Okay let me backtrack a bit.
The nominees for Best Animated Feature Film this year are Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, and Zootopia. Already there’s no Pixar film to win by default, so there’s that.
But it’s still pretty obvious that Zootopia will win. I mean, when it came out, it was a huge deal. It grossed over a billion dollars, it garnered so much praise from critics and audiences, and it had a cultural impact (not as big as Frozen, but still pretty major). Plus it already won the Golden Globe. Really, do the other films have a chance? I think the only other film that has one is Kubo, because that movie became a critical darling and it is possible that the Academy will throw a non-Disney company a bone.
I got to be honest, I get really annoyed when foreign/arthouse animated films get nominated. Why? Because they NEVER win (with the major exception of Spirited Away) and they rarely generate public interest. It just doesn’t seem fair. It’s like “yeah we acknowledge you exist but we’re not going to give you a decent shot at winning”. The only times ‘different’ animated films win is when a particular year for animation is so bad the movie that is somewhat decent (but not too foreign) gets the most hype. (I’m still pissed that Persepolis got snubbed in favour of Ratatouille; it’s basically saying you find the story of a frigging rat more compelling than a real life woman who survived a war and extremist regime.)
Still, I can’t jump on the side that constantly criticizes the Oscars either. People only really started to call the Academy out when Brave, Frozen, and Big Hero 6 won…in other words, when the animated films focusing on women and people of color started to get recognition (fuck you, Cartoon Brew). Really, it’s best to remember that the Oscars are a popularity contest and ultimately don’t REALLY matter in the long run, so it’s best not to let it get to you. And besides, even in a world when the awards ceremony that’s supposed to be fair and loving of animation gets subject to bias and controversy, its best to focus not on how many awards an animated film wins, but how much of an influence and impact it has for years to come.