95th Academy Awards: ‘Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio;’ ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ Win Animation Oscars

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the 95th Academy Awards (oscars.org) on Sunday, March 12, broadcasting live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on ABC. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the evening revealed the eagerly anticipated winner announcements for the Best Animated Feature, Best Animated Short and Best Visual Effects categories.

The night got off to a strong start for animated cinema, as Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio added the coveted statuette to its list of many accolades this award season. The stop-motion adaptation of Collodi’s classic also won the feature animation category at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Annie Awards (one of five category wins) as well as honors from critics associations and film craft guilds.

The Netflix/ShadowMachine/The Jim Henson Co. pic is the first break in the Disney-Pixar Oscar streak since Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won at the 91st awards. It is also only the second stop-motion film to win, joining Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and one of just three films not primarily crafted in 3D CG (with Were-Rabbit and Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away) to win since the category was first awarded in 2002.

Accepting the award on stage, Mark Gustafson gave thanks to the stop-motion animation crew at ShadowMachine’s Portland, Oregon studio, noting that “stop motion is alive and well.” Stepping to the mic, Guillermo del Toro echoed the rallying cry, “Animation is cinema,” adding, “Animation is not a genre, and animation is ready to be taken to the next step. We are all ready for it. Please help us — keep animation in the conversation.”

The win marks the first Best Animated Feature Oscar for Netflix, which also had The Sea Beast in the running this year. The studio was nominated last year for The Mitchells vs. the Machines (Sony Pictures Animation), in 2021 for Glen Keane’s Over the Moon and Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon, and in 2020 for Sergio Pablos’ Klaus.

Del Toro, who directed Pinocchio with Gustafson and wrote the screenplay with Patrick McHale, is now a three-time Academy Award winner. The celebrated Mexican filmmaker won both Picture of the Year and Best Directing at the 90th Oscars for The Shape of Water. Watch his touching backstage thank you speech here.


The Academy awarded Best Animated Short Film to author-director Charlie Mackesy and producer Matthew Freud for The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, based on Mackesy’s best-selling illustrated book of the same name. The short about four unlikely friends uncovering the meaning of kindness, courage and hope was produced by Apple Studios, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Mackesy’s NoneMore Productions and released by Apple TV+ in the U.S.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse had already won the BAFTA for Best British Short Animation and four Annie Awards, including Best Animated Special Production and Outstanding Achievement for Directing (TV/Broadcast). Watch Mackesy and Freud’s acceptance speech below and extended “thank yous” here.


Unsurprisingly, the Visual Effects Oscar was awarded to Avatar: The Way of Water, James Cameron’s much buzzed-about super-blockbuster sequel. The winners were Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett. The film was also nominated for Best Production Design, Best Sound and Best Picture.

This epic about the shore-dwelling Na’vi of Pandora was the highest-grossing film of 2022 with $2.294 billion worldwide (third highest-grossing film of all time) and also garnered critical acclaim, being named to the Top 10 Films of 2022 by the American Film Institute. Avatar: TWoW won nine VES Awards from the Visual Effects Society, the Annie Awards for Animated Effects and Character Animation in a Live-Action Production, as well as VFX honors from the BAFTAs, Critics Choice and HCAs, among its many accolades.


Animation was also a key part of this year’s In Memoriam segment during the Oscars ceremony. Included on the roster of cinema history makers who have passed in the last year were Disney Legend Burny Mattinson, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer producer Jules Bass, Oscar-winning animation director Ralph Eggleston (Pixar’s For the Birds), actor and voice actor Gilbert Gottfried, Israeli indie filmmaker Gil Alkabetz, prolific Hollywood animator Carl A. Bell, Angela Lansbury (voice of Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast), actress Pat Carroll (voice of The Little Mermaid’s Ursula), Croatian-born animator Marija Miletic Dail, effects animator Sari Gennis, VFX artist Gregory Jein, VFX supervisor David M. Jones, and VFX supervisor David Watkins, Sr.

Watch the In Memoriam reel here.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The year’s most-nominated film (11 total), Everything Everywhere All at Once, went home with the coveted Best Picture prize (Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert & Jonathan Wang), as well as Best Directing and Best Original Screenplay (The Daniels), Best Actress (Michelle Yeao, the first Asian woman to win the award), Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan), Best Supporting Actress (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Best Film Editing (Paul Rogers). Best Picture announcement pending.



Best Animated Feature

  • WINNER: Guillermo del Toro’s PinocchioGuillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar and Alex Bulkley (Netflix)
  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On – Dean Fleischer Camp, Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan and Paul Mezey (A24)
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish – Joel Crawford and Mark Swift (DreamWorks/Universal)
  • The Sea Beast – Chris Williams and Jed Schlanger (Netflix)
  • Turning Red – Domee Shi and Lindsey Collins (Disney/Pixar)


Best Animated Short

  • WINNER: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse – Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud (U.K./U.S.)
  • The Flying Sailor – Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby (Canada)
  • Ice Merchants – João Gonzalez and Bruno Caetano (Portugal, France, U.K.)
  • My Year of Dicks – Sara Gunnarsdóttir and Pamela Ribon (U.S.)
  • An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It – Lachlan Pendragon (Australia)


Best Visual Effects

  • All Quiet on the Western Front (Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank and Kamil Jafar)
    • Other wins: International Feature Film (Edward Berger, Germany), Best Cinematography (James Friend), Production Design (Christian M. Goldbeck & Ernestine Hipper), Original Score (Volker Bertelmann)
  • WINNER: Avatar: The Way of Water (Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett)
  • The Batman (Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands and Dominic Tuohy)
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White and Dan Sudick)
    • Other wins: Costume Design (Ruth E. Carter)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson and Scott R. Fisher)
    • Other wins: Best Sound (Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor)


See the complete list of winners here.



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