Pixar is synonymous with animated gold, in terms of quality and award recognition. Three years ago today they struck again with “Inside Out.” Pixar has won Best Animated Film at the Oscars nine times since the category was introduced. “Inside Out” was another win for the studio’s trophy case. But did it deserve to be nominated for Best Picture?
Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen’s movie received glowing reviews upon release. The movie focuses on a young girl and the emotions operating within her mind. It was a wholly original concept and celebrated for its handling of the topic. “Inside Out” came in second place on Rotten Tomatoes’ year-end rankings of the best wide releases of 2015. Along with winning Best Animated film, the movie was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars (ultimately losing to the Best Picture winner, “Spotlight”).
Only three animated films have been nominated for Best Picture in the history of the Academy Awards. “Beauty and the Beast” holds the historical piece of trivia as the first. When the Academy expanded Best Picture to 10 nominees, Pixar’s “Up” and “Toy Story 3” made the Best Picture field in their respective years. Once the Academy reverted to the preferential balloting system, allowing five to 10 Best Picture nominees, no animated film has been able to enter the Best Picture field.
The 2015 Best Picture field consisted of eight nominees, but we’ll never know how close “Inside Out” came to a Best Picture nomination. Many pundits and critics championed the film as one of the best of the year, but to secure the Best Picture nomination, a movie must have 5-percent first place votes from voters. Most may think the Best Animated Film category is the place to reward the medium but once a film breaks from the category, it suggest further support within the Academy. Perhaps the screenplay nomination indicates it wasn’t far off from a nomination in the top category.