The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which hands out the Oscars, posts incredible archival material on their YouTube page, including dozens of Oscar presentations for the animated short category. It’s fascinating to watch the evolution of the award through these clips.

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, producers accepted the award instead of the directors, so notorious dullards like Eddie Selzer and Fred Quimby accepted (and owned) Oscars in place of the actual film directors like Chuck Jones, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. Similarly, when Ward Kimball won for Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom, Walt Disney accepted for him, and to add insult to injury, Walt forgot which category he had won and thought he was accepting an award for one of his live-action documentaries. Thankfully, artists like Jones and Kimball eventually got their moment in the spotlight when they won their second Oscars.

In the long view of history, some of the videos now look bizarre, such as watching O.J. Simpson present the award for best animated short. Other videos provide context for subsequent events, like the evening that Polish filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczynski won the Oscar for Tango and was immediately arrested afterward. Most of the videos aren’t accompanied with such drama, but it’s still lots of fun to watch such a fantastic group of filmmakers from throughout animation history being recognized for their work.

1949: For Scent-imental Reasons by Chuck Jones
1951 The Two Mouseketeers by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera
1953: Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom by Ward Kimball
1961: Ersatz by Dušan Vukotić
1963: The Critic by Ernie Pintoff
1965: The Dot and the Line by Chuck Jones
1969: It’s Tough to Be a Bird by Ward Kimball
1972: A Christmas Carol by Richard Williams
1974: Closed Mondays by Will Vinton and Bob Gardiner
1975: Great by Bob Godfrey
1977: The Sand Castle by Co Hoedeman
1978: Special Delivery by Eunice Macaulay and John Weldon
1982: Tango by Zbigniew Rybczynski
1985: Anna and Bella by Borge Ring
1988: Tin Toy by John Lasseter
1995: A Close Shave by Nick Park
1996: Quest by Tyron Montgomery and Thomas Stellmach
2000: Father and Daughter by Michael Dudok de Wit
2001: For the Birds by Ralph Eggleston
2005: The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation by John Canemaker
2006: The Danish Poet by Torill Kove
2008: La Maison en Petits Cubes by Kunio Kato
2009: Logorama by François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy and Ludovic Houplain
2010: The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
2011: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by Bill Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
2012: Paperman by John Kahrs
2013: Mr. Hublot by Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares