Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 won the Oscar on Sunday for Best Animated Feature, upsetting the field including Laika’s Missing Link and Netflix’s Klaus that had been taking precursor awards most of the season.
It’s hard to call the victory an upset when it comes to Pixar and its flagship franchise — Toy Story 3 (2010) remains the only sequel to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (Toy Story and Toy Story 2 hit theaters before the Animated Feature category was created in 2002).
Toy Story 4, directed by Josh Cooley, has made more than $1 billion worldwide, but it had come in to the night as an underdog. It was shut out at the Annie Awards this year — since the category was launched in 2002, 13 of the 19 winners of the Annies’ top feature prize – and now six of the past nine – went on to claim Oscar gold. That includes last year’s Annie and Oscar king, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
“We want to thank the moviegoing audience so much especially those that grew up with Toy Story,” director/co-writer Josh Cooley said. “We hope that your adventures with Woody and Buzz made growing up a little bit easier.”
Cooley was joined onstage by producers Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera. (See their backstage comments below.)
It was a strong category this year — Disney’s other animated juggernaut, Frozen 2, didn’t even get a nomination. Klaus, the first original animated feature from Netflix, basically ran the table at ASIFA/Hollywood’s Annies, winning Best Animated Feature at the January 25 trophy show, and all seven categories for which it was nominated.
The other nominees include DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Laika’s Missing Link and Netflix’s Cannes Critics’ Week winner I Lost My Body for the Oscar.