Annal: 2003 Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature

Results of the Academy Award® in the year 2003.

Film:Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Hayao Miyazaki

The highest grossing film in Japanese box-office history (more than $234 million), Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (Sen To Chihiro Kamikakushi) is a dazzling film that reasserts the power of drawn animation to create fantasy worlds. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Lewis Carroll’s Alice, Chihiro (voice by Daveigh Chase—Lilo in Disney’s Lilo & Stitch) plunges into an alternate reality. On the way to their new home, the petulant adolescent and her parents find what they think is a deserted amusement park. Her parents stuff themselves…

Film:Ice Age (2002)

Ice Age

Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha

Just as A Bug’s Life was a computer-animated comedy inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, the funny and often enthralling Ice Age is a digital re-imagining of the Western Three Godfathers. The heroes of this unofficial remake (set 20,000 years ago, during the titular Paleolithic era) are a taciturn mastodon named Manfred (voiced by Ray Romano), an annoying sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo), and a duplicitous saber-toothed tiger, Diego (Denis Leary). The unlikely team encounters a dying, human mother who relinquishes her chirpy…

Film:Lilo & Stitch

Lilo & Stitch

Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

Warm, funny, and imaginative, Lilo & Stitch is the best animated feature the Walt Disney Studios have produced in years. On the planet Turo, mad scientist Jumba Jookiba (voice by David Ogden Stiers) has created a miniature monster programmed for destruction. When the monster escapes to Earth, it’s adopted as a pet and named “Stitch” by Lilo (Daveigh Chase), a lonely little Hawaiian girl. Lilo and her older sister Nani (Tia Carrere) have been struggling to stay together since their parents died. Stitch and Lilo share some hilarious adventures, evading…

Film:Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Lorna Cook, Kelly Asbury

Horse lovers young and old will celebrate this utterly enjoyable and marvelous-looking animated film. The titular stallion runs free in the Cimarron (New Mexico) wilderness until a series of men try to master the proud horse, leading to adventures through a U.S. Cavalry fort, Native American settlements, and a railroad camp. Despite a heavy dose of political correctness and realism (the animals don’t talk; we only hear Spirit’s internal monologue, voiced by Matt Damon), directors Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook give their hero many only-in-a-movie moments, including…

Film:Treasure Planet

Treasure Planet

Ron Clements, John Musker

Treasure Planet, a pet project of Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Hercules codirectors Ron Clements and John Musker, is an ambitious animation hybrid (traditional animation combined with elaborate CGI backgrounds). It was the subject of numerous in-studio battles, but Disney office politics and a poor public reception shouldn’t distract one from its many admirable qualities, not the least being its overall fidelity to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Treasure Island. Curiously revamped as a sci-fi adventure with space-faring…

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