The INSIDER Summary:
• “Finding Dory” missed out on an Oscar nomination.
• It’s yet another sign that Pixar is no longer the top animation studio.
• Pixar has produced some highlights in the past years, but it’s a mixed bag.
When the Academy announced 2017’s Oscar nominations on Tuesday morning, one movie was conspicuously missing from the best animated feature list: “Finding Dory.”
Pixar’s movie from 2016 wasn’t as enthusiastically received as its companion piece and predecessor, 2003’s “Finding Nemo,” but it is widely liked. The movie grossed over $1 billion dollars at the box office and has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Its lack of an Oscar nomination further proves how a once-invincible movie studio is no longer the gold standard of animated filmmaking.
Since the best animated feature category was introduced in 2001, Pixar has won eight of its 15 awards. Two of its films, “Up” and “Toy Story 3,” have also been nominated for best picture, the only animated movies to do so outside of Disney’s 1991 classic, “Beauty and the Beast.”
But in the past half-decade, Pixar has slipped. The critically derided “Cars 2” was its first movie to not be nominated since the category was introduced. Then “Brave” rebounded the studio, winning the award, but many people thought it didn’t have the same magic as Pixar’s better-known works. “Monsters University” and “The Good Dinosaur” also came and went without making a distinct mark on pop culture.
At the same time, Walt Disney Animation Studios has thrived. It has produced hits like “Tangled,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Big Hero 6,” “Frozen,” and this year’s “Moana” and “Zootopia.” Pixar can take a little bit of credit. Both studios are owned by Disney, and two of Pixar’s founding members, Ed Catmull and John Lasseter, are in charge of Disney Animation Studios.
The Oscar’s animation branch has a tradition of rewarding under-seen films, like “The Red Turtle” and “My Life as a Zucchini.” It’s a great track record that has inspired others, including myself, to watch films like “The Secret of Kells,” which viewers otherwise may not have known existed. But when a mammoth like “Finding Dory” misses out, it seems like a snub.
And that’s a huge loss for Pixar. They’re no longer the top animation studio in the world. They’re just another player in a crowded field, struggling to make their mark.
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