Header Ads

'The Boy And The Heron', 'War Is Over' Win Oscars

They may not be as relevant as they once were but The Oscars are still Hollywood's biggest night of the year. And for animators, the Best Animated Feature Oscar is perhaps the most prestigious- and definitely best known- honour that any animated film can receive. Merely to be nominated is an honour itself, and the category has helped publicise many smaller and lesser known features in the past. This year's nominees were a varied lot, with Hollywood fare and anime rubbing shoulders with a French-Spanish co-production.

With respect to Nimona, Elemental and Robot Dreams, the category this year has been seen as a largely two-horse race. Spider-Man: Across The Spiderverse and Hayao Miyazaki's The Boy And The Heron were seen as the front-runners. Best Animated Feature Awards at various guilds and critical circles on the awards circuit have been split between the two films. For a long time the momentum seemed to be with Spidey, with the Sony Pictures Animation film winning 97 awards out of 159 nominations. Then it seemed to shift towards the Studio Ghibli picture, with it picking up this year's Golden Globe and BAFTA Film Award. By the time the ceremony arrived, The Boy And The Heron was largely seen as the favourite.

This proved to be accurate as Hayao Miyazaki's film emerged triumphant. Some 22 years after his win for Spirited Away, the master has become a two-time Oscar winner. This puts him in very select company in the category that includes such animation luminaries as Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich.  The film is the second win for Studio Ghibli, and the second anime film to win the award. It is also only the second 2D animated film to win, and the third non-American winner. It's the first win for US distributor GKIDS Films. Miyazaki has also been nominated an additional two times between his two wins, and two other Non-Miyazaki Ghibli films have also been nominated.

Miyazaki, perhaps unsurprisingly, didn't travel to the US to attend the ceremony. He didn't attend the ceremony when Spirited Away won, either. Spiderverse producer/writer Christopher Miller tweeted " Well, if you're gonna lose, might as well as lose to the GOAT". Miller also criticised The Academy for including yet another "this category is for kids" joke in their introduction to the award. It's like Guillermo del Toro's impassioned "animation is cinema" speech last year didn't sink in.

The winner of the Best Animated Short Oscar was War Is Over! Inspired By The Music Of John and Yoko, directed by Dave Mullins and produced by Brad Booker. It won over Letter To A Pig, Ninety-Five Senses, Our Uniform and Pachyderme.  The 11-minute anti-war short set in an alternative World War 1 reality, features a heroic pigeon delivering messages between two soldiers on opposing sides of the war.  The film was animated by Peter Jackon's VFX company Weta Digital and written by Dave Mullins and Sean Ono Lennon. The win follows its triumph in the Best Short Subject award at the Annie Awards earlier this year.

There was a surprise winner in the Visual Effects category as the recent hit Godzilla Minus One took home the prize. It overcame higher-profile and bigger budget rivals The Creator, Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 3, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One and Napoleon. The Japanese reboot of the iconic kaiju impressed with its effects, despite reportedly only costing $15 million, and with a team consisting of just 35 people, Writer/director Takashi Yamazaki also served as a VFX supervisor.

You can check out the full list of winners here.