Alright, it’s that time of year again! While slightly late with this preview, the Oscars are upon us and in keeping with a tradition on here, there has been an annual overview of the category every year since the blog’s inception- both as a way to gauge historical precedents and trends in animated films, but also to highlight some excellence in the previous year’s offerings, along with a prediction.
Since the first iteration of this piece in early 2017, I’ve repeated the same disclaimer/preamble , and nothing has changed the following words:
“Generally, I only care about results when it comes to award shows, much the same way as when I watch shows. I don’t follow the Oscars for their over-bloated pageantry, self-aggrandizing celebrities who pat each other on the back and give meaningless compliments to other influential people they know, or to watch people on the Internet have meltdowns over “x amount” of diversity or lack thereof. I’m just interested in the movies themselves, the people who put the work into said films, and the statistics behind it. So, here’s a list of the past 10 winners, with studios, to give a recent historical representation of this category (and note, the year is when the movies came out, not the award ceremony date, which is always the following year.)”:
So again, the past 10 years of winners in the category, including the past 3 which were all written about in previous iterations of this column:
2018: Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse (Sony Animation)
2017: Coco (Pixar)
2016: Zootopia (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
2015: Inside Out (Pixar)
2014: Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
2013: Frozen (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
2012: Brave (Pixar)
2011: Rango (Paramount Pictures)
2010: Toy Story 3 (Pixar)
2009: Up (Pixar)
As I’ve continued to do this list, what constitutes as “recent history” continues to shift. Up is the 10-year old winner on this now, which is stunning when it seems how fresh the memory of seeing it was, but more importantly, the 10-year trend will now reflect the 2010’s completely after this year’s show, which should give a better recent trends snapshot at what the Academy has liked over that timeframe.
Trends that have continued as a theme include the unlikelihood of a foreign film winning the category, and the likelihood a large Western animation studio will carry the day. Even discounting up, the 2010’s still produced 4 winners for Pixar, and there’s a good chance that Toy Story 4 could make it 5, as it’s my odds-on favorite for both historical and predictive reasons.
With all due respect to Klaus, I Lost My Body, and Missing Link, trends don’t favor their chances and it would be considered a shocking upset if they carried the category. Of course I believe they all merit serious consideration and an honest look- but with the rule change a few years back that allowed non-animation people to vote and pick the movies (and the winner), popular films tend to triumph here. It is my opinion that this year’s award is a Back to the Future-esque moment to 2010- where a Toy Story film faced How To Train Your Dragon. It is fitting then that the decade’s offerings would be capped with a rematch between the latest films in the franchise, and if history holds true, the same result might be expected.
Here’s to another good year of films to cap the 2010’s, and a sincere wish to continue excellence in the 2020’s!
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