In what could described as both a return to convention and a break from the norm, Big Hero 6 defied expectations and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at this year’s Oscars.
But, while this notches another win for Disney’s main animation division, let’s look at a couple ways this Oscar victory differs from previous years.
First off, it’s the first superhero film to take home a major prize in any category. For a film that so heartily revels in its superhero and anime influences, that’s quite the accomplishment. Needless to say, for someone like me, who was not very pleased when The Dark Knight got snubbed by the Oscars so long ago, this win was a long time coming.
Second, this actually serves as a nice cap off to what’s been a very unusual, and therefore very interesting, awards season for animation. The LEGO Movie was the gem in the eyes of many audiences, thus sweeping various critics’ circles around the nation. How to Train Your Dragon 2, while not the winner everyone expected tonight, did manage to sweep this year’s Annie Awards and walked home with this year’s Golden Globe; a rare feat for a sequel. The Book of Life only snuck in one recognition (that of Character Design at the Annies), giving Reel FX a small taste of what happens when a good film is actually made. The Boxtrolls didn’t win much this season, although they did lead with an impressive 13 nominations at the Annies (from which they left with awards in both Production Design and Voice Acting). Not to mention not one, but two, traditionally-animated films were able to get into the top five (Song of the Sea and The Tale of Princess Kaguya).
What could have been a run-of-the-mill, left-to-right shutout was turned into something enjoyably unpredictable and, dare I say it, fun to speculate about. And really, I have the entire 2014 year in animation to thank for that. Let’s hope for more, shall we?
In the meantime, a round of applause to all the nominees and congratulations to Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams, Producer Roy Conli, Screenwriters Jordan Roberts, Dan Gerson, and Robert L. Baird, and original creators Man of Action (Duncan Rouleau, Steven T. Seagle, Joe Casey, and Joe Kelly), and the rest of the cast and crew over at Disney Animation Studios!
What do you think? Does Big Hero 6 deserve this award? What was your overall opinion of this year’s awards season?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes