Los Angeles: "Toy Story 3" won the Oscar for animated feature on Sunday, becoming the fourth Pixar release to win the category in as many years.
In perhaps the least surprising result at the Academy Awards, the hit cartoon, which will also vie for the best picture Oscar at the end of the ceremony, beat out another Hollywood crowd-pleaser, "How to Train Your Dragon," and the British-French co-production "The Illusionist."
"Toy Story 3," the most popular film at the box office last year with worldwide sales of $1.1 billion, marked the third film in a series about a group of action figures and toy-chest favorites who come to life when humans are not looking.
The crew is headed by the bold astronaut Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tim Allen, and the more diffident Woody the cowboy, voiced by Tom Hanks. The new film, directed by Lee Unkrich, saw the beloved toys suffer a grim fate in a daycare center. Mattel mainstays Barbie and Ken made their debuts.
Pixar, a unit of Walt Disney Co, won this category last year with "Up," in 2009 with "WALL-E," and in 2008 with "Ratatouille." It also won in 2004 with "Finding Nemo" and in 2005 with "The Incredibles."
The award was instituted in 2002, six years after Pixar chief John Lasseter was given a special Oscar for his team's work on the first "Toy Story" film.