Disney
Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

With the Oscars coming this Sunday, Entertainment Weekly took a look at one of the minds behind a past nominee, one with a "tale as old as time."

"Beauty and the Beast" was the first fully animated film to ever be nominated for an Acadamy Award Best Picture of the year in 1992, though Disney's finesse with animation was shown much earlier with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" appearing in 1937 and the partially animated "Mary Poppins" in 1964.

Don Hahn, producer of "Beauty and the Beast," spoke with EW about the night of the awards and how the nomination was huge for the animation industry.

"I was incredibly nervous going to the Oscars show," Hahn told EW. "It was my first time sitting in the audience, and you don’t get into animation to sit with celebrities at award shows. You get into animation to sit in quiet rooms and draw. I was in the seventh row, so there I was sitting next to Anthony Hopkins, Sylvester Stallone, Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep. The other weird thing is my name got read by Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor. Those two were iconic, like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, and they were saying, 'Beauty and the Beast. Don Hahn, producer.'"

Hahn said that an animated film getting nominated was a milestone for animation, especially for Disney Animation.

"Getting the Best Picture nomination was like the U.S. hockey team beating the Russians," Hahn said. "That’s what it felt like."

That year, "Beauty and the Beast" did take home two Acadamy Awards, one for Original Score and one for Original Song.

Since "Beauty and the Beast" was nominated, "Up" and "Toy Story 3" are the only animated films to ever be nominated for Best Picture. Since 1991 there has been an added category in the Acadamy Awards for Best Animated Feature.

Email: tackerman@desnews.com