What film follows a clown fish down the east coast of Australia and showcases the Syndey Habour? And, what film features Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres, along with Geoffrey Rush, Barry Humphries, Eric Bana and Bill Hunter? It’s the same film that made its way to the Oscar podium, on Saturday, February 28th, 2004, by winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. With all these clues, I’m sure you’ve been able to guess that it’s “Finding Nemo.”
Being the child of Walt Disney and Pixar, now divorced parents, “Finding Nemo” was a huge box office hit in 2003, taking in more than $300 million in ticket sales. But amid the film’s success, the family behind it was disintegrating with Pixar’s Chief, Steve Jobs severing negotiations with Disney’s Michael Eisner, whose management of the company has lasted 20 yearsrece, but has recently been the target of a takeover bid by cable giant, Comcast.
However, when this winning moment could have been awkward, director, Andrew Stanton, simple credited the film’s success to the “extraordinary filmmaking environment at Pixar, as well as Dick Cook, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios.”
When backstage, Stanton was asked if Pixar’s first best feature Oscar would help the company go it alone, Stanton simply said, “Well, it never hurts…This just legitimizes that we are on the right track.”
Presenter, Robin Williams, referred to the Disney-Pixar breakup prior to the award announcement, saying that with Eisner losing Pixar, “all you’re going to have left is basically a Muppet and a waterslide.”