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 in which characters' performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique, a significant number of the major characters are animated, and animation figures in no less than 75 percent of the running time. The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was first awarded in 2002 for films made in 2001. The entire AMPAS membership has been eligible to choose the winner since the award's inception. If there are sixteen or more films submitted for the category, the winner is voted from a shortlist of five films, which has happened nine times, 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. Animated films can also be nominated for other categories, but have rarely been so, other than in music categories. ''Beauty and the Beast'' (1991) was the first animated film nominated for Best Picture. ''Up'' (2009) and ''Toy Story 3'' (2010) also received Best Picture nominations after the Academy expanded the number of nominees from five to ten. ''Waltz with Bashir'' (2008) is the only animated film ever nominated for Best International Feature Film (though it did not receive a nomination for Best Animated Feature). ''The Nightmare Before Christmas'' (1993), ''Kubo and the Two Strings'' (2016) and ''The Lion King'' (2019) are the only animated films to ever be nominated for Best Visual Effects. Disney and Pixar's ''Toy Story'' is the first and to date only franchise with multiple wins, due to ''Toy Story 3'' (2010) and ''Toy Story 4'' (2019), while ''Wallace & Gromit'' and ''How to Train Your Dragon'' are the most-nominated franchises with three films each.


For much of the Academy Awards' history, AMPAS was resistant to the idea of a regular Oscar for animated features, considering there were simply too few produced to justify such consideration. Instead, the Academy occasionally bestowed special Oscars for exceptional productions, usually for Walt Disney Pictures, such as for ''Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'' in 1938, and the Special Achievement Academy Award for the live action/animated hybrid ''Who Framed Roger Rabbit'' in 1988 and ''Toy Story'' in 1995. In fact, prior to the creation of the award, only one animated film was nominated for Best Picture: 1991's ''Beauty and the Beast'', also by Walt Disney Pictures. By 2001, the rise of sustained competitors to Disney in the feature animated film market, such as DreamWorks Animation (founded by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg), created an increase of film releases of significant annual number enough for AMPAS to reconsider. The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was first given out at the 74th Academy Awards, held on March 24, 2002. The Academy included a rule that stated that the award would not be presented in a year in which fewer than eight eligible films opened in theaters. It recently got rid of that rule on April 23, 2019 to make voting for animated films more acceptable. 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. DreamWorks had advertised heavily during the holiday 2001 season for ''Shrek'', but was disappointed when the rumored Best Picture nomination did not materialize, though it was nominated for and ultimately won the inaugural Best Animated Feature award. The criticism surrounding the Best Animated Feature category was particularly prominent at the 81st Academy Awards, in which ''WALL-E'' won the award but was not nominated for Best Picture, despite receiving widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike and being generally considered to be one of the best films of 2008. This led to controversy over whether the film was deliberately snubbed of such 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 film nominated for this category can still be nominated for Best Picture. In 2009, when the nominee slots for Best Picture were doubled to ten, ''Up'' was nominated for both Best Animated Feature and Best Picture at the 82nd Academy Awards, the first film to do so since the inception of the Animated Feature category. This feat was repeated the following year by ''Toy Story 3''. From 2010 onward, with the increasing competitiveness of the Animated Feature category, Pixar (a perennial nominee) did not receive nominations for several recent films considering the studio has released films of more mixed critical response and box office receipts, while Pixar's sister studio Disney Animation won their first three awards. In 2010, the Academy enacted a new rule regarding the motion capture technique employed in films such as ''A Christmas Carol'' (2009) and ''The Adventures of Tintin'' (2011), and how they might not be eligible in this category in the future. This rule was possibly made to prevent nominations of live-action films that rely heavily on motion capture, such as ''Avatar'' (2009). 2020 was the first year in which 2 Pixar films were nominated in the same year, with ''Onward'' and ''Soul''.

Winners and nominees




Multiple wins

;2 wins * Brad Bird * Pete Docter * Jonas Rivera * Andrew Stanton * Lee Unkrich

Multiple nominations

;4 nominations * Pete Docter ;3 nominations * Brad Bird * Ron Clements * Dean DeBlois * Travis Knight * Hayao Miyazaki * Rich Moore * Tomm Moore * Chris Sanders ;2 nominations * Wes Anderson * Bonnie Arnold * Chris Buck * Tim Burton * Chris Butler * Sylvain Chomet * Byron Howard * John Lasseter * John Musker * Yoshiaki Nishimura * Jonas Rivera * Clark Spencer * Andrew Stanton * Arianne Sutner * Toshio Suzuki * Lee Unkrich * Chris Williams * Paul Young

Studios with multiple nominations

See also

* List of animation awards * Lists of animated feature films * List of animated feature films nominated for Academy Awards * List of submissions for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature * Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film * Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film * Annie Award for Best Animated Feature * Annie Award for Best Animated Feature — Independent * Producers Guild of America Award for Best Animated Motion Picture * BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film * Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature * Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Film * Saturn Award for Best Animated Film * Japan Media Arts Festival * Animation Kobe * Tokyo Anime Award


External links

Academy Awards Database – AMPAS

Academy Award WInning Feature Films

{{Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Animated Feature Category:Awards for best animated feature film Category:Animation awards Category:Awards established in 2001 Category:History of animation