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We were thrilled that two of our Pillow Pets favorites were nominated for an Oscar last night. Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling from the movie Trolls was nominated for best song and Moana was nominated for best animated feature. Two categories of Oscar fun to watch, root for and celebrate!

According to the Academy of Motion Picture & Sciences, an animated feature is defined as a motion picture with a running time of more than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.

How did the Oscars get started? During a dinner at his home, M-G-M studio chief Louis B. Mayer and his guests talked about creating an organized group to benefit the film industry. A week later, 36 invitees from all the creative branches of the film industry dined at Los Angeles’s Ambassador Hotel to hear a proposal to found the International Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Articles of incorporation were soon presented and officers were elected with Douglas Fairbanks as president. This was in 1927. A lot of movies and ceremonies have been enjoyed since this time.

When was the first Academy Awards Ceremony? The first Academy Awards ceremony was a May 16 banquet at the Roosevelt Hotel’s Blossom Room with 270 attendees. Recipients were announced three months earlier; the next year the Academy kept the results secret but gave an advance list to newspapers for publication at 11 p.m. This continued until 1940 when the Los Angeles Times published the winners in its evening edition – readily available to arriving guests. That prompted the sealed-envelope system in use today. By the second year, enthusiasm for the Awards was such that a Los Angeles radio station produced a live broadcast.

When was the first ceremony broadcast? In 1953 the first televised Oscar ceremony enabled millions throughout the United States and Canada to watch the proceedings. In 2002 The Academy’s film archive moved to a new facility, the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study at 1313 Vine Street. The complex was built in the 1940s as the Don Lee-Mutual Broadcasting building, and sound stages were converted into vaults to house the archive’s holdings. The Center now houses the Science and Technology Council and other departments and has a 286-seat theater. The Animated Feature Film Award was established, with “Shrek” winning for films released in 2001. The ceremony took place at the new Kodak Theatre, built with input from the Academy. The Oscars are still held at the same location, now known as the Dolby Theatre.

Who votes for nominees? Over 7000 members makeup the voting committee.All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees.Nominations voting is conducted using both paper and online ballots, with online voting being the preferred choice for the overwhelming majority of Academy members.  Voting for nominations begins in late December, and all votes are tabulated by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Nomination results are then announced at a live televised press conference in mid-January at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Finals voting is also conducted via online and paper ballots. During finals, all Oscar categories are on the ballot for voting members. After final ballots are tabulated, only two partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers know the results until the famous envelopes are opened onstage during the Oscars telecast. One of the most exciting moments is watching the anticipation of the nominees as they wait for the winner to be announced.

And the Oscar went to…..a look back at past animated feature film winners and nominees:

Animated films can be nominated for other categories, but that has not occurred often in the history of the Oscars. Beauty and the Beast (1991) was the first animated film ever nominated for Best Picture. Up (2009) and Toy Story 3 (2010) also received Best Picture nominations.

The 74th Academy Awards, held in 2002, presented the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Shrek, Jimmy Neutron and Monsters Inc. were nominated with Shrek taking home the award. Check out our take on this children’s classic, the Pillow Pets Shrek and Donkey.

In 2003, the nominations were Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), Ice Age, Lilo & Stitch, Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron, and Treasure Planet . The winner was Sen to Chihiro, an anime fantasy film.

2004 nominees included Finding Nemo, Brother Bear and Les Triplettes de Belleville (The Triplets Of Belleville). The clear winner was the beloved tale of friendship and fish of Disney’s Finding Nemo.  Pillow Pets released a Dory and Nemo Pillow Pet and Dream Lite and also as a Jumboz Nemo Pillow Pet.

The Academy Awards in 2005 nominated The Incredibles, Shark Tale and Shrek 2. The Incredibles were lucky enough to take home the award this year, superhero meets the suburbs.

Nominated in 2006 were Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit. Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Hauru No Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle) with Wallace & Gromit taking home the prize.

2007 brought beloved animation that quickly became classics. Happy Feet, Cars and Monster House were all nominated with Happy Feet taking home the academy award. Pillow Pets had breakout hits with Cars and introduced Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and Francesco as Pillow Pets. A new Cars movie is coming out this summer, so stay tuned for new Pillow Pets and Dream Lites in your favorite Cars characters.

Ratatouille, Persepolis and Surf’s Up were all part of the Oscars in 2008 with Ratatouille bringing home the Oscar. The plot follows Remy, who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve his goal by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant’s garbage boy.

Wall*E, Bolt and Kung Fu Panda fought it out for the Oscar with Wall E the winner in 2009, was a delightful blending of robots, science fiction and love.

2010 brought a plethora of candidates as nominees for the award. Up, the clear winner and also a Best Picture nominee won. Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog and Brendan and the Secret of Kells all were given nominations.

Tears and fierce battles were waged in 2011 with Toy Story 3, How to Train your Dragon and L’illusionniste all nominated. Toy Story 3 took home audiences hearts and the Oscar.

2012 also had a large number of animated feature offerings. Rango, Une Vie De Chat, Chico & Rita, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Puss in Boots were all nominated. The winner that year was Rango, a Nickelodeon movie production.

A female heroine led the charge in 2013 with Brave and braved the worthy competition ParaNorman, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, and Wreck-it Ralph, to take home the prize. Disney’s Brave was a hit at the box office.

No other animated film could take on the feature film that melted hearts globally, Frozen. Also nominated in 2014 were The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest et Célestine (Ernest And Celestine) , and Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises).  Pillow Pets introduced an Olaf Pillow Pet, Olaf BodyPillar and Dream Lite plus an adorable pal Sven Pillow Pet.

2015 Big Hero 6 took home the Oscar but found excellent competition with The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea and Kaguya Hime no Monogatari (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya). Big Hero 6 featured Marvel comic characters and gave Disney another animated feature win.

Inside Out was the emotional favorite in 2016.  The competition may have experienced all of the emotions, Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness during the ceremony. Competition that year included Anomalisa, O Menino E O Mundo, Omoide No Mani and Shaun the Sheep Movie. Disney Pixar did it again and took home the win.

2017 brought music, adventure and diversity to animated features with Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Ma Vie de Courgette, The Red Turtle and Zootopia. The tale of animals that wanted everyone to fit into their world, Walt Disney’s Zootopia took home the prize last night. Pua made an adorable little companion to Moana and also a Pillow Pet.  Even though Trolls wasn’t nominated, Poppy, Branch and Guy Diamond are still winners in our book. You can get them as Dream Lites too.

Pillow Pets is excited to tie-in with children’s animated films to bring you the characters that connect with you.  Whether it’s Tow Mater, the goofy, beloved tow truck from Cars 3, or Pua, the adorable and faithful sidekick, Pillow Pets hopes you to find a place in your heart for these cuddly friends.  Pillow Pets are much more than a stuffed animal by day, pillow by night.  They provide comfort, room decor, travel buddy, slumber party pal, birthday gift and more.

Staying on top of what you are watching, Pillow Pets has the best children’s animated film characters including Cars, Moana, Trolls, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, and much more. Bring home all your Oscar winning Pillow Pets and Dream Lites at PillowPets.com.

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