was an animated movie. Not live action. And if “it wasn’t a good movie” (subjective, and bizarrely opaque) and “wasn’t as strong as I would’ve liked” (subjective) then of course you see it differently.

          But considering that they had the eternal catch-22 of animals doing human/non-animal things, there’s no way it could ever be entirely “convincing” or ‘realistic’. Because the problem is in the initial creative conceit! For me and many others they way the animators balanced anthropomorphic performance and dialogue with naturalistic secondary animation/zoomorphic performance was clever, considered and incredibly well executed.

          Horses for courses…

          • Like you said about my points, yours is subjective. And the Academy, like others, didn’t see it as a fully animated film. Wasn’t nominated, wasn’t considered, didn’t win, maybe next time with Beauty and the Beast if you want to see it have a shot.

    • Steve Lus

      Jason you’re right, Zootopia deserved it. Every thing was based on merit no sympathy votes.

    • KD

      Problem is that they win even when there are better films to choose from. But it’s basically been stated before by those that vote that they see the animated category as a joke. They don’t watch all the films, they choose whatever they saw with their kids that year, which statistically tends to be Disney or Pixar as they’re the big name brands.

      Coraline deserved to win best Animated picture over Up for instance. I’ll say it til my grave.

    • I do dearly love Kubo and it’s artistry is really unmatched, Zootopia was a stronger overall film.

      Laika’s storytelling could be better.

      I would MUCH prefer they get people in the theater over awards.

  • Xalfrea

    Always figured that would be the one over Moana. Aside from Zootopia IMO
    being stronger, it also has the benefit of being extremely topical.

  • Too Many Cooks

    There wasn’t any doubt in my mind that Zootopia would win. I knew that walking out of the theater. Unfortunately, PredictIt doesn’t let you bet on Best Animated Feature recipients.

  • Inkan1969

    Disney’s won for the third time. Pixar movies should not be counted as Disney movies.

    I still have not seen “My Life as a Zucchini”, but I will on March 11 and I’m eager to see it. The movie I currently consider 2016’s best, “April and the Extraordinary World”, was not nominated. Of the other four nominated movies, I really thought “Zootopia” was the best film for its embrace of its furry premise and its strong cast.

    • ReptilePatrol

      Agreed, WDAS and Pixar are separate studios and I think that warrants separate, more nuanced consideration. Although I think the article wants to make a point about the hegemony of the Walt Disney Co, lumping WDAS and Pixar together overlooks their differences, which is a bit ironic considering how that’s similar to what the Academy is doing — lumping all the animated features together as either for kids or just Disney schtick or something not worth their time, and just going by a Walt Disney Co film each time instead of considering the diversity that GKIDS, SPC, Laika, etc. bring to the table.

      The more troubling stat in my opinion is how 14/16 winners have been computer animated, while only 1 was traditionally animated and 1 stop-motion. So while the nominations committee may often choose great films like “My Life as a Zucchini” (my personal favorite of this year’s animated feature nominees), when the Academy at large selects the final winner they almost always lean towards a mainstream computer animated film — though not always one that’s made by Disney or Pixar (i.e. “Shrek,” “Happy Feet,” “Rango”).

    • AmidAmidi

      Their films are funded from the same financial well, the results must
      satisfy the same shareholders, and the vision of both studios is guided by the same
      president (Ed Catmull) and same chief creative officer (John Lasseter).
      They are distinct in name, but it is absolutely accurate to point out that a
      Walt Disney Company-produced animated feature has won the Oscar for 9
      out of the last 10 years.

    • Abdelrahman Said

      Artistically, Disney films and Pixar films are different of course. But saying thay 9 out of 10 animated features were Disney isn’t wrong and it’s not just making the same mistake as categorizing animated films as Disney films and others’.

      As a matter of fact, all of these 9 winners (even the Pixar ones) are either fully or partially ptoduced by Disney. And as Amid said, the heads of both studios are the same (Catmull and Lasseter). Even the posters of those Pixar films have Disney’s name before Pixar.

