'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Snaps Disney's Decade-Long Undefeated Oscar Streak

Fans around the globe (myself included) audibly cheered last night when Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was announced as the winner of this year's Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. While the movie wasn't an underdog by any stretch of the imagination, sweeping just about every other animated prize this awards season, it did have one key factor working against it at the Oscars. Disney has had unprecedented success in the animated Oscar category over the last decade, and many believed that, no matter how good Spider-Verse actually is, the voters wouldn't be able to look past the absence of a Disney logo at the beginning of the film.

Fortunately, that wasn't the case for Sony's Spider-Verse, as the team of Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman all walked away with golden statues, ending an undefeated streak for Disney dating back to 2008.

Since the 80th Oscar ceremony in early 2008, Disney (including Pixar) has won the Best Animated Feature award every year that it's been nominated for it. In fact, the only non-Disney win since 2007 was Rango in 2012, a year when not a single Disney or Pixar film was nominated (Cars 2 was eligible that year but didn't get nominated for obvious reasons).

Pixar's Ratatouille won in 2008, followed by WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Brave, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Inside Out, Zootopia, and Coco. In that span, the only losses Disney suffered (Bolt, Wreck-It Ralph, Moana) were at the hands of other Disney-owned films. If you go back even further, to the birth of the Animated Feature category in the 2002 ceremony, Disney has won 12 of the 18 total awards. Of those 12, nine have been specifically Pixar. Pixar films have only lost twice in the Animated Feature race when nominated, in 2002 when Shrek beat Monsters, Inc., and in 2007 when Happy Feet beat Cars.

So when this year's Oscar nominations came around, despite the insane amount of love for Spider-Verse, it was easy to see a scenario where Brad Bird and Pixar took home the gold for Incredibles 2, given the immaculate success of the studio. Even Ralph Breaks the Internet stood an outside chance, given its critical adoration and Disney branding. But alas, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse held strong and snapped Disney's streak.

Don't expect this to last very long, though. Next year's award will likely go to a Disney film as well. It's entirely too early to offer any serious predictions, and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is already providing some serious competition, but 2019 will see the release of both Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2. In all likelihood, the 2020 show will feature a two horse race when it comes to the Animated Feature category, and both will come from the prestigious House of Mouse.



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