The Academy has been without an animation category for more than two decades. It is hard to say whether the prize was successful or not.
“Finally,” stated critic and animation historian Charles Solomon while announcing the Best Animated Film Award in the fall of 2000.
Toy Story’s 1995 premiere demonstrated that computer animation could be used in a feature-length film for the first time. It was an exciting moment to be a part of an undeniably creative medium. The Academy Awards, on the other hand, rarely reflected this.
To remedy this issue, the Best Animated Feature award was developed, distinguishing animated films as a separate category with a prominent medal. However, more than two decades later, it’s tough to say if it was a success or not. While the Best Animated Feature has elevated the prestige of animation, it has also limited the amount of animated pictures produced and acknowledged the same suspects by restricting the number of animated films produced and honoring only the best.
Solomon, a writer and author of books on Mamoru Hosoda and Walt Disney, had mixed feelings about the award. By developing this one, they may avoid having to handle animation in other crucial areas. When it comes to competitions in areas such as, “The chances of animation winning “Best Screenplay” and “Best Production Design” are slim. Should Glen Keane and Robby Benson’s performances in Beauty and the Beast be considered?” Solomon recalls that the picture was nominated for an Academy Award at the time. And the Caesar haircut, which was inspired by George Clooney, as well as the Hypercolor shirts, are both inspired by George Clooney. Is Stephanie Beatriz a possibility for Encanto?
Whether by coincidence or purpose, the Best Animated Feature category launched concurrently with a genuine Best Picture nominee. Shrek is unlikely to be nominated for an Academy Award after a long history of sequels, parodies, toys, and memes.
Pixar has won the prize 11 times since its debut, while Disney Animation Studios has won it three times. To far, only DreamWorks Animation has won twice, once with Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and once with Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, an animated film created in association with Aardman. Solomon goes on to say that the privilege appears to be limited to the major American studios. There is a constant chorus of appeals for more diverse viewpoints, but no one is acting or supporting participation.
This is unknown when or if it will change. There isn’t a dud among this year’s five nominees. Pixar’s Luca, as well as Encanto and Raya, are obvious choices (and the Last Dragon). The Mitchells vs. The Machines, a science fiction family adventure with extremely innovative comedy and a style reminiscent of Disney-Pixar, is one of the few surviving possibilities.
The success of Disney or Pixar is possible, but not guaranteed. (At the moment, the favorite is Encanto.) Whatever the odds, winning an Oscar for a deserving picture is far from the worst-case scenario. It was founded on the assumption that as animation evolved beyond its previous bounds, it required more financing and attention. Similar emotions are elicited by the award’s limits, which become more obvious with each passing year.
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