Oscars 2024: One Major Disney Snub is a Blessing in Disguise That Will Hopefully Force the Studio to Drop its Formulaic Approach

The animation studio released its centennial animated film Wish, which failed to generate any Oscar buzz.

Oscars 2024: One Major Disney Snub is a Blessing in Disguise That Will Hopefully Force the Studio to Drop its Formulaic Approach

SUMMARY

  • Disney seems to be stuck in a rut when it comes to its animated offerings.
  • Despite being nominated for a Golden Globe, the studio’s film Wish was snubbed for the Oscars.
  • Disney had also canceled the film Nimona, which was later picked up by Annapurna and ended up getting an Oscar nomination.
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The nomination list for this year’s Oscar Awards was announced earlier this week and there was a lack of Disney in the Animation section. The category saw nominations for prominent films of the year such as Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse, The Boy and the Heron, Nimona, Elemental, and Robot Dreams. However, none of them were produced by Disney.

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The pioneer in animation seems to have lost its footing with the craft lately as it reportedly refuses to update with the times. The studio passed on the opportunity to make the film Nimona, which was part of its acquisition of Blue Sky Studios. The film ended up being nominated for the Oscars but would have ushered in a new era for the House of the Mouse.

Also read: 5 Best Netflix Movies and TV Shows That You May Have Missed in 2023

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Why Was Nimona Passed By Disney?

A still from Nimona
A still from Nimona

The Oscar-nominated film Nimona was based on the popular comics by ND Stevenson, who is known for his animated show She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. The film was in production at Blue Sky Studios, the animation studio behind the Ice Age and Rio franchises, which came under the 20th Century Fox Animation studio.

In 2019, Disney acquired Fox Studio and was preparing to shut down many of its subsidiaries. Blue Sky Studio became one of the victims and was shut down. According to Deadline, the studio was closed amidst the pandemic as it was difficult for Disney to run three animation studios while not generating revenue from theme parks or films. This put a hold on Blue Sky Studio’s upcoming project Nimona.

Also read: Nimona Review: One of the Best Animated Movies of the Year So Far

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A still from Nimona
A still from Nimona

Many employees of the film were reportedly heartbroken about the film’s cancellation, with insiders stating that the style would have been revolutionary in the animation industry. Some employees also mentioned that one of the reasons why Disney canceled the film was due to the existence of a same-sex kiss scene in the film between the characters Ballister Blackheart and Ambrosius Goldenloin. The employees told Insider,

“We need more queer stories, but we also need to call out how nefarious it is when you don’t tell queer stories. When the biggest entertainment company in the world creates content for children and systematically censors queer content, they are pushing queer children to dark places.”

The controversy became even more prominent when Disney’s former CEO Bob Chapek was involved in a controversial anti-LGBTQ bill proposed in Florida. Nimona would have featured Disney’s first LGBTQ lead animated character.

Also read: Every Major Oscar Snubs This Year: Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie Are Not the One Who Were Robbed of Oscar Nominations in 2024

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Will Disney’s Oscar Snub Impact Its Approach?

A still from Disney's Wish
A still from Disney’s Wish

With Disney passing on Nimona, the film was picked up by Annapurna Pictures and was released to positive responses. Chloe Grace Moretz and Riz Ahmed lent their voice to the lead characters and the film was picked up by Netflix for distribution. The film was nominated for the Oscars along with other contenders such as The Boy and the Heron and Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse.

While Disney celebrated its centennial with the film Wish, the animated film failed to generate any Oscar buzz and received mixed reviews. Despite the involvement of Frozen’s Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck behind the scenes, the film managed to only earn $233 million against a $200 million budget. The film earned a Golden Globe nomination but went home empty-handed while not even being nominated for the Oscars.

Disney’s rejection of Nimona and the Academy’s consideration of more experimental and diverse voices in animation proved that the House of Mouse was still stuck in ancient times. Though synonymous with animation at one point, the studio has since waned in popularity as more creative voices unafraid to experiment have popped up.

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Had Disney not rejected Nimona, they would have had another Oscar nomination in their kitty, proving to the world that they were not insecure about their style of animation. The studio delivered a box office bomb in 2022 as well with the film Strange World failing to recuperate even production costs. Hopefully, the studio will learn from its Nimona debacle.

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Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 1149

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 1,000 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.