(Note: This is a fictional creative thinking 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.)
The Best Voice Performance category at the 77th Academy Awards was considered something of a letdown. All five nominees came from only two films, and the winner was neither unexpected nor particularly exciting. However, 2005 proved to be a much more diverse year for voice performances. Pixar wouldn’t be releasing a new film, but both Dreamworks and Disney both had new movies to contribute. One film in particular, Madagascar, seemed to be gunning for nominations by recruiting a high profile cast of comedians of who featured prominently in its advertising campaign even before the film was released. However, no one could have predicted the variety and quality of the performances that would eventually earn nominations.