The Academy Award
for Best Animated Feature was first given out at the 74th Oscar ceremony in 2002. Originally a category that would be voted upon by Academy members for nominations every year, the award was named a permanent category staring in 2012. For a film to qualify for a nomination, the film has to be at least 75% animated and more than 40 minutes in length.
This category has provided several controversies since its inception:
- The most blatant of them all is that the AMPAS created the category in order to prevent animated films from being nominated for the Best Picture award and making this a Consolation Prize for them, thus keeping the Animation Age Ghetto alive, despite their claims that it can encourage filmmakers to create more animated films. This came to a head in 2009, when WALL•E was snubbed for Best Picture despite being one of the best-acclaimed films of 2008. Nevertheless, the Academy states that animated films can be nominated in both categories, which happened in 2009 and 2010 with Up and Toy Story 3 respectively.
- In 2010, a new rule was enacted about the eligibility of films that use motion-capture technology, which was probably created to keep live-action films that relied heavily on mo-cap ("cheating" if you'd like to call it) such as Avatar from being nominated.
- The award was initially an optional category that was voted upon every year by Academy members. It wasn't until 2012 when it became a permanent category.
And here is some additional trivia about the winners...
- Pixar currently holds the record for the most wins in the category, with seven in total.
- To date, Spirited Away is the only Anime film and the only hand-drawn film to win the award.
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is so far the only stop-motion film to win the award.
- As noted above, two of the winners were also nominated for the Best Picture prize.
Winners and nominees