      Saying this doesn’t mean we are catgorizing all of them as one thing, or saying that they are similar movies. I personally prefer the Pixar films in these 9 winners and I believe that Wall.E and Up were of course deserved winners, maybe Toy Story 3 also.

      But the fact remains these films are produced by Disney which is the main producer of mainstream animated features which makes it enough for the Academy to give their films the award.

  • ea

    If Coco doesn’t get critical praise, maybe one foreign and/or adult-skewing animated movie will win next year (just don’t let Funimation get the rights to it).

  • Pedro Nakama

    And they played off the winners. It’s like the movie “Who framed Roger Rabbit.” Just second class citizens. That’s how the Academy treats us. I guess they needed more time to bash the President.

    • ea

      It’s a good thing for Moonlight that it wasn’t animated, or else it’d have REALLY gotten fucked at the Oscars.

  • TheLillypop

    Suicide Squad won an Oscar. But Kubo didnt. I really should stop taking the awards race seriously, especially the Oscars.

    • Nina

      Yeah, but Suicide Squad won for make-up, which really says nothing about the quality of the film itself, only that it looks cool. If anything, at least more people know about Kubo.
      I personally think that Zootopia‘s win was well-deserved. It was topical and original. Plus, these Oscars were clearly a BIG F-U to Trump, and the message of Zootopia really lent itself to that sentiment.

    • But the win for Suicide Squad had nothing to do with the overall film like Kubo was going for (Best Animated Feature).

      Suicide Squad won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling (against Star Trek and a film called A Man Called Ove) – so I don’t see how the comparison really works in the complaint. I can understand not liking that Kubo didn’t win – but the comparison, not so much.

    • Ben

      Just goes to show they really need more categories for animation and other less honored film types.

  • Priyadarshini Basu

    Awesome movie..try everything…

  • Bob

    This is the first year in a while I thought Disney deserved to win.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    Congratulations to Zootopia. It deserved to win the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

  • ThatGuy

    Zootopia was very good.

  • Dáibhí wotshissurname

    I wanted Kubo to win but I think this year’s winner was still a good choice. Fun Fact: Oscar judges don’t have to watch all nominated movies. Until the Oscars seriously get their act together it’ll be hard for me to take another Disney film winning seriously the next year.

  • Surely we can separate Disney from Pixar especially on an animation news site.

    I was hoping for Kubo but was satisfied with Zootopia.

    Being a big Futurama fan I’m glad Rich Moore is an Oscar winner.

    It definitely seems, however, that the academy has a bias towards American animation unless it’s championed by other filmmakers (Spirited Away).

    Hopefully next year (assuming there’s deserving films) some of the US animation heavy weights put some of that weight behind international films.

  • nickdunobruno

    I’m sure a lot of people reading this article also watch Star vs. The Forces of Evil, so I will say just this… “Sensei, why did you pick Jeremy instead of me?”.

  • Lematt

    I suggest creating “Live Feature” category at the Annie Awards and Annecy, and reward every year a Fast&Furious movie.

    • JodyMorgan

      I could live with that. Even in years there’s no F&F feature film.

  • Clara Z.

    Amen to that, but Frozen beating The Wind Rises was the definitely biggest crime of Oscar history.

    • rnenno

      I disagree. It was the Lego Movie not even getting a chance to compete.

      • J Kay

        damn right. I was blown away by how good the Lego Movie actually was, and it DIDNT EVEN GET TO COMPETE. I will forever be salty. People don’t even realise what they’re missing because they think it’s just be some 2hr long ad for kids toys and so they don’t even watch it, but it’s SO GOOD.

  • Crispy Walker

    Agreed! I wasn’t that upset last year because I did enjoy Inside Out and could see the merit there… but Big Hero 6 over the other two was inconceivable. I’m as big a Disney stan as anyone, but when I left the theatre after seeing BH6, even I knew it wasn’t one of their best animated films, much less the best of the year. If the people who vote actually bothered to watch any of the films, they’d probably have gone another way, but I guess that’s too much to ask for.

