When Will a Pixar Movie Win Best Picture?

Watch this, think back to the lasting excellence of Pixar’s productions, and ask… what will it take for one of their films to be treated with the kind of respect Juno‘s receiving?

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More about Pixar’s power here.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • vjmorton

    Actually, I did some research and found I spoke a little too hastily. WOODSTOCK was nominated for best sound and best editing — deservedly, I might add … I’d probably have voted for it among the five nominees in both categories. It lost both to PATTON, which strikes me as bizarre, though I have not seen the Shaffner Best-Picture-Bandwagon-Winner in a theater.

    My general point does stand though.

  • vjmorton

    Yeah … foreign-film probably is a better analogy than documentary for the problem of animated films, since foreign films commonly do get nominated in other categories and, the song from Algore’s Powerpoint Presentation aside, I don’t think any documentary ever has.

    I should add though that I can think of no reason in principle why directing, editing, cinematography, sound, sfx and score categories should be off limits to documentaries. First example to pop into my head: THE THIN BLUE LINE would have been a worthy nominee for editing and dramatic score in 1988.

    But still, to Jeffrey’s question … no foreign film has ever won Best Picture either, and I doubt any ever will. If not CROUCHING TIGER or THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST … what would it take?

  • petertchattaway

    Hmmm, I wonder if the Best Animated Feature category is more like the Best Documentary Feature category or the Best Foreign Language Film category. Foreign-language films have been nominated for Best Picture every now and then (e.g., Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Life Is Beautiful and Il Postino, to name the first three examples that come to mind — all of which come from just the past dozen years), but I must admit I can’t think of any documentaries that have been nominated for Best Picture.

    Incidentally, while Beauty and the Beast does technically have the record for the most Oscar nominations ever received by an animated film, three of those nominations were in the same category (i.e. Best Original Song — just as all three of Enchanted‘s nominations this year are in Best Original Song). So Beauty and the Beast was never eligible for more than four awards (Picture, Sound, Score, Song), whereas Ratatouille has at least been nominated in five (Animated Feature, Sound, Sound Editing, Score, Screenplay) — and at least one of those nominations (i.e. for Screenplay) is surely nothing to sneeze at.

  • vjmorton

    There is precedent for an animated film being nominated — BEAUTY & THE BEAST. But a win? Never. There will always be too much afoot the view that animated films are not “real” movies or “just cartoons.” Plus, the Best Animated Film award, though it’s obviously good that it guarantees some kind of recognition every year, will serve as a permanently-structured “consolation prize” if an animated film ever again does get nominated and may even work against a BEAUTY & BEAST repeat. After all … when has a documentary ever been nominated?