As someone who watches the Academy Awards religiously each year (and knows more about the history of the 88-year-old ceremony than he probably should), I am always stunned and disappointed every year when the Academy does not step up and add voice acting in animated features as one of the official award categories.
While awards for this type of voice acting have been given at the Annie Awards (awards for accomplishments in animation) since 1998, the Academy has yet to acknowledge the work these actors do behind the microphone. Last year alone, animated features made over $4.1 billion at box office worldwide.
Earlier this year, Stephanie Ciccarelli, co-founder and chief brand officer of Voices.com, told Upvoted.com that she thought the creation of a voice acting category was within reach.
“There’s no shortage of people who would love to see this addition,” she said. “A voice acting category is in the Academy’s hands, and their hearts need to be stirred toward that end if there is ever to be a category of this kind in the future.”
Here’s to hoping the Academy gets their hearts stirred soon and gives some love to those men and women who spend precious hours in the sound booth to make magic happen. Below are 15 voice performances in animated features that should have won an Oscar. I began with 2001 since it was the first year the Academy started giving an award for Best Animated Feature and have only included work done for animated feature films (sorry Andy Serkis and Scarlett Johansson). Baby steps.
Billy Crystal as Mike Wazowski, Monster's Inc. (2001)
While most people probably like Donkey (Eddie Murphy) in Shrek better, my vote goes to Mike Wazowski, a short, green monster who finds out laughter is much more powerful than screams. Other nominees: Murphy as Donkey in Shrek; John Goodman as Sulley and Steve Buscemi as Randall in Monster’s Inc.