Gravity wins VFX Oscar 2014, Frozen takes animated film award

There were few surprises at this year's Academy Awards, with space disaster movie Gravity picking up seven awards.

Gravity was the big winner at last night's Oscars, winning gongs for visual effects, cinematography, film editing, original score, sound editing and sound mixing  – plus the best director award for Alfonso Cuaron.

The film lost the top Best Picture prize to director Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, which also won in the best supporting actress and adapted screenplay categories.

Oscars 2014 Best Visual Effects winner

That Gravity won the award surprised no-one. It's been a shoe-on since the the Visual Effects Oscar longlist was announced in December – though we've been assuming it would win since we saw in November.

Also nominated for the VFX Oscar were Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness (perhaps surprisingly), The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and The Lone Ranger. The longlist also included Elysium, Oblivion, Pacific Rim, and Thor: The Dark World.

Gravity follow a recent tradition of celebrating artistic use of VFX to add to the storytelling in great films – rather than who can cram the most shots into a film – following 2012’s Life of Pi and 2011’s Hugo. Gravity’s also notable for being the one of only two films that made the longlist that are not sci-fi or fantasy (the other being the pop-western, The Lone Ranger).

Gravity VFX detailed by Framestore

ILM was the lead VFX house on The Lone Ranger and Star Trek: Into Darkness. Weta Digital was primary on The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, while Iron Man 3’s main work was split between Digital Domain and Weta Digital.

Oscars 2014 Best Animated Feature Film winner

The animated feature film Oscar went to Disney's Frozen. The film is based loosely on Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen, and was animated using a combination of CG and hand-drawn animation.

Frozen also won the Best Original Song Oscar for the horrible Let It Go.

This was again an obvious winner, though there was always a chance the Oscar was going to The Wind Rises, the last animated film from Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. Based on his manga of the same name, The Wind Rises is a historical fantasy film set in the 1920s.

Also nominated were Despicable Me 2, French-Belgian animation Ernest & Celestine, and The Croods, a 3D animated comedy about a family of cavemen (below). You can read our interview with The Croods' head of characters James Baxter here.

Disney won the Best Animation award at the Oscars in 2013 for its Scotland-based feature film Brave.

Oscars 2014 Best Animated Short nominations

The Best Animated Short category was won by Zeilt Productions' Mr Hublot (above), a 3D animation about a character with severe OCD that's challenged by the arrival of Robot Pet.

This wasn't the expect choice, which was Disney's musical animation Get A Horse! (above), which was shown in cinemas before FrozenGet A Horse! uses a combination of 3D and 2D animation techniques. It's the work of director Lauren MacMullan and producer Dorothy McKim, both first-time Academy Award nominees.

The other nominees are Feral, about a boy who grew up in the woods' introduction to civilisation; Possessions, a Japanese animated short by Shuhei Morita about a man who comes across household objects that are inhabited by goblin spirits as he battles to find shelter in a storm; and Room on the Broom, Magic Light Pictures' brilliant kid's short based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's picture book.

The winners of the Oscars 2014 were announced at the Dolby Theature in LA.

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