2001: Shrek vs Monsters Inc.
This is a so/so in my opinion. These were the first two computer animated films that got me interested in computer animation. I really liked both movies, and I thought either one would have been a great win. But I think the reason Shrek got the award was because it gave something new to the audience; a fractured fairy tale with pop culture jokes for adults and fun for the kids. Monsters Inc. was great for the family too, but I don't recall any adult-like jokes in there or anything new, at least from an adult's perspective. Heck, I was only 9 years old-I never would have known which was new or hasn't been seen before. If I was in charge, it would have been a tie.
2002: Spirited Away vs Ice Age
Since a lot of Studio Ghbili films seem under the banner, this is one I decided to include. I gave Spirited Away a try, but it was a little too long for me. Since I was only 10 years old, my view was that Spirited Away was more for adults. I mean, don't take this the wrong way-I can understand why this film won the Award from the perspective people who love visual beauty and adult stories, it just wasn't for me. Not awful, just not my thing. I liked Ice Age more because it was funny, had a story and adventure I could follow, and it was something I was more used to. Ice Age would have been my choice.
2003: Finding Nemo
This is one of those rare wins I had absolutely no problems with. Finding Nemo was the only animated film getting any attention that year, and I knew that no other animated film would've stood a chance. Finding Nemo was wonderful! It had a great story involving a father's love for his son, family-friendly animation for kids, and lots of great art involving the ocean, details, friendly or unfriendly side characters, I just don't know what else to say.
2004: Shrek 2 vs The Incredibles
This is another so/so. Even though my favorite animated film of 2004 was The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, these two were good nominees. I believe the reason why The Incredibles won was because we rarely see an animated film about a family or of superheroes-and The Incredibles combines both. I love how the story is about a family who doesn't get along, but having to be superheroes becomes the thing that brings them emotionally together. That in my opinion, is a groundbreaker! I, like most people liked Shrek 2 too, but there have been a lot of comedy shows involving a couple needing to work out their issues. But hey, Shrek 2 did excellent job with jokes-looking like a medieval version of Hollywood, limousine like wagons, a fairy tale red carpet show, Burger Prince, I could go on. Honestly, I think either one of these two movies would have been a great choice. No problems here.
This is another Academy award win that I had no problems with. I love rats, and Ratatouille played them wonderfully. We see how rats feel about trying to get killed by humans, especially in a food-service environment, the last place anyone would want a "disease infected creature" (poor Remy). I think the reason why this film won the award is because it shows that anyone can have talent, even the last ones you'd think. And I'm positive that might have spoken to the academy. I think the same would apply to people with disabilities; being scorned by judgmental people, but bravely showing their own talents no matter what happens. I know because I am one of them. I would've liked it if The Simpsons Movie my other favorite 2007 animated movie was nominated, but still-I am glad Ratatouille was the winner.
2008: WALL-E vs Kung Fu Panda
For those of you who are WALL-E fans, you're probably going to disagree with me on this one. I preferred Kung Fu Panda won instead of WALL-E. I know, I know, everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but still. I never thought there was anything terrible about WALL-E, but the story was just really hard for me to follow. WALL-E and Eva's relationship was...uh, cute, but the fact that the robots didn't speak the classic dialogue that I was used to made me kept wondering what they were saying. It's sort of like those literature books where you have to figure out what's going on for yourself, without any direct sayings. The story about saving the environment was well done from most people's views, I guess. WALL-E was cute and not horrible, it was just a little boring for me. Kung Fu Panda on the other hand, is one of my favorite animated films of all time, let alone my favorite computer animated film in general. I LOVE animals and Chinese cultures, so this movie combined what I love. There was no Chinese sexism (an issue I really hate), and it had that "believe in yourself" story that I was more used to. And I loved it so much. But this is just me.
2009: Up vs The Princess and the Frog
This is a win where I am not greatly fond of, but I can somewhat understand. The Princess and the Frog made me its classic roots that I wasn't able to get into with Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, or Aladdin when I was a little kid. Since I had conquered my fears of the forementioned and Disney hadn't made any cutesy animal movies I liked, I felt like I was in a new Disney beginning; a fairy tale, an alligator comic relief, broadway musical numbers, and a great Disney villain, OMG. But apparently, most others thought the story was a little too complicated. They thought Up had a better story. Well, I suppose they do have a point since Up is a movie about moving on after the loss of a loved one. My criticisms were more centered on the main character Carl, weak dialogue, and the obvious relationship between Carl and Russel. I did not hate it terribly, I just didn't find it THAT well done. Besides, I have enough problems with my stubborn grandpa. But hey, people saw things differently, gave the award to Up, and even gave it a shot at a Best Picture award for some reason. Oh well.
