Back in 1992, I thought Beauty and the Beast was easily the best picture of the year. But of course it lost out to Silence of the Lambs.
Big honking surprise.
As more than one animation veteran has said to me: "Animation is the bastard step-child of motion pictures." And no matter how much a given animated feature might deserve to be voted "Best Picture", there is just too much opposition among the live-action majority of the Motion Picture Academy for it ever to happen.
... studios’ reluctance to advance their animated wares as candidates for best picture is enforced by a perception that actors, the academy’s largest branch, with about 20 percent of the membership, are reluctant to honor movies without live performances. Additionally, the academy has a definite allergy to family fare, like the G-rated “Ratatouille”: 28 R-rated films have been nominated for best picture in the last 10 years, while only two PG-rated movies — “Finding Neverland” and “Good Night, and Good Luck” — have. And none with a G rating have made the cut ...
Color me cynical, but I don't think we'll see a feature without live actors pick up the top prize during this millenium ... or the next.