Disney had double the chances of walking away with the Best Animated Feature Oscar tonight with both Moana and Zootopia up for the prize. As many predicted, the animated allegory about race relations in America took home the award.
After months of hype and controversy, the big night is finally upon us. The red carpet has been rolled out, the votes have been cast, and host Jimmy Kimmel has rehearsed all his best Matt Damon jokes. At last, the 89th Academy Awards have arrived.
With Oscar season just around the corner, now is the time for all the smaller award shows to announce their big annual winners. Earlier this weekend, we saw the Directors Guild of America give their biggest honors to movies and television shows such as La La Land, Game of Thrones, Veep, and O.J.: Made in America. And now it’s time for the animation industry to share their selections for the best animated films and television shows of 2016.
As December rolls on, so too does the cavalcade of year-end lists. The latest authority to weigh in is AFI, by which I mean the American Film Institute and not the Californian alternative-rock group also known as A Fire Inside. While we may never know which films the quartet behind “Miss Murder” favored this year, the other AFI has released their list of 2016’s ten best releases, and it’s a little more varied than some of the heretofore published lists, bringing in some films with less awards buzz along with your usual suspects of Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, and La La Land.
Since the introduction of the Best Animated Feature Oscar at the 74th Academy Awards in 2002, we’ve seen a steady exponential increase in animated movies over the years. Pixar, and, by extent, Disney, has usually dominated the competition, with eight wins out of ten nominations, followed by DreamWorks and Disney’s animation studio. This year, we have a record 27 movies eligible for the award, and while the Academy can pick only five to nominate, for now it’s anyone’s game.
A single giraffe in Zootopia contained over nine million individual hairs, which is more hair than all of the last three Disney animated films together. That’s just one of the hair-raising (sorry) Zootopia facts in the latest installment of You Think You Know Movies!
As it turns out, making a politically-minded movie for kids can be financially successful.
Pardon the pun, but Zootopia is a beast. Disney Animation’s new film held on to the number one spot at the box office for the third weekend in a row and made it look easy. Not even Allegiant, the third film in the Divergent series, could topple it. Could the film end up pulling Frozen numbers? Maybe. Possibly. We’ll have to see how strong it stands in the face of a couple of superheroes.
That sound you hear is the folks over at Disney popping a couple dozen bottles of champagne — Zootopia didn’t just open at number one at the box office, it had the biggest opening of any film in the history of Walt Disney Animation Studios, beating out 2014’s Frozen. Unfortunately, the rest of the newcomers didn’t fare quite as well, with London Has Fallen and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot limping into second and fourth place, respectively.
Along the western edge of Disneyland, rises a craggy peak of mossy cliffs, tangled tree roots, and thorny briar patches. This attraction — part animatronic carnival, part kid-friendly log flume — is known as Splash Mountain, and thanks to the technical wizards at Walt Disney Imagineering, it really looks like an authentic summit. But of course, it’s not; it was built in the late 1980s at a reported cost of some $75 million. It’s a very fun ride — and possibly the strangest in the entire Disney empire, since it’s essentially a giant $75 million monument to a movie that Disney has kept out of circulation for more than 30 years.