This is an article to explain why The Lion King deserved an Oscar nomination for "Best Picture"
It is no question that the Academy Award for Best Picture has, over the years, been one of the more controversial ones. Most of the time, the award is blamed for picking films that are not considered "timeless" or even "relevant". It has also been flamed for the lack of variety within the names of nominees, even after eighty-three years. Of the films that have won, most have been drama, with few being comedy, and with fantasy and horror each receiving only one win each. Animated films have appeared on the list only three times, though some film genres (such as ganster films and court room dramas) have not appeared at all, any time.
That being said, let's look at the facts. First of all, 1994's "Forrest Gump" took home the "Best Picture" Oscar. Even nowadays, it is considered a true classic, and I'll admit, it was slightly better than "The Lion King"--though not by much. Secondly, the first animated film to receive the Oscar nomination for Best Picture was 1991's "Beauty and the Beast". Not "Snow White", not "Fantasia, not "Pinocchio"; indeed, the very first Oscar nominee for the big one, that didn't contain a single frame of shot film, came over 50 years after the more famous Disney films. (The closest any animated film came was 1967's "The Jungle Book", which made the shortlist but ultimately was not nominated.)
Something to consider is that the next animated film to appear on the nominee list--2009's "Up"--only appeaered after the number of nominated films rose from 5 to 10. This allowed both "Up" and 2010's "Toy Story 3" to appear on the list, though it appears now that they are more the exception than the rule.
This begs the question, why did nearly 20 years pass between "Beauty and the Beast", and "Up" being nominated for Best Picture? The answer is relatively simple: the Academy that hosts the Academy Awards is made up of people in the film business--producers, directors, actors, screenplay writers, etc. To see an animated film on the list, would mean a lower paycheck among them. It's a complicated process, but it's one that keeps animated films from appearing on the list of Best Picture nominees and, subsequently, winners.
Now, why do I think "The Lion King" deserved to be on the nominees list? There are several reason: first of all, it's just a frickin' good film! The story is well-developed, the characters are believable and relatable, the visuals are just stunning, the music and sounds help the story along, the voice acting is flawless, and the list goes on and on.
What's more, it was one of the best-reviewed films of 1994, even ahead of "Forrest Gump"; it currently holds a 92% "Fresh" rating from RottenTomatoes.com. It is an unforgettable film, one that has been cherished by a whole fanbase (and more!) for almost 20 years. In contrast, the largest "Forrest Gump" following that I could find has a mere 3,000 members.
All in all, at the very least, "The Lion King" deserved a spot on that list for "Best Picture" nominees. It's a pity it didn't make it, but hey, it's still a great film!