Viewers were enthralled in 2017 when YouTuber #TheHollyHobs released a magical video entitled Disney’s Hannibal. The mashup features the song “Be Our Guest” and clips from the sinister NBC series, “Hannibal.”
However, that wasn’t the unlikely duo’s first dance. Way back in 1991, “Beauty and the Beast” became the first on a short list of animated movies nominated for Best Picture Oscar. It lost to “Silence of the Lambs.”
But, the Academy Awards or Oscars aren’t the only game in town. The Golden Globe Awards are also well-known and over the years have more animated movies nominated for Best Picture. Moreover, each award show created a unique category to award animated features each year.
Why Aren’t More Animated Movies Nominated for Best Picture?
The Academy Awards has been slow to warm to the idea of animated movies nominated for best picture. There are a few reasons for this. For one, the full-length animated blockbuster is a relatively new invention.
Also, the subject matter of animated movies tends to be less controversial. Lastly, more provocative films tend to receive Academy Award nominations for the Best Picture category. Experts confirm there is genre bias in the film awards industry. Accordingly, the following types of film are more likely to receive nominations.
- Serious dramas
- Inspirational themes
- Literary pretense
- Large-scale period productions with big budgets
Though, it seems that things are changing. These days, quirky indie films often get the Academy’s attention where studio pictures featuring big stars once got the nod. Still, there are several types of movies the Academy overlooks.
- Suspense thrillers and spy movies
- Family-oriented animation
- Superhero films
- Teen comedies
- Children’s films
Academy Awards: Animated Movies Nominated for Best Picture Are …
So you see, when there are animated movies nominated for Best Picture, it’s a huge deal. After the creation of the Best Animated Feature category in 2001, experts thought that “Beauty and the Beast” would remain the first and last of the animated movies nominated for Best Picture. However, two more films would capture that lightning in a bottle.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
In November of 1991, Disney released “Beauty and the Beast” to both critical acclaim and commercial success. Surprisingly, it was Disney’s 30th full-length animated feature. A retelling of a classic story, the movie got Disney’s full enchantingly splendid treatment.
Belle was a small town girl with big ideas; namely, an education. Her days were long and busy fulfilling her role as the dutiful daughter, happy bookworm, and avoiding the relentless romantic pursuit by the town meathead, Gaston.
Elsewhere, the once handsome (and arrogant) Prince Adam, lived out his days as a horrifyingly ugly and tyrannical Beast. A curse enchanted his castle, though, and time was running out Soon, the two would meet, and their lives would change forever.
A remarkable story, a musical score that soared and lilted on cue, and Disney’s pixel perfect animation transported us to another world. We were willingly emersed in the remarkable tale of an unlikely romance. It was the ideal escape from the doldrums of the early 1990s.
The cast was a mix of notable celebrities and lesser-known voice actors. Seventies heartthrob, Robbie Benson voiced the Beast, and Paige O’Hara was Belle. Finally, Angela Lansbury lent her voice to Mrs. Potts. Also, she sang the film’s iconic “Be Our Guest” theme song.
By October of the next year when award season rolled around, Disney made history. “Beauty and the Beast” got the nod for six Academy Awards. The honors included becoming the first of the animated movies nominated for Best Picture.
“Up” was the first of the animated movies nominated for Best Picture after animated feature films had their own category. The movie “Up” checked a few boxes for Academy voters.
First of all, it was an emotional and inspiring story that crossed traditional boundaries like age. Also, was the first full-length film using all computer animation nominated for an Academy Award.
“Up” followed the story of another unlikely duo, Carl and Russel. Carl Fredrickson was a lonely 78-year-old. He was tired of his mundane existence as a suburban retiree. As a boy, Carl dreamed of visiting Paradise Falls, a remote tropical rainforest.
Finally, Carl decides to begin his epic journey in the most unconventional way possible, by lifting his house with helium balloons. Only, there was only one problem. He had a stowaway, neighborhood Boy Scout, Russel.
The ensuing adventure carries the pair many miles. Along the way, they learn valuable lessons about life and one another. They meet interesting people, create a bit of chaos, and warm lots of hearts — including ours.
The cast included Ed Asner as Carl and newcomer Jordan Nagai as Russel. Other notable cast members include Christopher Plummer and John Ratzenberger. In 2010, the film got nominations for 5 Oscars, including Best Picture.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
In 2011, “Toy Story 3” got 5 Oscar nominations. In addition to Best Picture and Best Animated Feature, Pixar’s pride and joy also made Best Adapted Screenplay. The film scored an astonishing 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Critical support was just as favorable. It was the best-reviewed picture that year. Also, by award season it grossed $414 million in the U.S. with $1.062 billion globally.
