Only one non-Studio Ghibli animated film has ever been nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, despite the Academy’s efforts to feature animated films. Mamoru Hosada’s Mirai was the first anime not distributed by Studio Ghibli to be nominated but ultimately lost to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The Oscars overlooked many classic and critically acclaimed animated films, including the works of Makoto Shinkai, Takehiko Inoue’s The First Slam Dunk and box office hits such as One Piece Film: Red and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train. The Golden Globe Awards have become more diverse in their nominations for anime.
Among all the anime nominated for Best Animated Feature at Oscaronly one movie was not made by Ghibli Studio was nominated for a prestigious award. The Oscars do a great job of featuring anime in their awards ceremonies. Not only did Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away win the award in the second year the category was introduced, but films in this genre also tend to receive a nod every few years or so. However, all of them seem to follow the trend only done by Studio Ghibli, except for one.
2019, Mamoru Hosada’s time travel story Mirai became the first and only anime not distributed by Studio Ghibli to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The Toho Studios film follows a boy named Kun who goes on an adventure through the past, present, and future to learn about the importance of family shortly after his younger sister is born.
It was critically acclaimed and earned multiple nominations and wins for its excellent storytelling and animation. Even though the movie didn’t win because of Sony Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it still made history the first non-Ghibli film to be nominated for Best Animated Feature. And yet, since then, no other anime has been able to break that mold.
The Oscars have excluded many classic animated films
Groundbreaking anime is constantly overlooked by the Academy
While Studio Ghibli has certainly earned well-deserved nominations for its outstanding animation work, there are still worthy nominations. Many great films have sadly been overlooked. Makoto Shinkai’s original Your Name, Weathering With You and Suzume have all delivered, as has Takehiko Inoue’s groundbreaking sports drama The First Slam Dunk. Even box office blockbusters beloved by critics and audiences like One Piece Film: Red and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train were left out while Ghibli continued to soar during awards season. As of 2024, six Studio Ghibli films have received nominations, with Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron being the most recent.
The Academy should learn from its sister awards show, the Golden Globes
The Globes tend to be more diverse in nominations
When looking at the Golden Globe nominations for the biggest animation awards, it’s clear that the Oscars could learn a lot from them when considering anime nominations in the future. While the Golden Globes don’t get as many nominations as the Oscars, their selections are a lot more diverse as The Boy and the Heron finally becomes the first Studio Ghibli film to be nominated for the category. . was the first anime to win the award. All other nominations went to other studios including Mirai, Inu-Oh and Suzume. The Globes still have a long way to go to become more representative of anime and its popularity, but the fact that it’s more open than the biggest film awards show of the season says a lot.
Hopefully, in the coming years, Many non-Ghibli anime will have a chance to be featured in nominations in the Best Animated Film category. There’s no guarantee they’ll win, but recognition is an important way to get these films seen by audiences who might otherwise never have heard of them. The Oscar are easily the most famous film awards and given to uncredited films Ghibli Studio an opportunity that would be a huge step forward for the medium.
Mirai available on Netflix, Prime Video and Crunchyroll.
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