Big Hero 6 Big Animated Feature Winner at Oscars
February 23, 2015

Big Hero 6 Big Animated Feature Winner at Oscars

Well, after a great deal of debate and speculation, the Oscar voters have spoken. Big Hero 6, the animated feature film from Walt Disney Animation, beat out the DreamWorks’ CG How to Train Your Dragon 2, as well as the stop-motion The Boxtrolls and the international Song of the Sea and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.

Big Hero 6 pushed rendering state of the art to create the animated film starring teenage whiz kids. To this end, the filmmakers used the studio’s new Hyperion renderer, which was being developed at the time. The decision enabled the team to render hundreds of thousands of trees, streetlights, vehicles, and tens of thousands of buildings, resulting in amazingly detailed scenes.

In other races, the sci-fi film from Christopher Nolan, Interstellar, topped Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, and X-Men: Days of Future Past for best visual effects. Interstellar dazzled audiences with images of space and the cosmos, pushing the boundaries of scale and scope. For the VFX, researchers and artists at Double Negative bent light waves and projected them on set to create in-camera backgrounds for the film.

The contest for best animated short film contained some amazing entries: The Bigger Picture, The Dam Keeper, Me and My Moulton, and A Single Life vying for the top prize, but the top dog in the category was Feast. At the heart of this animated short directed by Pixar’s Patrick Osborne is the story about a dog and his food…and how his circumstances are affected by his master’s love life. Osborne was working on Big Hero 6 when the chance to propose a short film arose; he developed his story at night, after work. 

Amazingly, all three winners were featured in the November/December 2014 issue of CGW, which can be found on in the archives. Read about the digital technology that helped these films take home the gold.

Overall, Birdman wasthe big winner at the 87th Academy Awards recognizing achievement in film for the year 2014. While the style awards all went to The Grand Budapest Hotel (Hair & Make Up, Costume Design, Production Design, Original Score), it was Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) that took Best Picture and Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu). The film was also honored for its Cinematography, but, surprisingly, not for Best Actor (Michael Keaton). Instead, that honor went to Eddie Redmayne for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.  Whiplash took home awards for Editing, Sound Mixing, and its Supporting Actor, J. K. Simmons.

Surprisingly, the only award for Boyhood was won by Patricia Arquette for Supporting Actress. And, American Sniper's only win was for Sound Editing.

The following is a list of all the winners:

Best Picture: Birdman

Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman

Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Sound Mixing: Whiplash

Sound Editing: American Sniper

Animated Short: Feast

Animated Feature: Big Hero 6

Live Action Short: The Phone Call

Visual Effects: Interstellar

Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Cinematography: Birdman

Editing: Whiplash

Feature Documentary: Citizenfour

Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Original Score: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Alexander Desplat

Original Song: “Glory," Selma

Original Screenplay: Birdman