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Academy Award for Best Animated Feature

The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature is one of the annual awards given by the Los Angeles-based professional organization, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy Awards, or Oscars, which are the oldest awards given to achievements in film, included the Best Animated Feature category for the first time for the 2001 film year.

Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Up (2009) 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.

The award is only given 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 70 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), otherwise there will only be three films on the shortlist.

People in the animation industry and fans expressed hope that the prestige from this award and the resulting boost to the box office would encourage the increased production of animated features. Some members and fans have criticized the award, however, saying it is only intended to prevent animated films from having a chance of winning Best Picture.

This criticism was particularly prominent at the 81st Academy Awards, in which WALL-E won the award but was not nominated for Best Picture, despite receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and moviegoers and being generally considered one of the best films of 2008. This led to controversy over whether the film was deliberately snubbed of the nomination by the Academy.

Film critic Peter Travers commented that “If there was ever a time where an animated feature deserved to be nominated for Best Picture, it’s WALL-E“. However, official Academy Award regulations state that any movie nominated for this category can still be nominated for Best Picture. [1] In 2009, Up was nominated for both Best Animated Feature and Best Picture at the 82nd Academy Awards, the first film to do so since the creation of the category.

Computer animated films have been the big winner in this category, with seven wins in the nine-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 non american. Spirited Away came from Japan and Curse of the Were Rabbit came from Britain.

Pixar Animation Studios has been the most successful organization in the history of Best Animated Feature. Out of the seven feature films made by Pixar between 2001 and 2009, all have been nominated for this award, and only two have lost (Monsters Inc. lost to Shrek, and Cars lost to Happy Feet). All five others (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Up) won their respective years.

Since the Academy introduced this award category, the Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards followed the example and present a similar award.


  • 1 Results
  • 2 Computer animated nominees
    • 2.1 Pixar
    • 2.2 Dreamworks
    • 2.3 Other films
  • 3 Stop-motion nominees
  • 4 Traditionally-animated nominees
    • 4.1 American-made
    • 4.2 Foreign animated nominees
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 See also
  • 7 External links

The following table displays the nominees and the winners in bold print with a yellow background.

Year Film




Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius


Monsters, Inc.


Spirited Away


Ice Age


Lilo & Stitch


Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron


Treasure Planet


Finding Nemo


Brother Bear


The Triplets of Belleville


The Incredibles


Shark Tale


Shrek 2


Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit


Corpse Bride


Howl’s Moving Castle


Happy Feet




Monster House






Surf’s Up






Kung Fu Panda






Fantastic Mr. Fox


The Princess and the Frog


The Secret of Kells

Computer animated nominees


  • Monsters, Inc. (2001) – Lost to Shrek
  • Finding Nemo (2003)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • Cars (2006) – Lost to Happy Feet
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • WALL-E (2008)
  • Up (2009) – The second of only two animated films to be nominated for Best Picture


  • Shrek (2001)
  • Shrek 2 (2004) – Lost to The Incredibles
  • Shark Tale (2004) – Also lost to The Incredibles
  • Kung Fu Panda (2008) – Lost to WALL-E

** Other films

  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001) – Lost to Shrek
  • Ice Age (2002) – Lost to Spirited Away
  • Monster House (2006) – Lost to Happy Feet
  • Happy Feet (2006)
  • Surf’s Up (2007) – Lost to Ratatouille
  • Bolt (2008) – Lost to WALL-E

** Stop-motion nominees

  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
  • Corpse Bride (2005) – Lost to Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  • Coraline (2009) – Lost to Up
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) – Also lost to Up

** Traditionally-animated nominees

** American-made

  • Lilo & Stitch (2002) – Lost to Spirited Away
  • Treasure Planet (2002) – Also lost to Spirited Away
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) – The only one not made by Disney; also lost to Spirited Away
  • Brother Bear (2003) – Lost to Finding Nemo
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009) – Lost to Up

** Foreign animated nominees

  • Spirited Away (2002) – Made in Japan
  • Triplets of Belleville (2003) – Made in France; lost to Finding Nemo
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2005) – Made in Japan; lost to Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  • Persepolis (2007) – Made in France; lost to Ratatouille
  • The Secret of Kells (2009) – Made in Ireland; lost to Up

** See also

  • List of animated feature-length films
  • Annie Award for Best Animated Feature
  • BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film
  • Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year