    • crossie

      Thank God, everyone here wants to get mad at Disney, but it takes multiple posts for anyone to even get to the one Disney film that was completely wrong.

      (‘Brave’ was a worse movie and winner than ‘Big Hero 6’, but it’s Pixar, and the movie it beat that most deserved it was Disney’s ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, so it isn’t as germaine to the conversation. Oh, I guess I keep forgetting people inexplicably liked ‘ParaNorman’, though.)

      Admittedly, until ‘Zootopia’, the non-Disney ‘Rango’ was hands down, far and away my pick for best Best Animated Feature Oscar winner of the decade (if not the category), and the other two actually Disney/Disney movies are pretty low on the list and (‘Frozen’ was a decent choice in an actually pretty crappy year; ‘Let It Go’, however, was a great, if obvious, Best Song choice), and I don’t much care for Pixar’s output either. But it still seems really silly to get angry Disney is winning the category that wouldn’t exist without them, especially for a movie that probably deserved to be competing in the Best Picture category.

      Which is the one thing I haven’t seen ‘Kubo’ partisans really say; ‘Zootopia’ had some BP buzz (obviously not enough), but ‘Kubo’ didn’t. That may be partially Disney bias as well, but it’s worth pointing out that the anti-animation bias in the Academy is still WAY bigger than the pro-Disney bias.

      I guess that’s where I get confused and a little angered by Cartoon Brew’s Oscar reactions to Disney; it’s not that you’re wrong that about the Disney bias in the animation category. Duh. It’s that you’re not saying anything about the anti-animation bias in the non-specifically-animation categories.

      I don’t see why you’re so angry Disney is winning Best Animated Feature when I’m angry that it isn’t winning Best Picture.

      • KD

        Good point. They’re going to run into that problem more and more with films like “Life of Pi” and the live action “Jungle Book”. Those movies are more than 90% animation but get thrown up in the live action slot because of a single actor. But I’m afraid that with the inherent bias against animation that if they tried to fuse the two categories an animated feature would never win best picture.

  • Lenin

    Honestly, it’s gotten to the point where the award should be just “Disney/Pixar” Award, because at this point it’s obvious that the Animation equivalent of Oscar bait is whatever fits the most to the Disney and Pixar formula.

    Kubo and Red Turtle were two of the best films of the year, once again amazing films snubbed because they were animated.
    Can’t their just be a “best childrens film” category for Disney/Pixar shit and “Best animated film” for actual proper artistic works of animation?

    • ea

      They could do what the Annies do and separate indie/foreign movies from the mainstream stuff. The Oscars already do that with the Foreign Language category.

      • Inkan1969

        People already complain about the BAF award being a reaffirmation of the idea that animated movies can’t compete against “real” movies for the Best Picture nomination. Making a new “independent animated feature” category would perpetuate that idea even further.

    • JodyMorgan

      Shall we consider this a prediction for Coco to win next year?

  • Elsi Pote

    I’m still wondering how Moana got to the Oscars in the precense of better suited options.

    One of those options in particular got downplayed by members/ex members of the house of mouse in social media. But that’s how kill your competitors work, I guess.

    However with Netflix and Amazon investing big $$$ in features, there is hope that we can have better animated options to the Disney hegemony in the years to come.

    • Inkan1969

      To be honest, “Moana” was the one movie of the five that I thought wasn’t good enough to merit a nomination.

  • Honest_Miss

    Aw, I’m happy for the Zootopia team; It’s clear that they put a lot of love and hard work into the visuals and the story. I was pulling for Kubo in my heart of hearts, but I can’t be too mad over the winner.

  • Exilov

    Congrats to Zootopia — actually fine with it winning despite my annoyance w. Disney/Pixar winning almost every, single year.

    That said, can we maybe award a non-Disney film next year? (assuming there’s better competition)

    • JodyMorgan

      There’s no pure-Disney Disney animated feature this year, and Disney/Pixar’s features are Cars 3 and Coco. It wouldn’t surprise me if next year not only sees a non-Disney film win, but has only the third Disney+Pixar-free slate of nominees in the short history of the award. (I’m not ready to bet that way yet, but I wouldn’t bet against it, either.)

