Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oscar & Pixar

With all the love going around for Toy Story 3, it seems like naysayers are silenced and Toy Story 3 looks like the first viable Oscar best picture contender of the year.

When I recently ranked my early top 50 Best Picture potentials/predictions, I was hesitant to place this film high...wary of it's sequel status with a film franchise that was introduced 15 years ago.

With that in mind, I wanted to look at the Pixar's previous interaction with the Academy.

Toy Story (1995)
3 Nominations, 1 Special Achievement Oscar
Nominations: Best Original Musical or Comedy Score (Randy Newman); Best Original Song ("You've Got a Friend in Me," Randy Newman); Best Original Screenplay (multiple nominees).
Special Achievement Oscar: awarded to John Lassetter (pictured above) for: "For the development and inspired application of techniques that have made possible the first feature-length computer-animated film."

A Bug's Life (1998)
1 Nomination
Nomination: Best Original Musical or Comedy Score (Randy Newman)

Toy Story 2 (1999)
1 Nomination
Nomination: Best Original Song ("When She Loved Me," Randy Newman)

Monsters, Inc. (2001)
1 Win of 4 Nominations
Oscar Win: Best Original Song ("If I Didn't Have You," Randy Newman)
Nominations: Best Animated Feature (Pete Docter, John Lasseter); Best Orginal Score (Randy Newman); Best Sound Editing (Gary Rydstrom, Michael Silvers)

Finding Nemo (2003)
1 Win of 4 Nomination
Oscar Win: Best Animated Feature (Andrew Stanton)
Nominations: Best Original Score (Thomas Newman); Best Sound Editing (Gary Rydstrom, Michael Silvers); Best Original Screenplay (Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds)

The Incredibles (2004)
2 Wins of 4 Nominations
Oscar Wins: Best Animated Feature Film (Brad Bird); Best Sound Editing (Michael Silveres, Randy Thom)
Nominations: Best Original Screenplay (Brad Bird); Best Sound Mixing (Randy Thom, Gary Rizzo, Doc Kane)

Cars (2006)
2 Nominations
Nominations: Best Animated Feature Film (John Lasseter); Best Original Song ("Our Town," Randy Newman)

Ratatouille (2007)
1 Win of 5 Nominations
Oscar Win: Best Animated Feature Film (Brad Bird)
Nominations: Best Original Score (Michael Giacchino); Best Sound (Randy Thom, Michael Semanik, Doc Kane); Best Sound Editing (Randy Thom. Michael Silvers); Best Original Screenplay (Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco)

WALL-E (2008)
1 Win of 6 Nominations
Oscar Win: Best Animated Feature Film (Andrew Stanton)
Nominations: Original Score (Thomas Newman); Original Song ("Down to Earth," Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman); Best Sound (Tom Myers, Michael Semanick, Ben Burtt); Best Sound Editing (Ben Burtt, Michael Wood); Best Original Screenplay (Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter)

Up (2009)
2 win of 5 nominations
Oscar Wins:
Best Animated Feature Film of The Year (Pete Docter); Best Original Score (Michael Giacchino)
Nominations: Best Picture (Jonas Rivera); Best Sound Editing (Michael Silvers, Thom Myers); Best Original Screenplay (Bob Peterson, Pete Docter; Thomas McCarthy)


Some Notes & Observations:

False Inflation - Every film has at least gotten some Oscar love. There is admitably some false inflation caused by the addition of the animated feature category with the 2001 Oscar ceremony. Every eligible Pixar film has been nominated in that category.

Newman & Music - Oscar was comfortable pre-Pixar giving animated films a shot in the music categories, and the connection there has been very strong especially with those who's last name ends in Newman, although the Newman's aren't the only one who've been given a shot.

Sound & Original Screenplay - The Sound branches, particularly editing have been warm to Pixar, as have the writing branches.

10 - With a 10 nominee Best Picture field you'd have to imagine some of these other films may have been given the opportunity Up received when it became the second animated film (Beauty and the Beast is the other) to get a Best Picture nomination.

Short Love - Let's also not forget Pixar has also been nominated 10 times in animated short film category, winning 4 of those times.


With this history before you...what nominations seem likely bets for Toy Story 3 given it's popularity and early success?


Danny King said...

I certainly would bet on a Best Picture nomination at this point. I'm not sure on Best Director, however, but with a field of ten - and the glorious reputation that the "Toy Story" franchise has - I think that "Toy Story 3" receiving a nod is almost a guaranteed lock.

Anonymous said...

I think it's the combination of the false inflation and 10 nominees that you mentioned that could get this film a Best Picture nomination. If Pixar keeps making consistently good films, I wouldn't be surprised if one get nominated for Best Pic each year.

RC said...

@ Danny & Emily - yes, this nomination seems "in the cards" --

As for a best picture nomination each year...Emily...I'm not so sure...for two reasons...

(1) Not every Pixar film has even won the animated feature award when eligible [Monsters Inc lost to Shrek, Cars lost to Happy Feet].

In those years would have Shrek & Happy Feet made top 10? Or both?

(2) If they didn't go for Cars the first time, will they go for Cars 2? I'm a little worried about Pixar's continued creativity & artistry...but maybe that's just me.

Andrew K. said...

I don't like to be a naysayer (true or false?) but I've never been on the Pixar train. If I'd list my five Best animated films of the last decade (Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Corpse Bride) they would not dominate the list. Sometimes I wonder if everyone's just wary of hating on such a sweet film/studio. I do hope I like Toy Story III, but I didn't love the previous incarnations as a child...