Oscars 2022: Can ‘The Mitchells Vs. The Machines’ Beat Disney for Best Animated Feature?

The Mitchells Vs. The Machines is one of the best-reviewed animated movies of 2021. It is nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, but it has tough competition with Disney. However, the movie still has a strong chance at defeating the mouse house in a category the company traditionally dominates.

‘The Mitchells Vs. The Machines’ surprised many Netflix viewers

Mike Rianda, Chris miller, and Phil Lord discuss Best Animated Feature nominee The Mitchells Vs. The Machines at Savannah Film event.
Mike Rianda, Chris Miller and Phil Lord | Derek White/Getty Images for SCAD)

The Mitchells Vs. The Machines comes from Sony Pictures Animation and is produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who previously worked on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. The film follows the Mitchells, a dysfunctional family who become humanity’s last hope after a powerful AI (Olivia Colman) takes over the world. It features the voice talents of Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Abbi Jacobson, and Mike Rianda. 

The film was originally titled Connected and was scheduled to be released in January 2020. It was then delayed to September 2020, but because of COVID-19, it was later bought by Netflix in January 2021, which then retitled it. The reception of the film has been impressive with a 97% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes

‘The Mitchells Vs. The Machines’ has a lot of momentum for Best Animated Feature

In the current awards circuit, The Mitchells Vs. The Machines has been successful in many areas. At the 49th Annie Awards, which celebrates animation for the year 2021, the Sony Animation film won every single category it was nominated for. This includes Best Animated Feature, Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Editing, Outstanding Voice Acting, and Outstanding Writing. 

In addition, it also won Best Animated Feature at the Critics Choice Awards and the New York Critics Circle. Critics appear to believe that The Mitchells Vs. The Machines was the best-animated film of 2021. However, the Academy may not share the same opinion.

Will Disney continue to dominate Best Animated Feature?

The biggest challenger to The Mitchells is Disney which usually wins this category. Disney not only rules the box office with their animated film but also rules the Academy Awards, especially since they acquired Pixar. 

The Best Animated Feature category began in 2001 and Shrek became the first winner. In the 20 years since the category began, Disney has won 14 times. The only films to win that are not made or owned by Disney are Shrek, Spirited Away, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Happy Feet, Rango, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This year, Disney has three nominees which are Luca, Encanto, and Raya and the Last Dragon. Out of these three, Encanto has the best chance at beating The Mitchells for this Oscar. 

While The Mitchells has better reviews, Encanto’s popularity continues to grow, especially with its soundtrack. It’s pretty hard to escape “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” Currently, it is winning plenty of Best Animated Film awards including the BAFTA, the PGA award, and the Golden Globe award. The Academy tends to favor Disney, but we will see if The Mitchells can take the win. 

The Mitchells Vs. The Machines is currently streaming on Netflix. 

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