(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.)
At the 73rd Academy Awards, for the third time in the Best Voice Performance category’s short lifespan, four of the nominees were from the same film. This recurring issue caused considerable frustration among Oscar fans, and there was even some talk about doing away with the category in the months after the ceremony. However, 2001 was shaping up to be a more promising year for animation, so much so that a new category was announced for the Oscars, that of Best Animated Feature. This was thought to be an acknowledgement of the progress made by animation, which consistently ranked among the top grossing films of the year and was now attracting some of the top talent in the industry. The question was how this would affect the Best Voice Performance category and whether a winner in one category meant that the film would also win the other.