That Time A Bear Almost Got An Oscar Nomination (No, Really.)

No, not the one who almost ate Leo DiCaprio.
That Time A Bear Almost Got An Oscar Nomination (No, Really.)

A lot of crazy stuff has happened at the Academy Awards ceremony over the years, from a nude man streaking across the stage to Robocop saving Pee-wee Herman from a killer robot to the time a bunch of grown-ass adults unironically proclaimed Green Book to be the best movie of the year. Sadly we were denied one of the most potentially bonkers moments in Oscar history: the nomination of a friggin’ bear. 

Bart the Bear, who also appeared in The Great Outdoors and terrorized Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin in The Edge, starred in 1988’s The Bear -- which wasn’t a drama about Chicago football players, but rather a French movie about a literal grizzly bear.

The film was a hit worldwide, and, as a result, there was a campaign to score Bart the Bear an Oscar nomination for his work. This wasn’t totally out of nowhere; critics raved about the “Oscar-quality performances” given by the ursine thespians. But unfortunately, the Academy put the kibosh on the campaign, “claiming that animal actors would not be permitted for Oscar consideration.”

Bart the Bear eventually made it to the Oscars as a presenter in 1998, handing out an award alongside Mike Myers. Later it was revealed that the show’s crew were “terrified” that he would go “on a rampage” -- Bart, we mean, not the guy who unleashed The Love Guru onto the world.  

This wasn’t the last time there would be a push to nominate an animal, either. In 2012 fans launched an online campaign to secure a nomination for Uggie, the Jack Russell Terrier from The Artist. “Consider Uggie” was even supported by Steven Spielberg -- although people speculated that he only did so in order to open the door to the possibility of a nomination for the horse from his film War Horse, whose work he praised effusively -- and really, if Mark Wahlberg can be nominated, would it be that crazy?

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Top Image: TriStar Pictures

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