By Zach Johnson
The 92nd Academy Awards® aired live on ABC Sunday, and The Oscars® was filled with magical moments for Disney fans of all ages. From a once-in-a-lifetime Frozen 2 performance to history-making wins, we’re celebrating those highlights and more below:
1. A Warm and Colorful Welcome
Janelle Monáe opened the Oscars® broadcast with a musical tribute to some of the year’s biggest films. Joined onstage by Billy Porter, Monáe—who voices Peg in the Disney+ original movie Lady and the Tramp—involved the crowd in her act, getting a handful of stars, including Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson, to sing along. Monáe’s spirited performance resulted in standing ovation, with Adam Driver, Charlize Theron, and more applauding.
2. Frozen Fractals All Around
Because Walt Disney Animation Studios’ record-breaking movie Frozen 2 has been dubbed in 45 different languages, actor Josh Gad, who voices Olaf in the English language version, introduced a special performance featuring the global voices of Elsa: Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg (Denmark), Willemijn Verkaik (Germany), Takako Matsu (Japan), Carmen SarahÍ (Latin America), Lisa Stokke (Norway), Kasia Łaska (Poland), Anna Buturlina (Russia), Gisela (Spain) and Gam Wichayanee (Thailand). As Gad explained, “These dubbed versions provide kids and adults everywhere their own special connection to the story and its characters, which means there are so many great versions of Elsa.” The international group joined Idina Menzel, who voices Elsa in the English language film, and AURORA to sing the Oscar-nominated “Into the Unknown.”
3. Toy Story 4 Takes Over
Mindy Kaling presented Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley and producers Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera with the Oscar for best Animated Feature Film. “We are so, so grateful for this honor,” Nielsen said. “On behalf of our incredible cast and our crew up at Pixar Animation Studios, we just want to thank the Academy for honoring our film alongside so many beautiful animated films this year. We are just proud to be among them.” Rivera called Toy Story 4 “a love letter to our families,” while Cooley said, “We want to thank the moviegoing audience so much, especially those that grew up with Toy Story. We hope your adventures with Woody and Buzz made growing up a little bit easier.”
Later on, Disney Legend Randy Newman brought a smile to Toy Story 4 fans’ faces when he performed his Oscar-nominated original song “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away.” The stage was designed to look like the wallpaper in Andy’s room—and if you look closely, you might see Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Bo Peep, and Forky in the clouds!
4. A Lucky Rabbit
Jojo Rabbit’s Taika Waititi won the award for best Adapted Screenplay, making the Māori filmmaker the first indigenous New Zealander to win an Oscar. “I dedicate this to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories,” Waititi said onstage. “We are the original storytellers and we can make it here as well.”
5. A Breakthrough Performance
Actress Chrissy Metz took to the stage to perform the Oscar-nominated, Diane Warren-penned ballad “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough. Backed by a gospel choir, Metz’s moving performance elicited cheers from the crowd and brought Warren to tears.
6. A First Place Finish
Ford v Ferrari’s Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland accepted the Oscar for Best Film Editing, while Donald Sylvester accepted the Oscar for Best Sound Editing. McCusker singled out James Mangold in his acceptance speech, saying, “It’s my great, great pleasure to have sat and watched you become one of the best directors in this business in the last 15 years.” He also praised the cast, led by Christian Bale and Matt Damon, as well as the producers and crew members. Sylvester also praised the team effort, saying, “Ford v Ferrari is a marriage of sound and picture, so while I really want to thank my fantastic sound team, I also want to thank my picture team and the mixers.”
7. A GENIUS Debut
During a commercial break, National Geographic and Fox 21 Television Studios released a first-look teaser promo for Genius: Aretha. Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo stars as Aretha Franklin in the third season of the critically acclaimed global anthology series. Genius: Aretha will premiere over four consecutive nights, beginning Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, at 9|8c. Genius: Aretha will be the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of Franklin. The eight-part series will explore Franklin’s musical genius and incomparable career—and the immeasurable impact and influence she has had on music and culture around the world.
The cast also includes Courtney B. Vance as C.L. Franklin, David Cross as Jerry Wexler, Malcolm Barrett as Ted White, Pauletta Washington as Grandmother Rachel, Patrice Covington as Erma Franklin, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Carolyn Franklin, Steven Norfleet as Cecil Franklin, Kimberly Hébert Gregory as Ruth Bowen, Omar J. Dorsey as James Cleveland, Marque Richardson as King Curtis, and Shaian Jordan as Little Re.