The Oscar for Best Animated Feature wasn’t introduced until 2001, when Shrek became the inaugural winner of the category.
Which animated feature released in 1998 do you think would have been most likely to win Best Animated Feature had the category existed back then?
I honestly could have seen either A Bug’s Life, Antz, Mulan or The Prince of Egypt winning this category in 1998, which is crazy considering there likely only would have been 3 nominees that year, and at least one of them would have been left off the ballot. If I had to predict one though, I would say A Bug’s Life.
Interesting question. I think Antz was the slight critical favorite, but only by a bit over A Bug’s Life. The latter, however, was a huge box office success, as well as being critically well-reviewed. I’d imagine it probably would have been the frontrunner.
I feel like Mulan was move beloved out of the group. I wouldn’t know at the time what the feeling was because I was 3 but I think Mulan was the best. I still very much love A Bug’s Life but it seems like Mulan would have had the edge
Of this lineup, most likely “A Bug’s Life.” With the requisite critical acclaim and big box office that usually cement this Oscar… I definitely remember it being more publicized and having a more ubiquitous presence than “Antz,” which was still well-reviewed.
“Mulan,” then and now, would never be confused with Disney’s best work, and the fact that it failed to get a Song nomination besides its “choice filler” Score nomination indicates to me that it was not as high on the Academy radar as might be imagined.
And despite its extremely positive reviews, I really have to wonder if the voters would have been able to get behind “The Prince of Egypt” for an Animated Feature win because of its religious undertones (the Academy has always treated Biblical subject matter with kid gloves; even the seven-time nominated “The Ten Commandments” only managed one Oscar win).
I wouldn’t necessarily call Mulan a choice filler in the score category. At that time there were two score categories, so 10 total nominations. Also, the score was composed by the great Jerry Goldsmith.
I feel like there would have been a split between a bugs life and antz. Both were well-liked and are very frequently compared to each other. I think Mulan would have won, because no matter how you look at it, Disney was THE animated studio until Finding Nemo and even then it was seen as a #2.
While I do like Antz, I don’t love it. A Bug’s Life was great and had this wonderfully nostalgic feel to it. Mulan probably could get a nomination, but a nomination only. The Prince of Egypt could get in, but I think that A Bug’s Life would have won because it has the “cute factor” more so than all the others.