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The stigma of animation
Animation has carried with it the stigma of being a 'kids genre' since Disney first released Snow White in 1937.
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Most kids gravitate towards animation because of the unique worlds that can be created when artists use the medium to tell stories. This has led to a stigma surrounding all animated works as being strictly "for kids." The Academy may be more keen to acknowledge that animation is not just "for kids." Thus the Academy Awards may be the best way to destigmatize animation. If the Academy were to create two separate Best Picture categories, one for live action and one for animated films, this would only further stigmatize animation as a medium. If animated and live action films were to compete for one "Best Picture" award, and an animated film were to win, this would destigmatize the medium. Further, the Academy should discard the Best Animated Feature category altogether, as this award also continues to reinforce the stigma of animation. Carving out a distinct award category for "Best Animated Feature" almost ensures that an animated film will fail to win Best Picture. Academy judges may, either consciously or subconsciously, see that an animated film has a two chances to win a prestigious award (i.e. Best Animated Feature or Best Picture) and a live action film only has one chance (i.e Best Picture). As a result, the academy is most likely going to favor a live action film over an animated film in the Best Picture category.
Even though a great deal of animation covers mature themes and topics, the majority of animation is targeted at younger audiences. For this reason, and the fact that comparing live action films and animated films can be difficult, animated films should not be considered for Best Picture alongside live action films.
[P1] Animated films are widely accepted to be "for kids" even though most of them have mature themes and stories. [P2] Recognizing animated and live action films separately for Best Picture will only reinforce this stigma.
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P1] Most animated films attract a younger audience, and should be treated as kids films unless they are explicitly aimed at mature audiences.