How Pixar Quietly Dominates the Oscars—Year after Year
When it comes to the Oscars, no one has ruled quite as dominantly as Pixar.
The animation studio once again picked up the Academy Award for Best Animation Sunday night – the eighth time it has won the top prize. (Brave, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E Up and Toy Story 3 are Pixar’s other Oscar-winning films.)
Add in the power of Disney’s (DIS) resurgent Walt Disney Animation Studios, which captured Best Animated Feature awards for Big Hero Six last year and Frozen in 2014, and the mouse house’s streak is even more impressive.
In fact, in the 15 year history of the Best Animation Oscar, a Pixar or Disney Animation title has taken home the prize 10 times. And only three people have been honored twice by the Academy in that field – Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, and Brad Bird, all of whom are Pixar employees.
Pixar, of course, is a Disney property, having been purchased in January 2006 for $7.4 billion. And John Lasseter, the former CEO of Pixar (who was, ironically, fired from Disney in 1983 for promoting computer animation over hand-drawn films), now oversees both his original company and Walt Disney Animation Studios. So, by some calculations, he’s really able to claim victory for any recent Disney win.
Beyond the awards they’ve garnered, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios are cash machines for Disney. Here’s how each Oscar winning film has performed at the box office (per Box Office Mojo):
That’s nearly $3 billion when added together (a number which doesn’t include lucrative home video sales and even more lucrative merchandise sales). But don’t think the Academy Awards are a result to that box office success.
After all, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has earned $926 million by itself in the last two-plus months – and that film didn’t take home a single Oscar.
Will Pixar and Disney continue the winning ways next year? We wouldn’t rule it out. Up next from the studio is Finding Dory, the sequel to 2003’s Best Animated film – with the same crew helming the story.