  • elliot Lobell

    I knew my life as a zucchini wasn’t gonna win but it sure as hell deserves every award possible.

  • Gagaman

    Really trying to make that image of the two tigers some kind of meme aren’t we? :P

  • I am not bothered that Zootopia won. It was a very intelligent film with its direction and writing, not to mention it’s success at the box office.

    Yes, Disney won again, and there are times where I feel either Disney and/or Pixar won just based on their name and not their film (didn’t agree with Frozen or Brave winning, or Big Hero 6 – The LEGO Movie should’ve been nominated and won that year, and Wreck-It Ralph was way more deserving than Brave). Not this time though. I felt it was earned.

    As for Kubo, it would’ve been great to have seen Laika finally win and be recognized, as it was their best film since Coraline. And it was going against not just Disney, but a great film in itself with Zootopia. So while the frustration of Disney’s winning streak is valid, I can’t blame the fact that it was just Disney with this victory (Zootopia), it was a top notch film, and really was the best, if not one of the top 2 (with Kubo being the other one).

    • JodyMorgan

      Substitute Wreck-It Ralph for Brave, and we still have Disney with 9 out of the last 10 Animated Feature Oscars.

      • True – I’m still sayin’ Wreck-It Ralph was more deserving than Brave that year, if it had to be a Disney animation product.

  • KW

    I wholeheartedly disagree. Zootopia was a good movie but not great. It has a typical formulaic Disney story that I figured out at the beginning, and the art direction was a DeviantArt furry’s wet dream.

    • Inkan1969

      I don’t see that last statement as a negative.

      • KW

        I do, its juvenile and lacks artistic merit

    • howie eiwoh

      So, it’s not great because it’s formulaic? That’s not a valid claim against movie being Oscar-worthy. And it’s really not formulaic at all.

      • KW

        Its predictable, predictability makes it boring. Its an easy movie to guess the outcome of from the beginning. There’s a girl with dreams of the big city, she moves to the city, meets someone she doesnt like, they get stuck on a journey together, become friends, get in a fight, make up, save each other, save the day, the end. Not to mention a terrible song and dance ending

        It wasn’t imaginative enough.

  • J.S

    Zootopia really deserved the Oscar, althought i kind of wanted Kubo to win it.

  • ßαßγ J

    Boy, Big Hero 6 winning is still a big WTF moment for me. But then I remember many of the voters don’t even bother to watch all the films in the category :(

  • Capital_7

    Kubo was robbed, period.

  • Rioplats

    Having watched both movies, I’m rather disappointed that Kubo didn’t win. It was not only an artistic masterpiece, but it strived to tell a bold story which touched upon the topics no other animation would dare.
    As a Brit, the current affairs overtone of Zootopia hit less hard than if I were an American, and whilst an enjoyable movie, in the end it felt very formulaic and standard. There were no risks taken and nothing ventured.
    Oh well. Kubo signifies the last of Laika’s childhood movies, and hopefully the more mature adulthood themed animated features will be treated seriously.

    • TheLillypop

      I absolutely agree with you.

  • Chicken McPhee

    It’s never a fair game since they have the means and they scoop up talent like it’s skittles. But Zootopia was awesome as hell.

  • Marielle

    Speaking of Disney, did anyone else think it was weird that the short Inner Workings didn’t get a nomination? It was released in front of Moana and I thought it was good.

    • Inkan1969

      To tell the truth, I didn’t find “Inner Workings” all that good because of its weak retelling of an old story. No offence, but I was glad it did not get nominated.

      • Marielle

        Fair enough, I’m just surprised because all the previous Disney shorts have been nominated and no one talked about this one not getting in.

  • Os

    Kimi no Nawa Oscar!

  • crossie

    Well, I guess Disney haters can take comfort in knowing that, though ‘Zootopia’ made it three Disney Animation Studios produced in row to win the Best Animation Feature award, hey, ‘Moana’ broke the streak already!

