‘Toy Story 4’ Wins Animated Feature Film Oscar

Congratulations to the cast and crew of Toy Story 4!  Last night the sequel was honored with the Animated Feature Film win at the 2020 Academy Awards!

The Oscar was presented by Mindy Kaling, who voiced Disgust in Inside Out.  Director Josh Cooley and Producers Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera were there to accept:

Nielsen:  We are so, so grateful for this honor.  We just want – on behalf of our incredible cast and our crew up at Pixar Animation Studios – we just want to thank the Academy for honoring our film alongside so many beautiful animated films this year.  We’re just proud to be among them.

Rivera:  We take great pride in the fact that we get to make family films, and Toy Story 4 is really a love letter to our families.  This is for our parents, this is for our wives, this is for our kids.  We love you.

Cooley:  We want to thank the moviegoing audience so much, especially those that grew up with Toy Story.  We hope that your adventures with Woody and Buzz made growing up a little bit easier.

The three were interviewed later on about the film:

I always love hearing what the Toy Story filmmakers have to say, on any topic, but my favorite takeaway here was was this particular question, posed by a journalist from The Hollywood Reporter and answered by Jonas Rivera:

This is the first time, with Toy Story, that a franchise film has won two Oscars in this category.  Could you talk a little – Jonas especially, since you’ve been with the first one – a little bit about the history of the franchise and what we might see going forward, whether that be streaming content, or any format?

I think – it’s such an honor, this is the fourth film.  I think it’s just a testament to how rich these characters are, how much people love Buzz and Woody and these characters.  And when you strip it all away – which we did, with Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, our Executive Producers – and just look at the story, all it really is, it’s a story about a guy that is afraid to be replaced.  He just doesn’t want to lose his job,  And I think at a certain point, everybody feels that.  I know we do.  Everybody just wants to hold on to what they’ve got.  And what we did with Woody in this film – what we tried to do – is put him in a position where he could really, truly, have a second chance, a second lease on life.  And I just think there’s something to the ingredients in that story that people felt was worthy.  We certainly did, and we chased it down, and we tried to dramatize it as best we could in this film.

Rivera dodges the question about what might be in store for the characters in the future, of course – although the video does cut off abruptly at the end, so something could have been said.  I highly doubt it, though, because even if anything was in the works, the focus last night was strictly Toy Story 4.

As was noted in the interview video, Toy Story 4‘s win set some pretty big milestones, too:

  • It’s the first franchise or series to win multiple Best Animated Feature Oscars.
  • It’s also the fourth Oscar in general for the Toy Story films, including Toy Story 3‘s  win for Best Animated Feature, “We Belong Together” winning Best Original Song, and a Special Achievement Award for the first Toy Story at the 1996 Oscars.  (The Animated Feature category wasn’t introduced until 2002.)
  • And it’s the 10th Best Animated Feature Oscar overall for Pixar.
  • Jonas Rivera is the first US-born Latino to win multiple Oscars – as Producer of Inside Out, he was the recipient of the Best Animated Feature Oscar that year as well.

This is a tremendous achievement for a sequel – multiple sequels, when you look at past wins for the franchise, too – and it just goes to show how meaningful and impactful the Toy Story series truly is.  I’m sure the Toy Story 4 crew is so proud, and honored by the recognition they’ve received for what they accomplished – and rightly so, they deserve it!  But I also hope they feel vindicated in their victory.  Haters are always gonna hate – that’s what the internet seems to do best these days – but after years of listening to all the “unnecessary cash grab” whiners, this is a little bit of sweet justice for Toy Story 4 and the franchise in general.  These characters are so beloved, and so many quality stories can be told in their world.  I hope that this win will help to confirm how worthy of revisiting the toys are, and that there will be more to come with them, in some form, in the future.

Last night, Randy Newman was also on hand to perform “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” which was nominated for Best Original Song.  You can watch the video shared by ABC here.

Although Newman’s song didn’t win – instead, Elton John took home the award for his song from Rocketman – it was still great watching him perform!  The set was fun, too, with clouds and blue sky, and Toy Story characters scattered throughout.

What a great night!  I’m so happy for Toy Story 4, and everyone who was involved with its production.  And I’m very proud of my favorite toys and all the accolades they continue to win!  If you’d like to read more about Toy Story at the Oscars, check out my throwback blog post from a few years ago.  It has video footage and images from past awards.

Videos and images © Disney/Pixar, ABC, and the Oscars.