The Oscar for Best Animated Feature is the newest of the academy’s 24 categories, initially honoring films from 2001. Its first decade of existence included winners from multiple studios, including Disney-Pixar, DreamWorks, Warner Bros. and Studio Ghibli. DreamWorks won for “Shrek” and “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” while Warner Bros. prevailed with “Happy Feet,” and Studio Ghibli earned their Oscar for “Spirited Away.” The rest of the wins went to Pixar movies, including “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E” and “Up.”
So which Best Animated Feature Oscar winner is your favorite from the 2000s? Look back on the decade’s nine winners and then vote in our poll below.
“Shrek” (2001) — Despite Pixar’s dominance in this category, the inaugural Best Animated Feature Film Oscar went to DreamWorks’ “Shrek.” The inventive story involves the titular ogre having his swamp infested with fairy tale characters, and must capture Princess Fiona in order to get his land back. The film was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
“Spirited Away” (2002) — Revered animation artist Hayao Miyazaki earned his Oscar for “Spirited Away,” the only traditionally animated film to win this category. The film follows 10-year-old Chihiro Ogino, her journey into the spirit world and her struggle to escape with her family.
“Finding Nemo” (2003) — “Finding Nemo,” about a father clownfish who searches the depths of the ocean for his missing son with help from a forgetful blue tang, began Disney-Pixar’s dominance in this category. The film earned three other nominations, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Sound Editing.
“The Incredibles” (2004) — “The Incredibles” was the next Pixar movie to win, about a family of superheroes who must hide their true nature from a judgmental public. Like “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles” was nominated for three other Oscars — Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing, winning for Sound Editing.
“Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” (2005) — “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” the first feature film in the popular “Wallace & Gromit” series, is the only stop-motion animated film to win this category. The film tells the tale of inventor Wallace and his brave dog Gromit as they set out to find a beast ravaging the town’s vegetables.
“Happy Feet” (2006) — “Happy Feet,” directed by George Miller, remains the only nomination and win for Warner Bros. The highly musical film tells the story of a young emperor penguin named Mumble who cannot sing, thus lessening his mating ability, but has a unique talent for tap-dancing.
“Ratatouille” (2007) — Pixar’s reign picked back up again with “Ratatouille,” about a rat with a knack for cooking who executes his passion by controlling a human at a famous Parisian restaurant. “Ratatouille” was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
“WALL-E” (2008) — “WALL-E,” the elegant story of a robot forced to clean up the mess left behind on Earth who falls in love with a robot probe named EVE, continued Pixar’s streak. The film earned a whopping six nominations for an animated film, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
“Up” (2009) — “Up” was the first animated film since “Beauty and the Beast” (1991) nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The story of an elderly widower and a young explorer traveling via balloon to South America, “Up” was also nominated in Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Sound Editing, with composer Michael Giacchino winning the trophy for Score.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in this and the other top races. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories. Then take a look at the most up-to-date odds before you make make your Oscar nomination predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.