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Best Animated Feature

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InsideOut 013

Inside Out, winner 2015.

The Best Animated Feature Oscar is an Academy Award of Merit presented to the best overall motion picture of the year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The Best Animated Feature category was officially included as an annual award for the first time for the 2001 film year (with the first winner being Shrek). Animated films can be nominated for other categories but have rarely been so: Beauty and the Beast (1991), Up (2009) and Toy Story 3 (2010) are the only animated films ever to be nominated for Best Picture, while Waltz with Bashir (2008) is the only animated picture ever nominated for Best Foreign Language Film (though it failed to earn a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category).

Eligibility and rules

Until 2011, the award category had to be activated by the Awards Board each year, whereas now it is a standard category. The award is given only if there are at least eight animated feature films (with a theatrical release in Los Angeles). For the purposes of the award, only films over 40 minutes long are considered to be feature films. If there are 16 or more films submitted for the category, the winner is voted from a shortlist of five films (which has thus far happened only in 2002 and 2009, and will happen again in the upcoming 2011 ceremony), otherwise there will only be three films on the shortlist.

Winners and nominees

Computer-animated films have been the big winners in this category, with eight wins in the ten-year history of the award. The only exceptions were in 2002 and 2005, with winners Spirited Away, a traditionally animated anime film, and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, a stop-motion animation film. Both non-CG films were also not produced in the United States; Spirited Away came from Japan (it is also the only film not in the English language to win the award) and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit came from Britain.

Pixar Animation Studios has been the most successful organization in the history of Best Animated Feature. All eight feature films made by Pixar between 2001 and 2010 were nominated for the award and only two lost (Monsters Inc. lost to Shrek, and Cars lost to Happy Feet); Pixar's 2011 film, Cars 2 was the first to receive no nomination in the category.

Best Animated Feature By Decade

2000s2010s

2000s

74th Academy Awards (2001)

Winner
ShrekAron Warner
Nominees
Jimmy Neutron: Boy GeniusSteve Oedekerk, John A. Davis
Monsters, Inc.Peter Docter, John Lasseter

75th Academy Awards (2002)

Winner
Spirited AwayHayao Miyazaki
Nominees
Ice AgeChris Wedge
Lilo & StitchChris Sanders
Spirit: Stallion of the CimarronJeffrey Katzenberg
Treasure PlanetRon Clements

76th Academy Awards (2003)

Winner
Finding NemoAndrew Stanton
Nominees
Brother BearAaron Blaise, Robert Walker
The Triplets of BellevilleSylvain Chomet

77th Academy Awards (2004)

Winner
The IncrediblesBrad Bird
Nominees
Shark TaleBill Damaschke
Shrek 2Andrew Adamson

78th Academy Awards (2005)

Winner
Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-RabbitNick Park, Steve Box
Nominees
Howl's Moving CastleHayao Miyazaki
Tim Burton's Corpse BrideMike Johnson, Tim Burton

79th Academy Awards (2006)

Winner
Happy FeetGeorge Miller
Nominees
CarsJohn Lasseter
Monster HouseGil Kenan

80th Academy Awards (2007)

Winner
RatatouilleBrad Bird
Nominees
PersepolisMarjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud
Surf's UpAsh Brannon, Chris Buck

81st Academy Awards (2008)

Winner
WALL-EAndrew Stanton
Nominees
BoltChris Williams, Byron Howard
Kung Fu PandaJohn Stevenson, Mark Osborne

82nd Academy Awards (2009)

Winner
UpPete Docter
Nominees
CoralineHenry Selick
Fantastic Mr. FoxWes Anderson
The Princess and the FrogJohn Musker, Ron Clements
The Secret of KellsTomm Moore

2010s

83rd Academy Awards (2010)

Winner
Toy Story 3Lee Unkrich
Nominees
How to Train Your DragonChris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
The IllusionistSylvain Chomet

84th Academy Awards (2011)

Winner
RangoGore Verbinski
Nominees
A Cat in ParisAlain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli
Chico & RitaFernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal
Kung Fu Panda 2Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Puss in BootsChris Miller

85th Academy Awards (2012)

Winner
BraveMark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Nominees
FrankenweenieTim Burton
ParaNormanSam Fell, Chris Butler
The Pirates! Band of MisfitsPeter Lord
Wreck-It-RalphRich Moore

86th Academy Awards (2013)

Winner
FrozenChris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho
Nominees
The CroodsChris Sanders, Kirk De Micco, Kristine Belson
Despicable Me 2Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri
Ernest & CelestineBenjamin Renner, Didier Brunner
The Wind RisesHayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki

87th Academy Awards (2014)

Winner
Big Hero 6Don Hall, Chris Williams, Roy Conli
Nominees
The BoxtrollsAnthony Stacchi, Graham Annable, Travis Knight
How to Train Your Dragon 2Dean DeBlois, Bonnie Arnold
Song of the SeaTomm Moore, Paul Young
The Tale of the Princess KaguyaIsao Takahata, Yoshiaki Nishimura

88th Academy Awards (2015)

Winner
Inside OutPete Docter, Jonas Rivera
Nominees
AnomalisaCharlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson, Rosa Tran
Boy & the WorldAlê Abreu
Shaun the Sheep MovieMark Burton, Richard Starzak
When Marnie Was ThereHiromasa Yonebayashi, Yoshiaki Nishimura

Special Awards

Prior to the creation of the Best Animated Feature category in 2001, the Academy granted three special awards for achievements relating to feature-length animated films. In each case, the film that prompted the special recognition was either produced in part or distributed by the Walt Disney Company or one of its subsidiaries. The awards were as follows:

11th Academy Awards, 1938
Special Award "To Walt Disney for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, recognized as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon."
61st Academy Awards, 1988
Special Achievement Award "To Richard Williams for the animation direction of Who Framed Roger Rabbit."
68th Academy Awards, 1995
Special Achievement Award "To John Lasseter, for his inspired leadership of the Pixar Toy Story team, resulting in the first feature-length computer-animated film."

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