Disney’s Zootopia won the best animated feature award at the 89th annual Academy Awards. Disney-Pixar’s Piper won the best animated short film category. Another Disney project, The Jungle Book, won the visual effects honor. The animated contenders in the Best Original Song category from Trolls and Moana, lost out to “City of Stars” from La La Land.
“This is an incredible honor,” says director Byron Howard.
“We are so grateful to the audiences all over the world who embraced this film with this story of tolerance being more powerful than fear of the other,” says director Rich Moore.
Producer Clark Spencer thanks everyone at Disney Animation who worked on the film.
Backstage, Piper director Alan Barillaro says: “The art form was just the pencil. We ignored the word realism and just went for the artistic choices.”
Moore spoke backstage about the impact of animation and how Disney builds on its history. “So many of the lessons I learned in life were from stories and it feels good as an adult to give back.”
“We wanted the animals to serve as stand-ins for us,” says Howard, about the diversity theme, adding that the movie went through 13 versions.
The ceremony was capped with the strangest ending in Oscars history, as presenter Warren Beatty read from the wrong envelope and declared La La Land the winner of best picture. After the speeches had begun, the mistake was announced and Moonlight declared the real winner of Best Picture.
In the early going, there’s lots of animation references: Justin Timberlake kicked off the show with “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls; a handful of animation-related songs (“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story and “Everything is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie); and a nice performance of “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s Moana, performed by Auli’i Cravalho with an original intro rap by composer Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Poor Cravalho had a flag brush through her hair during the performance, but kept on singing without missing a beat.)
Best Original Song
- “City of Stars” from La La Land | Music by Justin Hurwitz, lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Best Visual Effects
- The Jungle Book | Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
Best Animated Short
- Piper | Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer
Best Animated Feature
- Zootopia | Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer