Will ‘Encanto’ become 4th Disney movie to win Best Animated Feature Oscar?

What do “Frozen” (2013), “Big Hero 6” (2014) and “Zootopia” (2016) all have in common? To date, they are the only three Walt Disney Animation Studios films not co-produced by Pixar to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. (See the historical winners.) This year, “Encanto” is hoping to join that esteemed list by becoming Disney’s fourth overall champion. And it’s in a great position to do so, as it currently has leading 37/10 odds to prevail, according to Gold Derby predictions.

The animated movie’s biggest competition at the Oscars is Pixar’s “Luca,” which led Gold Derby’s racetrack odds earlier this season before “Encanto” started exploding at just the right time. Rounding out our Top 5 predictions in this category are “The Mitchells vs the Machines,” “Flee” and “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

“Encanto” centers around the Madrigals, a mystical family who lives hidden in the mountains of Colombia, where every child is blessed with a unique gift — except for central character Mirabel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz). When the young girl suspects that her family is losing its magic, she sets out to find out what is happening, which leads her to the outcasted Uncle Bruno (John Leguizamo). “Encanto” is co-directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard, with a screenplay written by Charise Castro Smith and Bush.

Much of “Encanto’s” success can be attributed to songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose soundtrack made history by topping the Billboard album chart as well as the singles chart for “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” Even though “Bruno” wasn’t submitted for Oscar consideration in the Best Song category, another “Encanto” song written by Miranda was: “Dos Oruguitas.” That tune is currently in the runner-up position to win, per Gold Derby’s predictions, behind only the song “No Time to Die” (from the film “No Time to Die”) by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell.

In addition to its critical acclaim, which includes a “certified fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes, “Encanto” received nine Annie Award nominations, including Best Animated Feature. It also scored bids at the BAFTAs, Critics Choice Awards, Gold Derby Awards and Golden Globes (which it won). And “Encanto” was recently recognized by the film industry at the Art Directors Guild and the Visual Effects Society Awards.

Recent movies produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios that lost the top Oscar race include “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (2018), “Moana” (2016), “Wreck-It Ralph” (2012) and “The Princess and the Frog” (2009). Can “Encanto” prevail where they all faltered?

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