The Oscars belong in the dumpster

The Oscars Problem: The Academy’s Flaws in Evaluated Film

The Academy Awards or, as they’re better known, The Oscars, is an award show that, annually, acknowledges the best films, actors and directors of the movies that were released that year. The Oscars are run by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy is responsible for which films are nominated, as well as which ones ultimately win.

Unfortunately, it seems like placing so much power in the hands of the Academy may have been a mistake.

It’s no secret that many have become unhappy with The Oscars in recent years, largely because of bias. Of course, it’s natural for a group of people to have preferences regarding the type of films they like and dislike. But, it becomes a problem when that group is looked at for an objective view on the quality of films. The Academy is, as most are, biased towards certain types of films. Dramas are notably everywhere within the winners of the coveted “Best Picture” category. As more time passes and more Oscars have taken place, it’s become pretty easy to see patterns. Some films are even created specifically with winning an Oscar in mind, utilizing the Academy’s known biases to construct films that, by nature of their genre alone, are already a step ahead of the competition. These movies are often called “Oscar Bait,” and can detract from films that are generally seen as better by the wider audience.

However, arguably the biggest and worst bias held by the academy isn’t a positive one but a negative one: the stigma against animation. Animated movies have never fared as well as live action films, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Animated films have become much rarer over time and many are undeniably made specifically for kids and kids alone. However, for every kid-focused cash-grab, there’s also an animated film with plenty of passion put into it, and these films are practically forgotten, thrown into the “Best Animated Feature” category as some sort of consolation prize. While the existence of such a category might seem like a win for the medium of animation, it’s more of an excuse to exclude animated films from the “Best Picture” category. Several Academy members have even claimed that they don’t watch any of the nominees for “Best Animated Feature,” instead just picking what their children liked the most. Guillermo del Toro, director of the 2023 winner for the category, Pinocchio, said it best.

Animation is not a genre for kids. It’s a medium for art, it’s a medium for film and I think animation should stay in the conversation.”