Nominations for the award were dominated by Disney, with nods to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto and Raya and the Last Dragon and Pixar’s Luca, which have unconventionally made streaming debuts on Disney Plus during the pandemic.
Mike Rianda’s The Mitchells vs. the Machines, a Netflix-exclusive sci-fi comedy feature from Sony Pictures animation, was also nominated alongside Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Danish animated documentary about a gay Afghani Refugee, Flee.
Encanto and Flee were the standouts going into the night, with each receiving three total nominations. Encanto, directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard, saw additional nominations for Best Original Score (from composer Germaine Franco) and Best Original Song (“Dos Oruguitas” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, performed right before the announcement of the Best Animated Feature award). Flee received further recognition with nominations for Best Documentary Feature and Best International Feature.
That said, The Mitchells vs. the Machines went into the night on the heels of a clean sweep of wins at the 49th Annie Awards earlier this month, including Best Animated Feature. Flee also came away from the earlier awards show with an award for Best Independent Animated Feature.