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Oscars 1992: Producer Don Hahn on how 'Beauty and the Beast' changed animation

From the time that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released as the first feature-length animated movie in 1937, it took the Academy 54 years to recognize the medium with a Best Picture nomination. That honor went to 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, which set the stage for Disney’s decade-long string of traditionally animated hits and proved that “cartoons” deserved to be taken as seriously as their live-action counterparts. Don Hahn was Beauty’s sole credited producer at the Oscars, and though the film ultimately lost to The Silence of the Lambs, he insists that the nomination itself was reason enough to celebrate. Below, Hahn shares his memories of the 1992 Academy Awards ceremony, during which Beauty picked up statuettes for Original Score and Original Song.

Beauty and the Beast was a big turning point. When we won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy/Musical, I was sitting way in the back — practically in the kitchen. Three years later, when we won for The Lion King, I was in the very front table. I said to myself, “What am I doing here? I make cartoons for a living and I’m sitting next to Diana Ross!” That kind of shows you the journey that happened in just those three years. READ FULL STORY

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