ByMeghann Elisa, writer at
'Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?'
Meghann Elisa

It's been fifteen years since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences finally came around and added a 'Best Animated Feature' category to the Oscars. Since then, the category has unsurprisingly been dominated by Disney (and Pixar), who have acquired nine out of the fourteen golden statues awarded so far. And it looks like their winning streak is set to continue this year with creative comedy Inside Out hotly tipped to bring home the gold.

But how do Inside Out and the other nominees this year compare to the previous winners? In honour of fifteen years of Oscar worthy animation, here's a celebration of all of the films that have won 'Best Animated Feature' since it was established in 2001.

1. Shrek - Aron Warner (2001)

Produced by: Pacific Data Images

Other nominees: Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius; Monsters, Inc.

There was a fair amount of debate at the time as to whether Shrek or Monsters, Inc. truly deserved the title, but whatever your stance, there's no denying that Shrek is a great movie and a children's classic. While the numerous sequels have been less successful, the original movie will forever be remembered as the film that put Dreamworks Animation on the map.

Check out a classic scene from the movie below:

2. Spirited Away - Hayao Miyazaki (2002)

Produced by: Studio Ghibli

Other nominees: Lilo & Stitch; Treasure Planet; Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron; Ice Age

Hayao Miyazaki lived up to his long held reputation of best living animator when he won an Oscar for what is probably his greatest film. Spirited Away is an elaborate and imaginative movie, full of crazy characters, mystical metaphors and amazing animation. There's also a very powerful message woven into this story of self-discovery, and despite the tough competition, it went on to become the only non-American film to win the coveted award.

Watch the trailer here:

3. Finding Nemo - Andrew Stanton (2003)

Produced by: Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar

Other nominees: Brother Bear; The Triplets of Belleville

Enter Pixar. To be fair, there wasn't much competition but Finding Nemo did go on to become one of Disney's biggest hits. Telling the moving tale of a father and son's epic expedition through the ocean and beyond, the brilliant voice actors and first class animation have made this movie an absolute classic. The other two nominees didn't really stand a chance, did they?

Watch Nemo and Dory in this super cute clip from the movie:

4. The Incredibles - Brad Bird (2004)

Produced by: Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar

Other nominees: Shark Tale; Shrek 2

Almost everybody has seen The Incredibles. One of Pixar's greatest offerings of all time, this slightly unconventional superhero movie has it all: wit, spectacular action scenes, kickass costumes and at it's heart, a powerful family message. In exploring their individual issues, each member of the somewhat dysfunctional Parr family is treated with equal importance, uniting as a family to prove that they're strongest when they're together. And that's something that everyone can relate to.

See classic character Edna Mode in action below:

5. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit - Nick Park and Steve Box (2005)

Produced by: Aardman Animations; DreamWorks Animation

Other nominees: Corpse Bride; Howl's Moving Castle

Wallace & Gromit brought in Aardman Animations' only Oscar to date, and it was well deserved. The addition of excellent voice actors, Ralph Fiennes and Helena Boham Carter, nicely compliments the already delightful story of our favorite inventor and his dog saving their village from a giant mutant rabbit. With strong competition, it wasn't a clear winner but the undeniable charm of those familiar characters and their engaging dynamic definitely tipped the scales in their favor.

Watch a short clip from the film below:

6. Happy Feet - George Miller (2006)

Produced by: Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Productions; Animal Logic

Other nominees: Cars; Monster House

Back in 2006, global warming was the topic on everyone's lips making Happy Feet super relevant at the time. With An Inconvenient Truth and March of the Penguins released shortly before, you could argue that it was the pretty much perfect timing of this film that won it an Oscar. However, that doesn't take into account the dazzling visuals, thoughtful storyline and catchy musical numbers. The film may not have all the thrills of fellow nominee, Cars, but its important message clearly prevailed.

Watch that iconic dance scene in this clip:

7. Ratatouille - Brad Bird (2007)

Produced by: Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar

Other nominees: Persepolis; Surf's Up

Despite having a little trouble getting off the ground when original director Jan Pinkava walked away from the production, Brad Bird came in and saved the day with this rather unique story of a rat who dreams of becoming a chef. A firm favorite of many, the movie covered a fair amount of pertinent issues and the comedy was fresh and modern. Ratatouille further established Pixar's frontrunner status by becoming their third Oscar win - and a second for Brad Bird himself.

