Pixar was back in the Academy spotlight Sunday night, with their most recent film “Coco” winning the 2018 Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
Prior to Sunday night’s Academy Awards, Pixar films had made up half of all winners in the category, which dates back to 2001. Throw in the wins for “Frozen,” “Zootopia,” and “Big Hero 6” and the award hasn’t gone to a Disney-affiliated production since Gore Verbinski’s “Rango” in 2011.
Accepting the second Oscar of his career, co-director Lee Unkrich said, “The biggest thank you of all to the people of Mexico. ‘Coco’ would not exist without your endlessly beautiful culture and traditions. With ‘Coco,’ we tried to take a step forward toward a world where all children can grow up seeing characters in movies that look and talk and live like they do. Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters.”
There were two other studio nominees in contention on Sunday night, both from vets of major Dreamworks franchises. “Ferdinand,” an adaptation of the beloved children’s book, was directed by “Ice Age” vet Carlos Saldanha. Meanwhile, “Madagascar” writer Tom McGrath led the effort behind the Alec-Baldwin-starring “The Boss Baby.”
The two longer shots of the evening were “The Breadwinner,” which IndieWire’s David Ehrlich called “a gorgeous and sobering fable about systemic misogyny,” and “Loving Vincent,” a film whose over 62,000 frames were all painted by hand.
But, in the end, an Oscar was the icing on the cake for “Coco,” the story of a musician traveling through the Land of the Dead to find his missing great-great-grandfather. A film that was more popular overseas that in the States, “Coco” still cracked $730 million in worldwide box office. Unkrich previously won an Academy Award for directing “Toy Story 3.”