(Note: This is a fictional creative writing exercise, inspired by hours of contemplation of which animated performances have been most worthy of attention over the years. This feature imagines that a Best Voice Performance category was added to the Oscars following Beauty and the Beast’s nomination for Best Picture at the 64th Academy Awards. Each week I’ll cover the hypothetical nominees and winner from one year of animated performances.)
Following the general confusion of the 69th Academy Awards, no one knew what to expect for 1997. Pixar had yet to reassert itself following the success of Toy Story, but the slate of feature length animation for the year was considered to be much stronger than that of 1996. What was not anticipated was the new controversy that was about to crop up.