Going into the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, Toy Story 3 had been nominated for five Oscars, while Day & Night was up for one. After a broadcast that lasted a bit longer than three hours, the smoke cleared and Toy Story 3 emerged a winner. The film did not walk away with the Best Picture award, but did come away with two more golden statuettes that can now be placed in Pixar Animation Studios’ ever-growing trophy case.
The first of the categories that were presented was Best Animated Short:
Best Animated Short Film
- Day & Night – Teddy Newton
- The Gruffalo – Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
- Let’s Pollute – Geefwee Boedoe
- The Lost Thing – Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
- Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) – Bastien Dubois
Teddy Newton’s Day & Night was a fantastic short film that dazzled audiences with its creativity. It may have had a familiar message of tolerance and respect, but it is a message that has never lost its importance. However, it was The Lost Thing that walked away with the Oscar.
Next up was Best Animated Feature Film, which only had three nominees due to the amount of films that were submitted for consideration. Apparently, the category was one submission short of having five nominees, which would likely have led to nominations for Tangled and Despicable Me. Interestingly, Yogi Bear had originally been submitted for consideration, but was denied by The Academy, as the percentage of the film that was animated did not meet the awards show’s standards. The final nominees in the category were:
Best Animated Feature Film
- How To Train Your Dragon – Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
- The Illusionist – Sylvain Chomet
- Toy Story 3 – Lee Unkrich
Toy Story 3 has caused many tears to stream down viewers’ faces. That is not only a sign of a great film, but also a nod to the fact that audiences around the world were gifted with something remarkable. When Toy Story 3 was announced as the winner, director Lee Unkrich seemed to soak it all in and gave a nice big hug to John Lasseter, who handed Unkrich the reigns to the film several years ago. Considering how Lasseter was the director on the first two, it must have been a difficult decision to name who would direct the third feature in the Toy Story trilogy.
However, maybe it was not that challenging a decision, as Unkrich has been a part of Pixar and the Toy Story films from the beginning. He served as editor on the first Toy Story and co-director on the second, which means that there may not have been anybody else who could better serve the role of solo director of Toy Story 3. He knew the characters incredibly well and went on to provide moviegoers with a heartbreaking and hopeful experience.
He gave the following acceptance speech:
Oh boy. I can’t believe I am actually saying this, but thank you to The Academy. I wouldn’t be standing here if it weren’t for the vision of three incredible guys: John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, and Steve Jobs, the founders of Pixar Animation Studios, which by the way is the most AWESOME place on the planet to make movies.(Cheers, yelps from the audience)
To my producer, Darla Anderson; screenwriter Michael Arndt; my cast and crew, everyone at Disney and Pixar; every single person who had absolutely anything to do with making Toy Story 3 and getting it out into the world – I share this with you. To my grandmother, who always insisted that she’d see me up here someday; to my parents, my wife Laura, my kids (Hannah, Alice, and Max) – I love you all so much.
And finally, thank you to audiences all over the world who came out in historic numbers and embraced a movie about talking toys that hopefully had something very human to say. Thank you. Thank you, thank you! (Applause)
Another awards show, another heartfelt acceptance speech.
The Best Adapted Screenplay category was up next with many critics predicting The Social Network to win. The nominees were:
Best Adapted Screenplay
- 127 Hours – Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
- The Social Network – Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
- Toy Story 3 – Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
- True Grit – Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
- Winter’s Bone – Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
As predicted, The Social Network walked away the winner. This was a tough category for Toy Story 3 to win as Aaron Sorkin’s script has been lauded since the Facebook movie’s release. That is not to say that Michael Arndt did not produce another stunning screenplay. Having won for his first screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3 was Ardnt’s second screenplay to be nominated. The man has written two screenplays and both of them have received Oscar nominations. That is quite a start to a career in scriptwriting!
The Sound Editing category was to follow. The nominees were:
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
- Inception – Richard King
- Toy Story 3 – Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
- Tron: Legacy – Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
- True Grit – Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
- Unstoppable – Mark P. Stoeckinger
It was Inception that laid claim to the Oscar.
The Best Original Song category has been an enigma for The Academy, as the performances can eat up a substantial amount of time from the broadcast. They actually did away with the performances last year in an attempt to save time, but thankfully they were back this year. Randy Newman was the first to perform, as he played the piano and sang “We Belong Together,” the capper to Toy Story 3. The four nominees in the category were:
Best Original Song
- “Coming Home” from Country Strong – Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
- “I See The Light” from Tangled – Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
- “If I Rise” from 127 Hours – Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
- “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 – Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Randy Newman, whose illustrious career has included about 20 Academy Award nominations, was handed the Oscar. Newman’s musical work on the Toy Story trilogy has been nothing short of magnificent and his win for “We Belong Together” is a nice exclamation point. He gave a hilarious acceptance speech, recognizing that The Academy has only awarded him Oscars twice after being nominated many, many times.
The last award for the night, Best Picture, had much hype attached to it. Filled with 10 great films, this category has proven to be the most difficult for an animated film to win. No animated film has ever taken the Best Picture Oscar, a fact that John Lasseter is looking to change.
Lasseter was quoted earlier tonight saying that, “One day an animated film WILL win best picture. You can feel it in Hollywood. We just use different cameras.” (Quote via Steve Pond)
The nominees were:
- Black Swan
- The Fighter
- The Kids Are All Right
- The King’s Speech
- 127 Hours
- The Social Network
- Toy Story 3
- True Grit
- Winter’s Bone
The King’s Speech took the Best Picture Oscar and dashed the hopes of animated filmmakers everywhere. As I wrote in a post earlier tonight, the biggest injustice to Toy Story 3 would not be that it did not win – the disappointment would arise if the film was never seriously considered for Best Picture. Hopefully a brighter future lies ahead for animation – a world where the content of a film, not the type of “cameras” used (as Lasseter said) is critiqued.
A big night for Lee Unkrich and Randy Newman, as they both walked away with Oscars tonight. However, Toy Story 3 was a collaborative effort, so the hundreds of people at Pixar who worked on the film are doing a bit of celebrating tonight – well-deserved celebrating.