Soul, If Anything Happens I Love You Win at Oscars 2021

Soul, If Anything Happens I Love You Win at Oscars 2021

Soul by Pete Pete Docter and Dana Murray won the Best Animation Feature at the 93rd Academy Awards, and cemented the view that a non-US animation feature will forever have a hard time to win at this category. Since its introduction in 2001, only Hayao Miyazaki  (2002 for Spirited Away) and Aardman (2005, for Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) have managed to get the award. Since 2005, not a single non-US studio entry has ever won for Best Animation Feature. This is also the category that the Cannes-awarded Waltz with Bashir wasn't even nominated -and many other indie gems.

The afterlife story of Soul (heavily influenced by Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death, 1946) managed to give Pixar its 11th award in that category. Despite an almost aggressive press&pr campaign, Cartoon Saloon's Wolfwalkers (directors: Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart) still left empty-handed. It is the 4th unsuccessful nomination for the Irish studio in that category.

The other nominees were:

  • Onward, Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae
  • Over the Moon, Glen Keane, Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Richard Phelan, Will Becher and Paul Kewley
  • Wolfwalkers, Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young and Stéphan Roelants

In the short animation category, the Netflix short If Anything Happens I Love You by Will McCormack and Michael Govier took over the prize. The film  tells the story of two grieving parents as they struggle to confront the death of their daughter, who was killed in a school shooting.

Will McCormack referred to his acceptance speech to the relevant events: We dedicate this film to all those who've lost loved ones to gun violence. We deserve better than to live in a country where more than 100 people died by gun violence every single day. We deserve better. We must be better.

The other nominees were:

  • Burrow, Madeline Sharafian and Michael Capbarat
  • Genius Loci, Adrien Mérigeau and Amaury Ovise
  • Opera, Erick Oh
  • Yes-People, Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson

Τhis is the category that used to be friendly to European and indie animation filmmakers. Since 2010,  however, there have only been three non-US wins (The Lost Thing, Mr. Hublot, The Bear Story), a very poor result considering the richness of European and indie animation in general, as documented in the various animation festivals each year.

The 93rd Academy Awards took place 25 April 2021.

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