Watch a clip from the movie below:

8. WALL-E - Andrew Stanton (2008)

Produced by: Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar

Other nominees: Bolt; Kung Fu Panda

A second win for Andrew Stanton with yet another imaginative screenplay of two robots who fall in love. The engaging and emotional story paired with the stunning animation come together to form another Disney classic, particularly special in the sense that the story is conveyed with such few words. Although the film is light and entertaining, it also manages to teach a timeless message about humanity and love.

See the trailer for WALL-E below:

9. Up - Pete Docter (2009)

Produced by: Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar

Other nominees: Coraline; Fantastic Mr. Fox; The Princess and the Frog; The Secret of Kells

Yet nother slam-dunk for Pixar with arguably one of the greatest films of all time. Up hits you right in the feels from the very beginning, featuring one of the most heartbreaking opening scenes we've ever seen in a Disney movie. The adventures continue as unlikely duo, 78 year old Carl and 8 year old Jordan, set out to fulfil Carl's promise to his late wife Ellie: to see the wilds of South America. The film managed to beat out some stiff competition, but with both brilliant characters and gorgeous animation, this film is truly magical and rightly deserved its Oscar win.

Remind yourself of that super sad scene by watching the video below:

10. Toy Story 3 - Lee Unkrich (2010)

Produced by: Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar

Other nominees: How to Train Your Dragon; The Illusionist

Sequels generally are a tricky business but Toy Story was a risk that paid off for Pixar on not one, but two occasions. The third instalment of the much loved Disney series concludes an epic journey for Woody and the gang, and it feels quite natural rather than contrived like so many sequels before it. Action and comedy aside, the heartfelt story speaks to its audience on so many levels and is a true testament to Pixar's amazing ability with animation.

Watch Barbie meet Ken in this clip:

11. Rango - Gore Verbinski (2011)

Produced by: Nickelodeon Movies; Blind Wink; GK Films; Industrial Light & Magic

Other nominees: A Cat in Paris; Chico and Rita; Kung Fu Panda 2; Puss In Boots

Although the characters in Rango are sort of bizarre, the idea is incredibly unique and it provided a nice change from the usual Pixar offering. There was a certain amount of controversy around this one, as many were outraged that The Adventures of Tintin did not even receive a nomination but the Academy's rules marked it as a no-go due to the 3D motion capture method that was used. Controversy aside, Rango is a fantastic film and the animation itself is spectacular.

Hear the brilliant Johnny Depp as Rango in this clip:

12. Brave - Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman (2012)

Produced by: Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar

Other nominees: Frankenweenie; ParaNorman; The Pirates! Band of Misfits; Wreck-It Ralph

Pixar were back on top in 2012 with this charming story of a rebellious girl and her rocky relationship with her mother. The win was tarnished with controversy once again this year with many protesting that the Oscar should have gone to Disney's own offering (sans Pixar) Wreck-It Ralph. But that's not to say that Brave doesn't have its fair share of supporters - the warmth and sincerity of the story make it a very worthy winner.

See a clip from the movie below:

13. Frozen - Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho (2013)

Produced by: Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Animation Studios

Other nominees: The Croods; Despicable Me 2; Ernest & Celestine; The Wind Rises

The colossal success of Frozen has continued to this very day, with continued celebration of the film, a huge variety of merchandise and now even a Broadway show. The spectacular story of Anna and Elsa, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen, has much to love but above the endearing characters and beautiful animation, the superb soundtrack has to be the highlight. Frozen showed quite clearly that Disney don't need Pixar to make a hit.

Hear that song again in this video (as if you need reminding):

14. Big Hero 6 - Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli (2014)

Produced by: Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Animation Studios

Other nominees: The Boxtrolls; How to Train Your Dragon 2; Song of the Sea; The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Disney's winning streak continued with their first animated Marvel superhero movie - and it's not difficult to see why. Underneath all of Big Hero 6's excitement, energy and super-scientists fighting each other, there lies an incredibly touching story about a young boy coping with loss. The film is undoubtedly enhanced by the brilliant execution of gentle giant Baymax, whose memorable character truly makes the movie.

Say hello to Baymax in the clip below:

15. ?????

So that brings us to the Best Animated Feature of 2015. Let's take a look at the nominees.

Anomalisa - Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran

Produced by: Starburns Industries; Snoot Films

Boy & the World - Alê Abreu

Produced by: Filme de Papel

Inside Out - Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera

Produced by: Walt Disney Pictures & Pixar

Shaun the Sheep Movie - Mark Burton and Richard Starzak

Produced by: Aardman Animations & Anton Capital Entertainment

When Marnie Was There - Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Produced by: Studio Ghibli

Who are your bets on? All will be revealed this Sunday evening at the 88th Academy Awards.

Which Best Animated Feature winner is your favorite?


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