L.A. Times reporter Robert Welkos has written that Brad Bird‘s Ratatouille “probably won’t be in the running” for a Best Picture Oscar as opposed to one for Best Animated Feature, which it has a good shot at. What am I missing here? What critical criteria would have to be surpassed for an animated feature to leapfrog out of its own category and into the running for a regular Best Picture Oscar? Implicit in Welkos’ piece is a notion that a Best Animated Feature Oscar is a second-tier honor. Media by Numbers analyst Paul Dergarabedian supports this by saying “there’s an innate bias against animated films [by Oscar voters]…they are perceived as being for kids.” What kind of beer are these guys drinking? The last time an animated feature was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar was when Beauty and the Beast managed it in 1991 — 16 years ago. It’s not happening again. Forget it.