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It was the first Oscar for directors Byron Howard (who was nominated once previously for Bolt) and Rich Moore (nominated once previously for Wreck-It Ralph), as well as producer Clark Spencer, a first-time nominee.
“We’re so grateful that the audience embraced this story that tolerance is more powerful than the fear of the other,” Moore said onstage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Backstage, Howard said, “the message of this film is hope” and discussed how they used animation to tell this story. “We got idea to talk about bias with talking animals. That allowed the audience not to pre-judge tthem… No matter what country we visited, people would tell us that they found themselves in the characters that that’s a great thing that animation can do.”
The win was the third for Disney Animation since the best animated feature category was introduced in 2001. Disney previous won in the category for Frozen and Big Hero Six — plus the studio has an additional eight under its belt if you count wins for Pixar, which Disney acquired in 2006.
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