First Animation Oscar Goes to Shrek

The grumpy, green ogre Shrek claimed the first-ever Oscar for best animated feature film during Sunday's Academy Awards.

The computerized satire, about a surly monster and a talking donkey on a quest to save a princess in an unhappy fairy-tale world, defeated Monsters, Inc. and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius for the inaugural prize.

Producer Aron Warner accepted the award as an animated sidekick donkey was shown kissing Shrek on the cheek in the audience.

"Thank you, members of the Academy, for inviting us to the party by creating this category to begin with," Warner said. "I want to thank my fellow producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, who has a love for animation bordering on obsession and is the real reason we're here tonight."

The film, produced by DreamWorks SKG and the special-effects company Pacific Data Images, starred Mike Myers as the voice of Shrek, Eddie Murphy as talkative Donkey and Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona, reluctantly betrothed to a tiny tyrant voiced by John Lithgow.

Shrek was one of last year's highest grossing films, earning nearly $268 million in the United States and millions more on home video.

Many animators have long supported an Academy Award honoring feature-length animation, despite objections from some who feared it would diminish those films' chances against live-action fare in categories such as best picture.

The only animated film to earn a best-picture nomination was 1991's Beauty and the Beast.

A special award a full-sized Oscar and seven miniature ones was given to Walt Disney in 1939 for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first feature-length animated movie. Another special Oscar went to 1995's Toy Story, the first full-length computer-animated picture.