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Thursday, 13 December, 2001, 12:27 GMT
Animated films get their own Oscar
Shrek: One of nine films in the running for the Oscar
Shrek: One of nine films in the running for the Oscar
Shrek, Monsters, Inc and Final Fantasy will have a chance in a new Oscars category for feature-length animations - the first new award to be created in 20 years.

Up for the Oscar
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
Marco Polo: Return to Xanadu
Monsters, Inc
Osmosis Jones
The Prince of Light
The Trumpet of the Swan
Waking Life
The category will recognise animated films more than 70 minutes long, which have been some of the biggest box office successes of recent years, but which have rarely been considered for the best picture prize.

Shrek and Monsters, Inc have been two of the most popular films of the year in the Unites States, where they have taken more than $200m (138m) each at the box office.

The first Oscar for the best feature-length animation will be given at next year's awards, to be held in Los Angeles in March.

Monsters, Inc has been a big box office success
Monsters, Inc has been a big box office success
But it will only be given out in years when there are eight or more eligible films.

Film studios have produced an average of only seven animated features per year since 1989. But in 2001, nine will be considered.

The 100-strong Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screening committee will pick three of the nine to go to the final voting stage, and the nominees will be announced in February.

The new award will reward the all-round production of the film - including script, performances and score - not just the quality of the animation.

Toy Story 2: One of the most popular animations ever
Toy Story 2: One of the most popular animations ever
Three of the top 20 films of all time at the US box office are animations - The Lion King, Shrek and Toy Story 2.

The only animated film to be nominated for the best picture prize in the past was Beauty and the Beast in 1992.

The first ever animated feature, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, was given an honorary Oscar - which consisted of one normal sized statuette and seven smaller awards.

The last time a new Academy Awards was established was 19 years ago for makeup, as well as the honorary Gordon E Sawyer prize for a career of technological contributions.

See also:

28 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Oscars get animated
10 Sep 01 | dot life
Adventures in animation
21 Sep 01 | Film
Shrek leads animation nods
29 Jun 01 | Film
Bringing Shrek to life
21 Jun 01 | Film
Shrek hits $200m mark
05 Nov 01 | Film
Monster hit at box office
19 Nov 01 | Sci/Tech
The man behind the monsters
05 Dec 01 | Film
Hollywood honours Walt Disney
29 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Gromit goes to Hollywood
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