Woody Wins an Oscar!

The Academy Award for Best Animated Film goes to Toy Story 3

February 28, 2011

Toy Story 3 took home the Oscar for Best Animated Film on Sunday night at the Academy Awards, in Hollywood, California. The Disney/Pixar cartoon beat out The Illusionist and How to Train Your Dragon.

The director of Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich, accepted the award. "Thank you to audiences all over the world who came out in historic numbers and embraced a movie about talking toys that, hopefully, had something very human to say," he said.

This is the fourth Oscar win in a row for Disney's Pixar Animation Studios. In all, Pixar has produced six of the 10 Oscar winners for Best Animated Feature, including Finding Nemo, Wall-E and last year's winner, Up.

Toy Story 3 also scored a golden statue for Best Original Song for "We Belong Together," by Randy Newman. The cartoon was nominated for Best Picture, but that honor went to The King's Speech.

A Royal Success

The King's Speech snagged four out of a possible 12 Oscars, for Best Picture, Actor, Director and Original Screenplay. In the film, actor Colin Firth plays King George VI of Britain, who struggles to overcome his stutter with the help of a speech therapist, played by Geoffrey Rush.

To make the film accessible to a wider audience, it will be edited and re-released with a PG-13 rating instead of an R. (An R rating prohibits anyone younger than 17 from seeing the film without an adult.) The retooled version softens the main character's fits of cursing, or swearing.

Firth doesn't like the idea of cleaning up the language, especially since King George VI's angry swearing fit helps him to momentarily overcome his speech problem. "Really, it's about a man who's trying to free himself through the use of certain words," Firth said backstage at the Academy Awards. "I still haven't met the person who would object, so I think the film should stand as it is."

An Inspirational Ending

The Academy Awards show ended on a high note. The fifth-grade chorus from Public School 22, in Staten Island, New York, stole the show with their performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The kids swayed and moved to the beat. They closed their eyes and gestured with their hands. In the end, their performance earned them a standing ovation from the star-studded audience and high-fives from Academy Awards co-host Anne Hathaway.

Chorus leader Gregg Breinberg said an Academy Awards producer had become a fan of the kids after watching online videos of their performances of hit songs, including Lady Gaga's "Just Dance."

"The Academy has done everything they can to make the students feel like this is their night," Breinberg told TFK. "That's the best part. It's wonderful to see the kids being treated respectfully. I'm so proud."

The P.S. 22 Chorus members aren't strangers to fame. In recent years, they have performed for President Barack Obama, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. Since chorus members change every year, singing at the Oscars is the new group's first big gig. What's next for the singing sensations? The 65 fifth-graders will perform on The Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special, today.


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