Encanto Encanto

The 79th Golden Globes were held last night without fanfare, celebs, or a red carpet. Left without a broadcaster after a string of controversies, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association quietly announced the winners on Twitter.

Encanto was named best animated feature. It is the first film from Walt Disney Animation Studios to win at the Globes since Zootopia five years ago. It beat WDAS’s Raya and the Last Dragon, Pixar’s Luca, indie documentary Flee, and indie drama My Sunny Maad.

In recent years, the Globes have been slightly more willing than the Oscars to look beyond Disney in this category. But this time, as the only U.S. studio in the running — with three nominations — it stood a very strong chance. Flee, a critical darling with many accolades to its name, was seen as a possible winner; in the run-up to the awards, some bookmakers had it as the favorite. But history suggested otherwise: this award has never gone to a non-U.S. production.

Directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard, Encanto is a magical-realist tale set in a version of Colombia. The film was less fortunate with its other nominations, losing for both best score and best song.

The ceremony was held at L.A.’s Beverly Hilton in a stripped-back form. The HFPA is striving to recover from heavy criticism of its dodgy practices and lack of diversity, which mounted around the time of last year’s ceremony. After Pixar’s Soul was named best animated feature last year, it emerged that co-director Kemp Powers, who is Black, was only made a nominee hours before the ceremony, in an apparent attempt at damage control.

This year, winners were not in attendance. Few even acknowledged their awards on social media; Encanto’s official accounts were among those that did.