2010: How To Train Your Dragon vs Toy Story 3
This is yet another so/so win. I didn't have strong preference as to which one of these two would win, but I knew Toy Story 3 was definetly going to win this one. It was the animated film that got the most attention in 2010; build-up, anticipation, promotions, toys, universal critical acclaim, and of course made a GIANT profit in the summer of 2010 (the biggest profit at the time). It had the classic Toy Story characters which caught the kids' attention, and the "families stay together message" that attracts the adults. No other animated film would have stood a chance against our third story of toys. How To Train Your Dragon did have some incredible works too, like with Toothless's flying, epicness, and all that stuff. But I gotta tell you, I thought it felt a little awkward and uncomfortable, mostly when Hiccup was jeered at in the beginning. But if it won, I wouldn't have minded too much. I don't know why Despicable Me and Tangled weren't nominated, but even if they were, they wouldn't have been a match for Toy Story 3. Any win would have been fine.
2012: Brave vs Wreck-It-Ralph
This is the win that I have disagreed with the absolute most. Wreck-It-Ralph had given us a wonderful story, and great jokes that the Toy Story films and Roger Rabbit gave to people. I was absolutely sure Wreck-It-Ralph was going to win! <Sigh> But instead, what other film got the award? Brave! Well, I admit I didn't hate Brave, but its story was not very epic. The ideas of changing someone into a bear and back to normal within a limited time seemed more like a story from a TV show. And the whole "change your fate" thing made no sense to me. Wreck-It-Ralph's story was about helping an even less fortunate child get a better life. That was the kind of story that has real emotion! I noticed on the Internet that a lot of people weren't happy about it anymore than I was. I'm sure Brave's fans were pleased, but I still preferred Wreck-It-Ralph won. I'm glad I'm not the only one.
Now THIS is more like it. I have not phenomenally agreed with an Academy Award win for years, and I can't tell you so happy I was when Frozen won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. I didn't trust the Academy Awards after Wreck-It-Ralph got robbed the year before, so Frozen's win more than made up for it (well, for me at least). I, like most people thought Frozen was the best animated film of 2013. It had great colors, characters, and musical numbers that made it a wonderful masterpiece. The other animated films of 2013 like The Croods or Monsters University were not bad, just okay in my opinion. I'd say the only other animated film of 2013 other than Frozen that I got into was Despicable Me 2. It had a lot of laughs and a nice story. But nevertheless, Frozen was the first non-Kung Fu Panda film that took me by storm within the last few years. I still can't stop thinking about this win. Yeah, I know-I'm probably "overrating" Frozen for its ex-fans, but I still love it! I don't get this kind of hit a lot. Frozen was one of the best Academy Award winners ever!
2014: How to Train Your Dragon 2 vs Big Hero 6
I didn't have much of a strong preference this year. Most animated films in 2014 were pretty good, just not a "Kung Fu Panda" or "Frozen" for me. This is another so/so. I was hoping either How To Train Your Dragon 2 or Big Hero 6 would get the award. From most people's perspectives I think I can understand why Big Hero 6 got the award. The movie is one of those "moving on after a loved one dies" stories, similar to films like The Lion King or Up. (Spoiler Alert!) How To Train Your Dragon 2 had a tragic death too, but not until later in the film. It was more about discovering a long-lost family member and a new world-which I find a great story too. But both had their strengths, character, story, and visuals that made either one a great win.
2015: Inside Out
Now we're talking! Inside Out is in my opinion, Pixar's best win since Ratatouille! I know some of you are probably thinking, "Hey! Pixar's won so many awards already! Give other studios a chance!" But with all due respect, I found Inside Out to be a phenomenal animated film. Like most Pixar films, it has beautiful colors and visuals that make it appealing for kids, but a story that captures interest of adults. The story itself shows the difficulties of growing up, and how change and hardships can affect us. I know because 4 years before Inside Out came out, I had a hard time dealing with the fact that a little Pre-school buddy of mine was going into kindergarten and that I was never going to see her again. Much like how Riley's emotional state got all out of whack, I felt depressed. I talked about it through therapy, and eventually I moved on, just like what happened in the end of the movie. And that kind of story definitely must of the Oscars' idea of a great motion picture. I was kinda hoping this movie would be nominated for Best Picture, but oh well. It's still a wonderful movie to me.
2016: Zootopia vs Moana
Based on a lot of past Oscar nominees about racism, prejudice, and all that stuff, it was no secret that Zootopia was definitetly going to get the award. I don't think I have ever seen a CGI animated film pull off the political racism theme that well before. Many people have suffered from discrimination and racism, and this movie covers all of it-that "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" line, the issue with the predators, and the Gazelle pop star's speech about diverse difference. If that wasn't the Oscars' idea for best animated feature, I'm not sure what would be. I am a little surprised that it wasn't nominated for best picture, but I know little of that award's expectations. Moana was a good Disney film too, but I don't think it's story was quite as dramatic or engaging, especially regarding Moana and Maui's relationship. Maui did have a sad backstory, but I don't think it dived in that dramatically as Nick Wilde's. Plus, the "reconcile" portion didn't make much sense, since it didn't show how Maui changed his mind to help Moana. But hey, the culture stuff was very artistic to look at, mainly the tattoos, tapestries, and color. But storywise, yeah Zootopia had a better one. Sorry Moana fans, nothing personal.
And those are my thoughts. I will add more later on after future Oscar ceremonies, but only if they're Disney related. I hope you liked this blog.