Disney Snubbed for Best Animated Feature for First Time in 30 Years

in Disney, Pixar

Asha from Wish and Ember from Elemental side by side

Credit: Disney/Pixar

Disney and Pixar have both been snubbed for the Annie Award for Best Feature, the prestigious animation award widely considered to predict the eventual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature winner. While both Elemental and Wish were assumed to be contenders, neither received a nomination.

Asha (Ariana DeBose) holding a wishing star in Disney's 'Wish' (2023)
Credit: Disney

For decades, Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios have dominated the awards (and animation in general), particularly the Best Feature category, but neither is in contention for the first time in 32 years. While every studio hits a creative slump every once in a while, it is not a good sign for Disney’s diminishing critical and commercial reputation that it should achieve this dubious landmark this year.

Related: Academy Awards Snub ‘Oppenheimer,’ Reward Worst Marvel Film

It is also noteworthy that not only is it the first year in decades that neither Disney nor Pixar were nominated for Best Feature at the Annie Awards, but it is the first time since the category was introduced that the two studios were not included. In fact, the inaugural Best Feature award was given to Beauty and the Beast (1991), often considered the height of the 1990s Disney Renaissance. Beauty and the Beast would go on to become the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Belle and Beast dance during ballroom scene
Credit: Disney

While Disney and Pixar both had a number of theatrical successes in 2023, the year was not terribly kind to both studios. Disney lost its box office crown to Universal Pictures for the first time in years, mostly due to the poor performance of films like Wish, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and The Marvels. While Elemental eventually became a box office success, it received lukewarm critical reviews, which should have presaged its snub at the Annies.

Related: Disney Stages a Comeback With Unexpected Award Domination

Both Disney and Pixar have had a good run of things with the Best Feature category, scoring wins with beloved (and profitable) movies like The Lion King (1994), Toy Story (1996), The Incredibles (2004), Frozen (2013), and many others. But it seems the critical tide has turned against both studios. They will have to come up with something pretty incredible to get back in competition.

Elsa (L) and Anna (R) holding hands in 'Frozen'
Credit: Disney

The complete list of Best Feature nominees at the Annie Awards is below. The full list of nominees can be read here.

Nimona (Annapurna Animation for Netflix)

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures Animation)

Suzume (CoMix Wave Films Inc. and STORY inc.)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies)

The Boy and the Heron (Studio Ghibli / Distributed by GKIDS)

Have Disney and Pixar lost their creative edge? Should Wish or Elemental have been nominated? Let’s hear your opinions below!

View Comments (9)