Beauty and the Beast was nominated for Best Picture at the 64th Academy Awards, in a moment that changed the face of the animated film landscape forever. It signaled that the Disney Renaissance that began two years earlier with The Little Mermaid (or perhaps even earlier with Oliver & Company) was not just a fluke and was destined to continue on. It showed that animation is just as important as other types of film, and that they could be just as artistic and meaningful. And while it eventually lost to The Silence of the Lambs, it still stood as the moment when animation as an industry and a media announced itself as an equal to the rest of Hollywood. And while it was a number of years before feature length animation received its own category in the awards (2001) and even longer before another animated film would be nominated for best picture (2009’s Up), the fact that animated films are now consistently among the highest grossing films each year and are often the most popular and longest lived of new releases owes a lot to Beauty and the Beast.
But what if Beauty and the Beast had done even more for animation? Continue reading