5. Big Hero 6: Big Hero 6 is the adaption of a lesser known Marvel comic. The story centers around Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) a 14 year old genius who is given advice by his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney). Tadashi is a student at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology where he has developed a robot named Baymax. Baymax and Hamada form a special bond. Big Hero 6 is a very good movie with a fun story line, and interesting characters however it was not the odds on favorite. How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a sure fire winner.
4. Rango: One of the most unique films to have ever one best animated feature, Rango plays far more like a spaghetti western then a children’s cartoon. Director Gore Verbinski and scripter John Logan made a warped and at times humorous quasi-western in which a chameleon voiced by Johnny Depp goes from being a family pet to sheriff of the town of Dust. After rewatching this film the presence of Roger Deacon (Sicario, No Country for Old Men) is palpable because the film is visually stunning. Rango may not be the best film on this list however it is a good film and its competition was Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss and Boots.
3. Shrek: Shrek was the first Best Animated Feature winner in 2001, and was a critical and commercial success at the time. This half conventional tale about an ogre who is tricked into saving a princess from a fire breathing dragon by an evil lord began many of the tropes that we see in modern animation today. Shrek relied too heavily on crude gags and pop culture references. However there are some things to enjoy here such as Eddie Murphy as the wise cracking sidekick (pretty much reprising his role from Mulan). When it is all said and done I think most will agree Monsters Inc. was the superior film and has aged far better then Shrek.
2. Happy Feet: For at least half of its running time, 2006’s Happy Feet plays like the usual assembly-line animated feature, this one about a penguin (Elijah Wood) whose tap-dancing prowess freaks out his fellow flightless fowl. Like many mediocre toon flicks, it features saccharine characters and sterile CGI imagery. Emperor penguins, as if you didn’t know, profess their love through song. This leads to one annoying, self-satisfied pop number after another in Happy Feet, a well-intentioned but mostly grating film about a penguin who – believe it or not – dances instead of sings. In the Academy’s defense it was a weak year for the Best Animated Feature category: Happy Feet‘s only competitors were Cars and Monster House. However even in this weak field Happy Feet is still sadly not the best film.
1. Brave: Sixteen Oscars have been handed out thus far for Best Animated Feature, and eight of them have gone to Pixar productions. Still, the win for 2012’s Brave seems like the odd victory out — less of an affirmation of its merits than an admission by Academy voters that they didn’t care for Wreck it Ralph. The best thing about Brave is its vibrant heroine, the first female placed front and center in any Pixar film. With flaming red hair and archery skills to rival Robin Hood’s, Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) is a spirited Scottish lass who, in the best animated tradition, longs for independence and adventure. Her rambunctious father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly), admires her athletic abilities, but her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), bans such activities, insisting that Merida behave like a proper lady in order to land a suitable husband. There’s emotional resonance in the way the bond between mother and daughter evolves over the course of the picture, but it just barely compensates for the bizarre nature of the big twist that propels all the second-half action. Brave remains a perfectly pleasant film, but in most aspects, it’s disappointingly tame and conventional.