93rd Academy Awards: Pixar's 'Soul' wins Best Animated Feature award

WASHINGTON: The 2021 Oscar for the ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ was taken home by Pixar’s ‘Soul’, becoming the only film ever to win that award without playing in the US movie theatres.

Last October, with the COVID pandemic having closed most of the nation’s cinemas, Disney announced that it would release ‘Soul’ as a Christmas release exclusively on its streaming service Disney+. The movie centered around a jazz musician who’s trying to reunite his accidentally separated soul and body.

This marked the first time a full-length Pixar feature had been released for home viewing without first playing in movie theaters.

Before its win at the Oscars, ‘Soul’ had already made history on other fronts. It was the first Pixar feature to have a Black protagonist, voiced by Jamie Foxx, the first with a predominantly Black cast and the first with a Black co-director Kemp Powers.

The movie had also swept up Best Animated Feature awards from several critics groups and film societies, including the Golden Globes, BAFTA, the AFI, the Art Directors Guild, among others.

‘Soul’ directed by filmmaker Pete Docter, besides Foxx, features the vocal talents of Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Questlove, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs. It also features original jazz music by Jon Batiste, and a score composed by Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

The 93rd Academy Awards are being held at both the Dolby Theatre and Union Station. The ceremony is taking place two months later than originally planned, due to the impact left by the COVID-19 pandemic on the entertainment industry.

The nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards were announced on March 15 this year. This is only the fourth time in history that the Academy Awards were postponed.

‘Mank’ leads the nominations this year after being nominated for 10 accolades while ‘The Father’, ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’, ‘Minari’, ‘Nomadland’, ‘Sound of Metal’ and ‘The Trial of Chicago 7’ have been nominated in six categories.