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‘Bear Story’ and ‘Ex Machina’ Makes Animation History at the Oscars

It was a night of firsts at the Oscars, at least in the animated shorts category.

Gabriel Osorio’s CG film Bear Story won the award for best animated short. The film claims a number of firsts, including the first-ever win for a Chilean film at the Academy Awards, as well as the first time a film from Latin America has won the animated short category.

Bear Story’s tale of a bear separated from his wife and son is a political allegory about the way that families were torn apart under Chile’s notorious dictator Augusto Pinochet. Osorio acknowledged the film’s subtext during his acceptance speech when he dedicated the film to his grandfather and “all the people like him who had suffered in exile. We really hope that this must never happen again.”

Ex Machina won the Academy Award for visual effects. The award was shared by Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington, and Sara Bennett. Bennettt is a co-founder of Milk VFX, which provided the film’s vfx along with Double Negative, Utopia, and Web FX. She is only the third woman ever nominated in the category, and the second woman to win the Oscar for visual effects in the 86-year-history of the category, which was earlier labelled the special effects category. (Note: This article has been updated. It incorrectly stated she was the first woman, but that honor belongs to Suzanne Benson who won in 1987 for Aliens.)

The last woman who was nominated in the visual effects category was Pamela Easley for her work on the 1993 movie Cliffhanger.

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The award for animated feature was won by Pixar for Pete Docter’s Inside Out. It marks the eighth time in nine years that a Walt Disney Company film has won the animated feature Academy Award.

Congratulations to all the winners!

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