Why do Oscars hate sequels?

When “Big Hero 6” won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature over frontrunner “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” it was considered a huge upset. But, really, we should have seen this coming. After all, the Oscars hate sequels.

Related: Do Oscars hate women?

Indeed, since the Best Animated Feature was created in 2001, only one sequel has claimed victory: “Toy Story 3” (2010). But that was also a Best Picture nominee with a whopping five nominations, so it was clearly beloved by the entire Academy. In other words, “Toy Story 3” was a rare exception to the sequel rule.

The Oscars don’t just hate animated sequels, they also can’t stand rewarding sequels as Best Picture, either. In fact, out of the 87 Best Picture champs, only two have been sequels: “The Godfather Part II” (1974) and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003).

Hmm, what if we were to expand the definition of “sequel” to also include film remakes and adaptations? Perhaps we’d get more results that way?

Not really. Only one film remake has ever won Best Picture: “The Departed” (2006). And only a single movie adapted from a TV production has claimed victory: “Marty” (1955).

Oscars: Complete list of winners

What this all really means is that the Oscars simply love original productions. The more original a film is, the better chance it has of winning Best Picture. Look no further than this year’s Oscars for proof.

Of the two major Best Picture frontrunners, “Boyhood” and “Birdman,” the former filmed over 12 years and essentially felt like a dozen mini-sequels all strung together. Compare that to “Birdman,” one of the more unique films to ever grace the screen both from a writing and directorial perspective. “Birdman” won.

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4 thoughts on “Why do Oscars hate sequels?

  1. If Oscar hated sequels and prequels then The Godfather Part II,The Lord of The Rings: The Returnof The King,Toy Story 3 would win Oscars for best picture twice and best animated feature.As usual you are not make sense. Marcus.

  2. Certainly a good guideline for predictions. It doesn’t weaken the point at all (since the number of recognized sequels is so small) but isn’t Silence of the Lambs also considered a sequel?

  3. I’m cool with the BH6. I knew Song of the Sea and Kaguya-Hime would never win unless there was a groundswell. Boxtrolls would have been nice, but a weak winner in retrospect. HTTYD2, on the other hand, was merely solid for me. It’s not better than the first film. The story choices HTTYD2 made didn’t pay off and the emotional payoff was compromised. I was glad BH6 beat Dragon. Plus, the superhero theme is fitting with Birdman’s dominance and to take “Feast” along for the ride was satisfying.

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