Best Animated Feature Oscar Winners Ranked
8. Zootopia (2016)
Judy Hopps, Zootopia Police Department’s first bunny officer, teams up with fox grifter Nick Wilde to solve a mystery of predatory animals reverting to their killer instincts without warning and sewing chaos across the city.
You have a vivid, visually stunning world, some great sitcom gags and one of the boldest metaphors ever to be found in a family film – one that feels more timely with each passing year – so, what’s not to like?
You get wonderful extremes in Zootopia, the seriously dark and perceptive, timely race allegory plus the wonderful tortuous sloth DMV routine, and that’s what makes it work so well. This may well be the film that most clearly represents troubled modern American race relations alongside Straight Outta Compton.
Disney was favoured here over two stop-motion films, Kubo and the Two Strings and My Life as a Courgette; all worthy nominees.
7. The Incredibles (2004)
Former superheroes Mr Incredible and Elastigirl have retired and started a family, but a dead-end job and lack of excitement in his suburban life leads Bob Parr back into the world-saving game and brings the whole Parr clan and their extraordinary gifts along for the ride.
Brad Bird’s ode to family, comic books and Bond movies has an incredible 50s futurist design aesthetic, thrilling action scenes that Marvel better hope to match whenever they have another crack at The Fantastic Four, and a big old sentimental heart to it. Michael Giacchino’s jazzy score helps heighten the fun, the genre tropes are playfully mocked, and all the characters are vivid and memorable. Being a really good superhero movie in its own right, this was also one of the few Pixar joints that absolutely demanded a sequel, which belatedly emerged 14 years later.
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6. Inside Out (2015)
Teenager Riley moves with her family to San Francisco, leaving behind her friends, her hobbies and her self-confidence, meanwhile inside her head her emotions vie for control of her personality.
Inside Out is one of the Pixar films that will likely hit much harder with parents than their children as it vividly explores the struggle of finding out who you are at the most tumultuous period of change in your life and confirms that it’s OK to give into sadness sometimes in order to cope.
Everyone ends up crying at the same moment, the loss of imaginary friend Bing Bong, but it’s more a cumulative emotional rollercoaster that writer-director Pete Docter takes you on in vibrantly colourful and endlessly imaginative fashion.
5. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
Eccentric and absent-minded inventor Wallace and his faithful dog Gromit start a humane pest control business to bring the local rabbit population explosion under control just in time for a giant vegetable competition, but an experiment gone wrong releases a huge carrot-obsessed creature on their town.
Aardman’s second stop-motion feature after Chicken Run to hit cinemas is crammed full of all their usual puns (“This was arson, someone arsin’ around!”) and painstaking attention to the smallest of details in the charming visuals.
Refreshingly, this category was made up of two stop-motion films (Wallace & Gromit and Corpse Bride) and one traditionally hand-drawn animation (Howl’s Moving Castle) this year, a rare instance where CG-animation was shut out.
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