February 28, 2005 9:38 AM PST

'Incredibles' nabs Oscars for Pixar, Disney

If you want to win a fight against sharks and an oversize ogre, look no further than your favorite neighborhood superheroes.

In the most competitive year yet for computer animation movies, Walt Disney topped its rivals at the Academy Awards on Sunday with "The Incredibles." The film, which won the Oscar for best animated feature, tells the tale of a family of superheroes consigned to a subdued suburban existence. Eventually they return to action and, of course, save the world.

In winning the golden statuette, the action comedy from Pixar Animation Studios beat out "Shark Tale" and "Shrek 2" from rival DreamWorks Animation. DreamWorks won the first Oscar ever given in the animated feature category, for 2001's ogre-friendly "Shrek." Pixar and Disney won for 2003's underwater adventure "Finding Nemo," about a lost fish.

At the box office, "Shrek 2" was the victor in 2004. It was the year's top-grossing film, bringing in $919 million globally. "The Incredibles" was no slouch, however--debuting several months later, it earned $625 million worldwide.

"The Incredibles" is the second-to-last joint project under a contract between Disney and Steve Jobs' Pixar.

With the film, Pixar once again broke technical ground, animating human characters--rather than sea creatures or fairy tale figures--based on traditional 2D characters of the type featured in TV cartoons from the 1960s. On Sunday, it also won the Oscar for achievement in sound editing, but lost in two other categories: sound mixing and original screenplay.

Feature films with computer-generated animation such as these have been winning over critics and the general public alike with their startling visual effects, strong writing and clever plotlines. But the industry--and the technology behind it--is still in its infancy.

Among Disney and Pixar's earlier collaborations were "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo."

Reuters contributed to this report.

 

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