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5 Animation Oscar Facts You Didn’t Know

by | Feb 19, 2015

Walt Disney Oscars

The 87th Oscars Ceremony is this Sunday! So in honor of this annual event, we did some digging on little known animation facts about the Oscars!

Mind = blown.

-The Animation Mentor Crew


    Walt Disney Snow White Oscars

  1. Walt Disney still holds the record for winning the most Academy Awards.
  2. Walt Disney won a total of 32 Oscars including special and technical awards. He also holds the record for most nominations at a whopping 59 nominations.

    Walt Disney won his first Oscar at the 5th Academy Awards for Best Short Subject (Cartoon) in 1932 for his Silly Symphonies, Flowers and Trees, and an additional Oscar for his creation of Mickey Mouse. His most memorable Oscar was a Special Achievement Award for the first feature length animation film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He won for his technical innovation of the multi-plane camera technique, 6-7 animation cels are layered on top of each other so the background and foreground are in proportion to each other when the camera changes. The Academy honored him with a unique standard Oscar statuette with 7 miniature Oscar statuettes in tow.

    Sources: Wikipedia Walt Disney Family Museum

    Watch this beautiful 2D rough sketch sequence by the legendary Glen Keane of the Beast’s transformation. (Goosebumps!)

  3. Beauty and the Beast was the first Animated Feature Film nominated for Best Picture.
  4. The category for Best Animation Feature Film did not exist until 2001. So to have an animation film as the Best Feature Film at the 1992 Oscars was an anomaly and a testament that an animation film can be considered a prestigious film. Alas, Beauty and the Beast lost to Silence of the Lambs that year.

    Little known fact:

    Due to time constraints, the famous dance sequence with Belle and the Beast was similar to the dance sequence with Princess Aurora and Prince Philip from Sleeping Beauty.

    Source: IMDB

    Pete Docter’s Oscar win for Up and a nice montage of all the feature animated films nominated at the 2010 Oscars

  5. Pixar dominates with 7 Feature Animation Oscar wins in 14 years.
  6. The Best Animation Feature Film category started in 2001 due to the influx of 3D Animation films exploding into the mainstream film industry. Pixar Animation Studios won in almost every year they released a film with the exception of 2 years where they lost to DreamWorks’ Shrek in 2001 and Animal Logic’s Happy Feet in 2006.

    Up and Toy Story 3 were also included in Best Picture category when the Academy upped the nominee count from 5 to 10 films.

    2001: Monsters Inc. – Lost to Shrek
    2003: Finding Nemo – Won
    2004: The Incredibles – Won
    2006: Cars – Lost to Happy Feet
    2007: Ratatouille – Won
    2008: Wall-E – Won
    2009: Up – Won
    2010: Toy Story 3 – Won
    2012: Brave – Won


    Source: Wikipedia

    Toy Story Rex

  7. Toy Story is the only animated film to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Um … and Joss Whedon rewrote it.
  8. Toy Story is the first feature length 3D computer animation film. Nobody had ever seen anything like it in 1995. Inspiring future 3D animators all around the world, written by Joss Whedon (what?!), Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow, John Lasseter, Pete Docter and Joe Ranft were nominated at the 1996 Oscars for a little story about a boy and his toys, Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Joss Whedon spent 4 months with Pixar rewriting the script and among his contributions were the creation of the lovable dinosaur, Rex, and the mutant toys. They lost to the Usual Suspects but history was already made.

    Little known fact:
    Billy Crystal was originally asked to voice Buzz Lightyear but declined the iconic role. After seeing the finished feature film, he regretted his decision. When John Lasseter called him for the role of Mike Wazowski, he immediately said, “Yes.”

    Sources: IMDB IndieWire

    Watch this vintage behind the scenes special effects video of The Empire Strikes Back. Look for Dennis Muren and Phil Tippett talk about the stop-motion animation process with the Tauntauns at the 5 minute mark.

  9. Dennis Muren is the only man alive who has the most Academy Awards.
  10. Dennis Muren, THE visual effects guru still holds the record for most Oscar wins for a person who is still living. He won 7 Visual Effects Oscars and 2 Special /Technical Achievement Awards throughout his career. Notably known for his work for at Industrial Light & Magic for the early Star Wars trilogy, Terminator: Judgement Day, and Jurassic Park, he helped usher in the new world of CGI for film visual effects. Without his contributions in this industry, every blockbuster film you see today would not exist.

    1981: Special Achievement Award
    Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    Shared with: Brian Johnson, Richard Edlund, Bruce Nicholson

    1982: Technical Achievement Award
    For the development of a Motion Picture Figure Mover for animation photography
    Shared with: Stuart Ziff

    1983: Best Effects, Visual Effects
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    Shared with: Carlo Rambaldi, Kenneth Smith

    1984: Special Achievement Award
    Star Wars Episode V: Return of the Jedi
    Shared with: Richard Edlund, Ken Ralston, Phil Tippett

    1985: Best Effects, Visual Effects
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
    Shared with: Michael J. McAlister, Lorne Peterson, George Gibbs

    1988: Best Effects, Visual Effects
    Shared with: Bill George , Harley Jessup, Kenneth Smith

    1990: Best Effects, Visual Effects
    The Abyss
    Shared with: Hoyt Yeatman, John Bruno, Dennis Skotak

    1992: Best Effects, Visual Effects
    Terminator 2: Judgement Day
    Shared with: Stan Winston, Gene Warren Jr., Robert Skotak

    1994: Best Effects, Visual Effects
    Jurassic Park
    Shared with: Stan Winston, Phil Tippett, Michael Lantieri

    All bow down to Dennis.

    Sources: Wikipedia IMDB


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