    Way to go, ‘Moana’.

  • jawsnnn

    True. Princess Kaguya was probably the best animated feature length movie of this decade followed closely by a host of other non Oscar winning non Disney Pixar movies.

  • crossie

    Well, anyway, what I’m interested in is not “how do we win Best Animated Feature if we’re not Disney?” but “how do we win Best Picture for an animated feature?”

    I think that’s my problem with the “Disney is winning too much” line of thought; Best Animated Feature is nice and all, but I think it’s purpose, for both Disney or Disney’s competition, should be as a springboard to get into the Best Picture race. If you’re going to be in the Dolby Studio on Oscar night, you might as well try and get in as many categories as you can. The whole thing feels like squabbling for scraps; Disney is a big fish in small pond. There’s an ocean out there.

    Way I see it, there are one of two ways this goes down; the ‘Inside Out’ way or the ‘Anomalisa’ way. ‘Zootopia’ versus ‘Kubo’ isn’t a good example, because ‘Zootopia’ was both phenomenally lucky (nailed the zeitgeist!) and phenomenally unlucky (nailed the zeitgeist … in the year Disney also had two other decent movies to campaign!), while ‘Kubo’ made the mistake of competing directly against Disney, and I never really saw it get any actual Best Picture buzz at any point, anyway. So, last year’s ‘Inside Out’ versus ‘Anomalisa’ is the better example.

    Okay, for either method, you’re going to need a strong movie in a weak year; there’s a strong anti-animation bias in the Academy (no, really!), and you kinda need it to be the only legitimate choice. For instance, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was nominated in the year ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ one; strong movie in a weak year (so weak, a different bias was allowed to win; in this case, horror). ‘Frozen’ was pretty strong (though I wasn’t the biggest fan), but it went up against the freakin’ ’12 Years a Slave’ versus ‘Gravity’ grudgematch of the decade. ‘The Artist’ was weak, being a light comedy with a goofy gimmick, but so was ‘Rango’ (despite being one of my favorite Best Animated Feature winners).

    Now, the pro-Disney method, the ‘Inside Out’ method, is basically either Disney/Disney or Pixar/Disney does its thing (and maybe, for a short while, DreamWorks, but that ship has sailed), and hits one out of the park, and it’s a critical and commercial success, and critics and Oscar pundits are writing thinkpieces about how great it is, and (‘Wall-E’ actually did this), it needs to win one of the big three critics awards (LAFCA, NYFCA or NBR). Not their Best Animated Feature award; their Best Film award (note: NBR is the weakest, here, but it worked for ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’). In this case, the movie’s play is “it’s time”. Yes, it’s kind of annoying when the Oscars do one of those “due” awards … except when it works for you. In a weak year, even if the voters don’t really like any particular movie, they may go for the “historical” win. Hey, man, it’s animation’s turn. We’ve done horror movies and fantasy movies and … huh, still waiting on sci-fi, actually, but, anyway. It’s like Pokemon. They got catch’em all eventually. And you double down on the “due” with Disney or Pixar (sorry for not nominating ‘Snow White’/’The Lion King’/’Zootopia’ etc. or ‘Toy Story’/’Wall-E’/’Inside Out’ etc.) Maybe not the most satisfying way to win, but that’s the way the game is played.

    The anti-Disney way is what ‘Anomalisa’ almost did, but didn’t; in that case, Paramount bought the picture to run as their BEST PICTURE prospect. Not Best Animated Feature. BEST PICTURE. Unfortunately, ‘The Big Short’ ended up taking off, and they dropped ‘Anomalisa’ back off in the ghetto, so we don’t know what would have happened if they had actually gone full BP campaign. Maybe it would’ve ended up the same; maybe not. That was ‘Kubo’s first mistake; they never campaigned for Best Picture. Nobody ever talked about them as a Best Picture nominee. People did talk about ‘Zootopia’ that way. Second, they went up against Disney directly. You may not like to hear it, but ‘Kubo’ was totally another kid’s animated movie; yes, so was ‘Zootopia’. ‘Kubo’ competed directly with ‘Zootopia’, unlike ‘Anomalisa,’ which put itself in a different category. ‘Anomalisa’s play was partially the same as Disney, in that it was “due” time for animation; but it’s play was also that this WASN’T just another kid’s cartoon. ‘Anomalisa’ was an adult movie that told a story that could only be told via the medium of animation (it’s central premise of everyone with the same voice wouldn’t work in live action, or at least not as well). So, the play is “animation is due, but you’re also rewarding something new!” Which is both kind of contradictory and also probably not true, but, hey, ‘Kubo’s campaign was the slightly contradictory “Choose craft. Choose heart.” so whatever. It’s the emotional response that counts.

