Academy Award For Best Animated Feature

Academy Award For Best Animated Feature

The Academy Awards are given each year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for the best films and achievements of the previous year. The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature is given each year for animated films. An animated feature is defined by the academy as a film with a running time of more than 40 minutes and characters' performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the film's running time. The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature has been given annually since 2001.

Academy Award nominations and winners are chosen by the members of the AMPAS. 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, 2009, and 2011), otherwise there will only be three films on the shortlist. Additionally, eight eligible animated features must have been theatrically released in Los Angeles County within the calendar year for this category to be activated. The final results are presented at the Academy Awards ceremony in January. 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).

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. In 2009 when the nominee slots for Best Picture were doubled to 10, 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. This feat was repeated the following year by Toy Story 3.

In 2010 the Academy enacted a new rule regarding the performance capture technique employed in films such as A Christmas Carol from Robert Zemeckis and The Adventures of Tintin from Steven Spielberg, and how they might not be eligible in this category in the future. This rule was possibly made to prevent live-action films that heavily relied on motion capture, such as James Cameron's Avatar, from getting in.

During the 10 nomination years, Pixar Animation Studios has received the most Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature with six wins and eight nominations. Dreamworks Animation has been nominated nine times, winning twice.

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