Can an animated feature FINALLY win more than 2 Oscars? ‘Encanto’ or ‘Flee’ could

The Disney musical “Encanto” about a magical Colombian family and the Danish documentary “Flee” about a boy’s struggle to escape Afghanistan couldn’t be more different from each other, but they’re tied at the Oscars with three nominations apiece. That gives them the chance to make history: strangely, no animated film in the history of the Oscars has ever won more than two competitive Oscars.

There are 12 animated films that are tied with two Oscars each. Before the motion picture academy introduced the Best Animated Feature category in 2001 that meant victories for Best Score and Best Song. Those were the wins for “Pinocchio” (1940), “The Little Mermaid” (1989), “Beauty and the Beast” (1991) “Aladdin” (1992), “The Lion King” (1994), and “Pocahontas” (1995).

In the Best Animated Feature era, winning twice has almost always meant a victory in that category along with another for music: “Toy Story 3” (2010), “Frozen” (2013), and “Coco” (2017) won Animated Feature and Song, while “Up” (2009) and “Soul” (2020) claimed Animated Feature and Score. The only animated film to win anywhere besides music was “The Incredibles” (2004), which took Best Sound Editing to go along with its Animated Feature trophy.

Between the two animated films with a chance to achieve the unprecedented hat trick this year, “Encanto” may be the more likely of the two since it’s three nominations are in categories that animated films have tended to win: Best Original Song (Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s “Dos Oruguitas”), Best Original Score (Germaine Franco), and of course Best Animated Feature. But according to our racetrack odds as of this writing, the film is only likely to win Animated Feature. It ranks second for Original Song (behind the theme from “No Time to Die”) and third for Original Score (“Dune” is the favorite there).

As for “Flee,” it’s on the bubble in all three of its categories: Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best International Feature. It’s the first film ever to receive all three of those nominations, but it ranks second in our odds for Animated Feature (behind “Encanto”) and Documentary Feature (behind “Summer of Soul”) and third for International Feature (“Drive My Car” is the heavy favorite there).

Of course, since “Encanto” and “Flee” are rivals for Best Animated Feature, only one of them can win all three of its nominations, barring an unlikely (but not unprecedented) tie. And you can rarely count on a film to sweep all of its Oscar nominations. But both films have already achieved historic success (“Encanto” on the music charts, “Flee” in its three Oscar categories), so never say never.

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