Nominees & Winners for the 82nd Academy Awards

Animated Feature Film,-dao-dien-Up.jpg “Up” Pete Docter” Henry Selick
Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore

Rule Seven: Special Rules for the Best Animated Feature Film Award

  1. DEFINITIONAn animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of at least 70 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.
    1. Except as indicated above, motion pictures in this category must meet all the requirements in Academy Awards Rules Two, Three, and Four.
    2. The Executive Committee of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch shall meet prior to the last Board of Governors meeting of this calendar year. At this meeting, a Reminder List of the animated feature films released during the current Awards year shall be reviewed. If the committee finds that there are eight or more eligible animated feature films that warrant a category, it may choose to recommend to the Board of Governors that there be an Animated Feature Film award given in the current Awards year. If the governors accept this recommendation, the following nomination process shall be set in motion.
    1. An entry form naming the intended award recipient(s) and including the signatures of all the credited producer(s) and director(s) is required. This is to insure that all parties are properly informed, and that agreement on the designated award recipient(s) is settled prior to submission.
    2. The award recipient(s) shall be designated by those responsible for the production of the film. The designated recipient(s) must be the KEY CREATIVE INDIVIDUAL most clearly responsible for the overall achievement OR a TWO-PERSON TEAM with shared and equal director credit. (The shared director credit must be approved by the Branch Executive Committee.)  A maximum of two statuettes will be awarded.
    3. The print or copy submitted for Academy Awards consideration must be identical in content and length to the print or copy used for the qualifying exhibition. All entries submitted must include an English-language synopsis of the film.
    4. Prints should be marked ANIMATED FEATURE FILM ENTRY and shipped PREPAID to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Those entries not chosen as nominations for final balloting will be returned to the sender at Academy expense. Prints submitted will be retained by the Academy until the voting process is completed and will not be loaned for use by others during the period of the voting process.
    5. The deadline for receiving the entry form, synopsis, cast and credits list, filmographies of the key creative individual(s) named for award purposes and stills is Monday, November 2, 2009. The deadline for receiving the film print is Friday, November 13, 2009. Foreign entries must also comply with this rule.
    6. Films submitted in the Animated Feature Film category may qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they comply with the rules governing those categories.
    7. An animated feature film may be submitted in only one Awards year for Academy Awards consideration.
    1. A Chairperson, appointed by the Academy President, shall head one or more Animated Feature Film Award Screening Committee(s). An invitational letter will be sent from the Chairperson to a list of active and life Academy members requesting their participation. Those serving on the committee(s) will be required to see 80 percent of the submitted eligible films at meetings of the committee(s) or in a theatrical setting. Viewing Animated Feature Film entries on videocassette or DVD will NOT qualify a member for voting purposes in this category.
    2. All submissions sent to the Academy will be screened by the Animated Feature Film Award Screening Committee(s). After the screenings, the committee(s) will vote by secret ballot to nominate from 3 to 5 motion pictures for this award. In any year in which 8 to 15 animated features are released in Los Angeles County, a maximum of 3 motion pictures may be nominated. In any year in which 16 or more animated features are submitted and accepted in the category, a maximum of 5 motion pictures may be nominated.
      1. The committee(s) will view all motion pictures entered and mark all entries 10, 9, 8, 7 or 6 with the guidelines of 10 (excellent), 8 (good), 7 (fair) or 6 (poor). Those productions receiving an average score of 7.5 or more shall be eligible for nomination.
      2. If only one production receives an average score of 7.5 or more, the committee(s) shall recommend to the Board of Governors that a Special Achievement Award for Animated Feature Film be made to that production.
      3. If no production receives an average score of 7.5 or more, the committee(s) shall recommend to the Board of Governors that no award be made for Animated Feature Film for the current Awards year.
    3. The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Executive Committee shall have the right and responsibility to resolve all questions of eligibility, rules interpretations and the designation of award recipients.
    4. It remains within the sole and confidential discretion of the Board of Governors to determine if any Animated Feature Film award shall be given for a particular year, and to make all final determinations regarding this category.
    5. Final voting for the Animated Feature Film award shall be restricted to active and life Academy members.

3 thoughts on “Academy Award for Best Animated Feature

  1. Pingback: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature « Klbc's | Oscar 2010

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