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Should you rethink the Oscar for Best Animated Feature?

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Twenty years ago, it was awarded the first-ever Oscar for Best Animated Feature, which has been added to the award for Best Animated Short Film, awarded since the 1930s. It was the first new award after the creation of the Best Makeup Award in 1982, and it was introduced because animated films were seen and appreciated more and more. Even back then, there were these critic The choice was made for fear of isolating animated films and preventing the best of them from winning other awards, including the Best Film award.

It’s cash still PresentAs many still think so, their arguments are helped by what they’ve seen in the past 20 years and parallel suspicions that the award for Best Picture has in the meantime become very commercial and American. In short: The Oscar for Best Animated Feature is twenty years old, and it’s time for an evaluation, which for many isn’t a positive thing.

The decision to create an Oscar for animated films was made in 2000, at the end of a decade marked by the so-called “Disney RenaissanceAnd in the years when Disney’s dominance was nearly unchallenged, Pixar (which was only acquired by Disney in 2006), DreamWorks and, to a lesser extent, started foreign production houses like Aardman Animations and Studio Ghibli. There was also great confidence—and in hindsight. Exactly – what computers can do in this industry.

It must be said that the Academy Awards were not entirely indifferent to what was happening: as had already happened in 1938 to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfsalso in 1988 and 1995, the Academy – the association that awards the Academy Awards – awarded special prizes to Roger Rabbit And the Toy story. And indeed in 1991 Beauty and the beast It was the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and later won it Silence of the Lambs.

An increase in competition and production, combined with intense lobbying by interested parties, eventually led to the creation of a special Oscar for animation. elementary rules, then change Over the years, they have predicted that there will be three or five nominated films depending on the total number of films that can be nominated, and that only those in the industry will choose which animated films will be nominated. In 2002, the three candidates were Jimmy Neutron – Wonder Boy, Monsters & Company And the a partner. The latter won, having come close, it is said, to the nomination for Best Picture.

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They won the following years in order: enchanted cityAnd the Finding NemoAnd the the incredibles, Wallace and Gromit – Curse of the Rabbit WareAnd the happy feetAnd the ratatouilleAnd the wallAnd the above, Toy Story 3 – The Great Escape, R was found.toNon-governmental organizations Rebel – brave, Ice kingdom froze, Big Hero 6 And the inside outside. Over the past five years, the award has gone to zootropolis, Coco Spider-Man – New WorldAnd the Toy Story 4 And the Soul. On 11 occasions, Pixar has won, and on five of the remaining nine, the award has gone to a Disney movie or one Dreamworks movie.

Of all these films, only two were also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (it was simultaneously expanded to more than five nominees): above And the toy story 3, In 2010 and 2011. This is a rarity inside outside He was nominated along with non-animated films for his screenplay, and since then the main criticisms have been for his nomination failing wallwhich was released in 2008 and which was a favourite ratatouille (winner, turn from Pixar), Persepolis And the Surf’s Up – The kings of the waves.

Although among the award-winning animated films of the past 20 years, many have already entered the history of modern cinema, not one of them managed to break the cover of the animation at the Oscars. It’s also clear that, albeit with a few exceptions, this year’s most-watched and most popular animated film is almost always the winner. Only more specialized films, possibly produced outside the United States by fairly small independent studios, appeared among the nominees. It is possible that since over the course of two years, all members of the Academy and not just the animation professionals chose the films to be nominated, the award in the future will tend to favor more blockbusters.

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This perspective has convinced more and more critics and insiders that the Best Animated Film award performance needs to change. Their hope is that instead of such canonical and predictable nominations, something similar to what regularly occurs in the Best Animated Shorts category, which is often populated, and sometimes even won, by smaller, more independent and original projects.

While the decision to support the growth in the importance of animated films has paid off, according to many experts, there is still much that needs to be done to ensure that animated films are considered cinema in all respects. It is similar in some ways to what others do for documentaries, which are also often relegated to a category of their own that they rarely leave. However, in recent years, international films – understood as not being in English – have finally managed to appear more often in other categories, including Best Film.

One possibility that someone mentioned to make the Oscars for Best Animated Film less “commercial” is to return, As it was a few years ago, to allow professionals to choose only films to be nominated. This would make judgments more efficient and informed, and be limited to those who follow animated films in action. But it is also true that the problem seemed to exist even before the rule change, and at the same time even after all members of the Academy had voted, there were unannounced nominations, for example – in 2021 – for the film. Wolfwalkers – wolf people.

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On the other hand, there is not much that needs to be done objectively to favor the inclusion of animated films among those selected as Best Picture nominees. It is simply something that happens or does not happen (as with an international film), depending on the preferences of thousands of Academy members, and in fact it can be assumed that it is easier to happen specifically for commercial and commercial animated films. , as is generally the case with Disney and Pixar (and as it was then Beauty and the beast).

– Read also: How to make an animated movie

The nominees for this year’s Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature are: incanto (Favorite from Disney), Luca (from Pixar), Mitchell vs Machines (from Netflix), Raya and the last dragon (Another Disney movie) Finally run awayabout the story of an Afghan refugee fleeing to Europe, which was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and represented Denmark for Best International Film.

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