Two California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) alumni took home an Oscar in the “Animated Feature Film” category during the 89th annual Academy Awards Sunday.
Alumni and directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore, who both graduated from CalArts in 1987 with degrees in Film/Video, and producer Clark Spencer won for their work on “Zootopia.”
“About five years ago, almost six now, we got this crazy idea to talk about humanity with talking animals in the hopes that when the film came out, it would make the world just a slightly better place,” Howard said during his acceptance speech.
The Walt Disney Animation Studios’ film tells the story of investigation of a rookie bunny cop and a con-artist fox as they work to solve a mystery in their city of anthropomorphic animals.
It has been praised by critics for its ability to address diversity and prejudice through animation and story themes.
“We are so grateful to the audiences all over the world who embraced this film with this story of tolerance being more powerful than fear of the other,” Moore said in his acceptance speech.
“Zooptia” won the Oscar against fellow animated films “Moana,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “My Life as a Zucchini” and “The Red Turtle.”
The film also won the 2017 Golden Globe for Best Animated Motion Picture Jan. 8 and the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Animated Feature Dec. 11, 2016.
This is the second time Howard and Moore were nominated for their work in animation.
Howard was nominated in 2008 in the Animated Feature Film category for his work on “Bolt” and Moore was nominated in 2012 in the Animated Feature Film category for his work on “Wreck-It Ralph.”
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