Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bringing Home the Hardware

By Lindsey Allmon

When the New Year rolls around there are plenty of things to look forward to: new beginnings, football (Yay Ohio State, National Champs!), and, of course, the award season. The Oscars, the Tonys, and the Golden Globes are watched annually by millions of people, including me. As we go into this season, I was reminded once again of how incredible Walt Disney was as a man, and especially as an artist. With fifty nine individual nominations for Academy Awards and twenty six wins, Walt Disney is the most nominated and biggest winner on the big stage. With so much hardware on the shelf it seems appropriate that we look back on some of the greatest moments in Disney award wins, both in Walt’s lifetime and in his legacy...

The Greatest Honorary Awards in History
Walt received four honorary awards throughout his career, but two are grand statements in history. In 1932 Disney received an honorary Oscar for the creation of Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney was the first person to ever be recognized for animation and rightfully so as he was the grandest pioneer in animation’s history. He received two awards that year, including the first competitive Oscar to go to animation with Flowers and Trees in the new category Short Subject-Cartoon. 1932 was a grand year for Disney as he cemented his place in film history. But he wasn’t done yet. In 1939 Walt was presented with the most unique Oscar in the awards history; a full sized Oscar with 7 miniature Oscars to commemorate Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, famously presented by the adorable Shirley Temple. As stated by the Academy, this Oscar recognized the film, "as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field.” It was the first full length animated film to be recognized by the Academy and they did it in a huge way. Another animated film would not be held in such high esteem until the 1990’s. Speaking of which…
The Film the Changed the Academy
The biggest award of the night, always saved for last, is the momentous Best Picture Oscar. If there is one thing people remember from year to year it’s what the Academy proclaims as the best of the best. Yet throughout history, animated films were never able to break the seal in the Best Picture category. With animated films clocking in as some of the shortest films on the ballot and showcasing primarily fairy tales, they never garnered much attention from the academy. That is until the Disney company changed all of that. In 1991, the classic Beauty and the Beast marveled audiences and became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture. Unfortunately it lost to Silence of the Lambs, but it did open a conversation about animated films in the highest category. Up until this point, too few animated pictures were produced to warrant a separate category for animation and the Best Picture category was limited to only five films. This limited the presence animation could have in this category. By 2001, however, companies like DreamWorks were finally able to compete with Disney and were putting out more films, allowing the academy to open a new Best Animated Feature Film category. In addition, in 2009 the Academy extended the Best Picture category to 10 films, allowing films like Up and Toy Story 3 to be considered.

Julie Andrews: The Golden Globe for Sass
So this is probably one of my favorite award show stories and it involves the incomparable Julie Andrews and the Golden Globe she received for her role as practically perfect Mary Poppins. There is a lovely backstory to this award so bear with my story time here. In 1956 the wonderful Julie Andrews starred in the original Broadway production of My Fair Lady (and she was fabulous, obviously). Fast forward to 1964. Producer Jack Warner decides to take My Fair Lady to the big screen. He chooses some of the original Broadway cast including Rex Harrison (who went on to win both the Golden Globe and Oscar for his role), however he completely bypassed Julie Andrews for the title role, instead choosing Audrey Hepburn. Rude. However, because Julie wasn’t busy, that opened her up for the incredible role of Mary Poppins. Fast forward to award season and the Golden Globes. Both Julie and Audrey were up for Best Actress and, thanks to Disney and Julie’s brilliance Ms. Andrews walked away with the hardware. During her acceptance speech, Julie made the greatest jab in the history of ever, thanking a Mr. Jack Warner for making his film…and not picking her. The room erupted in laughter, including Jack Warner who I am sure was regretting his decision. Julie Andrews had no hard feelings though. She went on to win the Oscar. Ms. Hepburn wasn’t even nominated.
Enjoy the award season and let’s hope Disney makes a great showing with Big Hero 6 and Into the Woods (both certainly get a thumbs up from me).

Lindsey Allmon is a great lover of all things Disney and has been from the moment she was born. Lindsey is eager to share her knowledge of Disney with all of you. She is twenty one years old and hails from a suburb just southwest of Columbus, Ohio. Recently Lindsey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Ohio State University with hopes of becoming a screenwriter. Her hobbies include reading, baking, singing obnoxiously loud in her car and shower, perfecting her Pinterest boards, and watching movies. In addition to that, she is planning her Tangled and Paperman themed wedding to her wonderful fiancé, Colby. As far as her Disney history goes, Lindsey's first trip was before she was a year old and she has made a trip nearly every year since, both as a basic family vacation and as a performer during Magic Music Days and the Magic Kingdom parade prior to the fireworks spectacular Wishes. She has been through countless park changes and stayed at approximately 10 different Disney Hotels. Her favorite character of all time is Maleficent. As a general rule Lindsey tends to love villains the most as she thinks they have some of the best lines, and who can resist a diabolical laugh? Her favorite Disney movie is easily Mary Poppins. When Lindsey was little all she wanted to watch was Mary Poppins over and over again, and as she grew older she realized the perfection that is Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. Lindsey's favorite Disney Park is the World Showcase section of Epcot. She loves traveling and the World Showcase is a great way to experience so many different cultures at once. Fun Fact: Every year her parents buy her an oyster at the Japan Pavilion. The pearls from these oysters have all been saved and will be strung into a necklace that Lindsey will wear on her wedding day. Her favorite ride is Splash Mountain. Lindsey's articles will focus on navigating Disney World as well as providing some great insider info about the history of the company and the parks.

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