It was perhaps the only film nominated that year for Best Picture in a Musical or Comedy which made the audience ugly cry. In this iteration, we meet a college-bound Andy.
We see that, though, toys age, they never grow up. The transition is painful to watch. The toys are unsure of what is next for them. As they struggle to find their way, they take matters into their own hands.
Comedy and tragedy ensue. Thankfully, the writers set things up for the next iteration. Although, who knew we would have to wait so darn long.
Almost as rare as animated movies getting the nod for Best Picture Oscars are sequels receiving nominations for Best Picture. However, “Toy Story 3” is both. The Toy Story franchise always includes a blockbuster cast of A-list celebrities. These include Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.
But, for the third installment, they pulled out all the stops. Other notable cast members included Ned Beatty as Lotso, Joan Cusack as Jessie, and Michael Keaton as Ken Doll.
Golden Globe Awards: Animated Movies Nominated for Best Picture Are …
The Golden Globe Awards have the rep of being Oscar’s kid sister. However, those in Holywood and the entertainment trade like to say that Christmas comes the day after Thanksgiving. Because, traditionally, that is when the Golden Globe Awards committee releases their nominees.
They are the first to usher in the award season. Therefore, their picks are a sign of what other award shows will do.
Historically, there are more animated movies nominated for Best Picture Golden Globe Awards than any other award in the industry. These movies include the following cartoon films.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
This film was the first of the animated movies nominated for Best Picture at the Golden Globe Awards. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” starred Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd. Unique for its time, it flawlessly fused animation with live action to create a new experience for movie-goers.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” was the first fully animated movie to receive a nod for Golden Globe’s top honor in 1990. The film featured an engaging storyline, scary villains, cute sidekicks, soaring musical score, and a happy ending. Notable cast members included Buddy Hacket as Scuttle and Samuel Wright as Sebastian.
Beauty and the Beast (1991) Winner
As discussed previously, Disney’s storytelling in “Beauty and the Beast” really resonated with audiences and critics. The Golden Globe committee was no exception. In 1992, it became the first of the animated movies nominated for best picture to win the award.
Disney’s “Aladdin” was the first major cartoon film to feature A-list celebrities. The cast included stars like Robin Williams as Genie. Williams voice and comedic talents brought the movie to life. Many fans believe that this is Disney’s funniest films to date.
It didn’t win the Golden Globe for Best Picture. Still, the Globes created a special award to recognize Robin Williams’ amazing contribution.
The Lion King (1994) Winner
Disney’s “The Lion King” was another blockbuster hit featuring an all-star cast. The musical score surpassed the storytelling. Music written by Elton John features a collaboration with Tim Rice.
Notable cast members included Matthew Broderick, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Guillaume, and many more. In 1995, the film won Best Picture.
Toy Story (1995)
As discussed earlier Pixar’s “Toy Story” franchise was popular since day one. We first met Tom Hank’s Woody and Tim Allen’s Buzz Lightyear in 1995. The supporting cast included Don Rickles and Wallace Shawn. In 1996, it got a nomination for Best Picture.
Toy Story 2 (1999) Winner
Only a few years after the original Toy Story got a Best Picture nod, its sequel, “Toy Story 2” came along and won it. The franchise added comedians Joan Cusack, Johnathon Harris, and Annie Potts to the cast.
Chicken Run (2000)
This British animated original, “Chicken Run,” was Aardman Animation’s first full-length feature. Mel Gibson and Miranda Richardsons lent their voices to the film which garnered the Best Picture nomination.
In 2002, the Golden Globes gave Best Picture nomination to a diverse group of films. Moulin Rouge won. But, Disney’s “Shrek” gave it plenty of competition. Shrek’s all-star cast included Mike Meyers as our favorite ogre, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, and John Lithgow.
Finding Nemo (2003)
Who doesn’t love this movie? Disney and Pixar combined forces to bring us the sweet animated adventure movie, “Finding Nemo.” The cast included familiar voices of Ellen DeGeneres and Brad Garrett.
The Incredibles (2004)
The last of the animated movies nominated for Best Picture by the Golden Globe Awards was “The Incredibles” in 2005. Also, this film represents the last collaboration between Disney and Pixar before the studios combined. The film stars Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter.
It’s a Wrap
Animation studios like Disney and Pixar know what it takes to bridge the gap between commercial success and critical acclaim. However, getting award committees to take notice is another matter altogether. Still, there have been quite a few movies to do so.
Which of the future animated movies nominated for Best Picture will win the Oscar? We don’t know. But, Toy Story 4, we’re looking at you!