Hot Take: Let’s Talk About the Oscars
Updated: Jan 20
Disney has quite the record when it comes to winning at the prestigious, annual Academy Awards. And by record, I mean Guinness World Records. Walter Elias Disney currently holds the world record for:
Most Oscars won in a year - Individual: In 1953, Disney won four Oscars at a single presentation. These awards were for Best Cartoon: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom; Best Documentary Short: The Alaskan Eskimo; Best Documentary Feature: The Living Desert and Best Two-Reel Short: Bear Country.
In 1939, Walt was awarded a special award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that featured seven “dwarf” Oscars along with the typical Oscar. According to the D23 Fan Club, Disney has won a total of 127 Academy Awards, 32 that Walt won personally. That number most likely will increase after this year’s award ceremony, as The Walt Disney Company has received 15 total nominations including both Disney+ and Hulu movies. So, what are those nominations and what are the odds of a win? Let’s dive deep.
Nomadland can be streamed on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video and is based on the book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder.
Best Motion Picture (Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Dan Janvey, Mollye Asher, Chloé Zhao)
Best Actress in a Leading Role (Frances McDormand)
Best Achievement in Directing (Chloé Zhao)
Best Adapted Screenplay (Chloé Zhao)
Best Achievement in Editing (Chloé Zhao)
Best Achievement in Cinematography (Joshua James Richards)
Soul can be streamed on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Best Animated Feature
Best Original Score (Jon Batiste, Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor)
Best Achievement in Sound
Mulan can be streamed on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Best Costume Design
Best Visual Effects
Onward can be streamed on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
Best Animated Feature
The One and Only Ivan
The One and Only Ivan can be streamed on Disney+ and is based on a true story.
Best Visual Effects
Burrow can be streamed on Disney+.
Best Animated Short Film
The United States vs. Billie Holiday
The United States vs. Billie Holiday can be streamed on Hulu.
Best Actress (Andra Day)
Best Animated Feature Prediction
I am most intrigued to learn which feature will win this category. More often than not, a division of the Walt Disney Company takes this category. The past three winners have been Toy Story 4, Spider-Man: Into the Spider Universe and Coco. Now personally, Coco is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies and it seems inevitable that a Toy Story film would win. However, when it comes to this years’ Disney-nominations, I am not impressed. Both Onward and Soul are nominated for this category, and while I enjoyed the films, they don’t quite meet the standards of excellence we hold Disney to.
Onward had a sweet overall message, but I found the concept to be very strange. While the movie teaches the importance of coming together, growing from experiences and moving forward through life, I feel that it sends the wrong message to children that a late loved one can come back. It’s more important to teach children the importance of cherishing time and not taking loved ones for granted.
Prior to the release of Soul, I was excited to watch it under the assumption that the concept would be similar in nature to Inside Out. And while it was similar in the sense of discussing deep emotions and dark truths, it was not executed to the level I was expecting. One of the main overarching themes is a dramatic take on pursuing your dreams and living life to its fullest. The film takes the drastic turn of pushing the main character to a near-death experience to realize the importance of going after your dreams. This movie separates our “soul” to show the importance of true desire and perseverance. The approach of the message seems to target an older audience with a broader meaning for children.
Based on the number of nominations, the unique animation style used, and the deep sentiment of finding your purpose, my prediction is that Soul will win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.