“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” wins the 2023 Oscar for Animated Feature

Oscar statue

Updated on May 16, 2023

This year’s Academy Awards were held on Sunday. Below is a look at this year’s animation-related nominees and winners (in italics; winners are in bold). A full list of winners is available here.

Animated Feature Film

  • Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix)
  • Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (independent)
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (DreamWorks)
  • The Sea Beast (Netflix)
  • Turning Red (Disney/Pixar)

Short Film (Animated)

  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
  • The Flying Sailor
  • Ice Merchants
  • My Year of D*cks
  • An Ostrich Told Me the World is Fake and I Think I Believe It

Another year of… not tuning in

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse poster
“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” poster. (Apple TV+)

Since I don’t have a TV antenna, the only way to watch the Oscars is via a cable replacement streaming service. (The Oscars are exclusive to ABC; streaming live via sister services Hulu or Disney+ apparently isn’t deemed an option.) However, the Oscars don’t seem worth cashing in on a free trial for such.

Last year, I wrote about why I didn’t watch then (even before the now-infamous “slap”); the reasons still hold up a year later. To summarize, the Oscars feel plagued by the following problems:

  • Annoying hosts (Seth MacFarlane? Jimmy Kimmel?).
  • General incompetence (the botched “Moonlight” announcement).
  • Problems with diverse representation (see the “#OscarsSoWhite” social media hashtag).
  • Questionable choices, such as awarding “Green Book” and “Crash” Best Picture (the latter over “Brokeback Mountain”), or the Academy snubbing Chadwick Boseman for what would’ve been his final Oscar.

Given all of the above, I figured I’d be better off not bothering to watch; instead, I played video games and watched a few episodes of “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.” I might not be the only one to tune out, based on ratings: last year’s show was the second least-watched/lowest-rated Oscars broadcast ever. This year’s Oscars viewership rose by 12% over last year, with an estimated 18.7 million viewers. However, it still ranks as one of the least-watched ceremonies ever, per the Oscars’ general decline in ratings over the years. The highest-rated Oscars ceremony came in 1998 with 57 million viewers, on the heels of “Titanic” hype.

From NPR and others’ reports, I definitely didn’t miss anything. Unlike last year, this year a very typical award show took place: Jimmy Kimmel was… Jimmy Kimmel; music played to get winners off the stage faster; some musical numbers; and so forth.

Thoughts on the winners

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio poster
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” poster. (Netflix)

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” won the 2023 Oscar for best animated feature. It also marks Netflix’s first Oscar for one of its animated films. Perhaps Netflix will take a more measured approach toward animation in the future, versus the previous year’s worth of budget cuts in their animation department. Granted, anything Netflix has done there now pales in comparison to Warner Bros. Discovery’s actions with HBO Max.

Of interest is del Toro tried to advocate for animation as a medium:

“This is an art form that has kept being kneecapped commercially and industrially and the kid’s table for so long,” del Toro said backstage, elaborating on his on-stage remarks about the state of animation. “And it really is a mature, expressive, beautiful, complex, art form. So a win helps, but it is about going forward as a community.” He asserted that taking animation to the next level also needs to involve dialog with the Guilds and the Academy. He related that he would “push this message” at the upcoming the Annecy International Animation Festival.

Meanwhile, “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” won for best animated short. The film is based on a book of the same name.

Over in live action, the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is this year’s Best Picture winner. It also swept the show, winning seven of the 11 awards it was nominated for. I suppose it’s a sign that multiverses are in vogue (between “Everything,” recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films, “Into the Spider-Verse,” etc.). Also a sign the concept isn’t confusing to the general public/Hollywood.

Where to watch the 2023 Oscar animation nominees/winners

Turning Red banner
“Turning Red.” (Disney/Pixar)

Here’s where to watch the 2023 Oscar animated feature nominees/winner:

  • Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio: Netflix
  • Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: Showtime
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish: Peacock
  • The Sea Beast: Netflix
  • Turning Red: Disney+

As for the 2023 Oscar animated shorts nominees/winner:

  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse: Apple TV+
  • The Flying Sailor: YouTube
  • Ice Merchants: YouTube
  • My Year of D*cks: Hulu
  • An Ostrich Told Me the World is Fake and I Think I Believe It: none

I note that given the nature of streaming services, the above can change in the future. I’d suggest checking with JustWatch if that’s the case, or if you’re reading this a year from now.

Academy Award Winner” by Dave_B_ is licensed under CC BY 2.0. (Flickr / cropped from original)

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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