LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Disney Animation's "Big Hero 6," a comic book-inspired tale of a teen science genius who befriends a huggable robot and forms a superhero team, won the Academy Award for best animated feature film on Sunday.
"This has been an amazing year for animated films and we are privileged to be in your company," said co-director Don Hall.
He was the second winner of the night to make a point of thanking his parents, after best supporting actor J.K. Simmons made a passionate speech urging people to call their parents and thank them.
"One upon a time there was a freckle-faced little boy who told his mom and his dad he was going to work at Walt Disney Animation and they did something amazing. They supported him," Hall said.
"Big Hero 6," released in November last year, was Disney's first animated film foray into the Marvel comics universe, fusing Japanese influences into American pop culture.
The film's superheroes use scientific knowledge to create their superpowers, and its protagonist Hiro endures both sorrow and joy in his journey to save his city from an evil masked villain.
"30 Rock" actor Scott Adsit voiced huggable healthcare robot Baymax, while rising star Ryan Potter voiced Hiro. To date, the film, directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, has made more than $521 million at the worldwide box office.
"Big Hero 6" earned the second consecutive Academy Award win in the animated feature category for Walt Disney Co's animation studios, which won last year for musical blockbuster "Frozen."
The animation feature Oscar category was first handed out in 2002, and has been dominated by Disney-owned Pixar, which has won seven Academy Awards. Pixar did not release a film in 2014.
"Big Hero 6" beat out DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon 2," Laika Studios' "The Boxtrolls," Studio Ghibli's "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" and Irish studio Cartoon Saloon's "Song of the Sea."
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Sandra Maler)