    I guess the third option is ‘The Lion King’ remake wins it because the Academy wants to reward Disney and animation … without actually rewarding animation, but then we all agree to pretend it’s animation-like-cartoon-animation not animation-like-special-effects-animation while they pretend vice versa, and we all just shrug and are like, “well, I guess that works?”

  • rivrav

    ugh, ugh! but why not red turtle! the animation was so beautiful

  • KD

    I haven’t seen Kaguya yet, but Song of the Sea was amazing, and pretty prime proof that the people who vote don’t watch the nominated movies.

  • Marie

    Hopefully this won’t be considered off-topic and many of you may know about this already but I found these “brutally honest” Oscar voter comments regarding animation eye-opening. It’s a little shocking to me that many film industry people just don’t like animation. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/topic/brutally-honest-oscar-voter-ballot

    • Inkan1969

      Amid did a post about that once. I didn’t know someone was doing this every year.

  • WaterBreath

    Bullshit. Zootopia was the most overrated animated movie since Frozen. And the fact that Makoto Shinkai’s “Your Name.” didn’t get nominated is proof of how ignorant the Oscars truly are.

  • ReptilePatrol

    That perception is probably accurate, as many Academy voters don’t even bother with the animation categories at all. However, that’s exactly what I’m saying — it feels as if they lump the WDAS/Pixar films together, then lump the art house/foreign/indie films together, and always choose one from the former group. It’s much easier to be dismissive of the art house/foreign/indie films when you lump them together instead of taking the time to appreciate their uniqueness, and much easier to enable the Walt Disney Co’s hegemony when WDAS/Pixar films are given equally preferential treatment. Monolithic thinking blinds people to the diversity amongst the nominees, and if Academy voters are to vote more seriously here, it would require more critical thinking on the unique merits of each nominee instead of simply defaulting to WDAS/Pixar/CGI. And if we don’t even differentiate WDAS and Pixar, why should we expect Academy voters to differentiate the nominees?

  • William Bradford

    Anomalisa was definitely the more experimental film, but at least Inside Out was an effort to be more experimental in terms of a Hollywood film. BIg Hero 6 was the nominee that year which DIDN’T deserve an Oscar; I would’ve been happy with Kaguya, Song OR Trolls winning that year.

  • rivrav

    I can kind of see that. But if it didn’t take that fantastical turn why animate it at all? It could have just been castaway but what made it unique (besides being a silent artsy well done animation) was that it took a fictional turn with uplifting whimsies in a rather deep dark grounded situation. Hope none of that comes out as argumentative, i just really liked it

    • Inkan1969

      Well, the stylized backgrounds already give a good reason for the movie to be an animated feature. And honestly I still don’t see a point for the supernatural turn. So I don’t find it uplifting at all.

      It’s a message board. It’s good to argue. :-)

  • Too Many Cooks

    I expect them to do that when their Best Picture category doesn’t honor family-friendly fare exclusively or even primarily.

  • Mairead Malesco

    This win was well deserved; not taking away how great the other films are. PS You say the Academy is biased; look whose been plastering those manipulative Kubo ads over their site. #HypocritesMuch?

    • AmidAmidi

      Nothing hypocritical, you just don’t understand how advertising works. Any studio can buy an ad on our site and many of the major companies do. Advertising does not and has never meant that we are endorsing a film.