The Matrix

Many people go to the movies to escape, and one of the greatest tools to allow such an escape is visual effects. Whether it’s capturing the world around the viewer in a seemingly realistic way, or depicting some impossible event and location without completely breaking the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief, VFX is a powerful tool in the hands of the right filmmaker. The Oscars haven’t always recognized VFX as its own category, first including it in the ceremony in 1927/28 as an award for “engineering effects,” and it wasn’t until 1963 that the Academy renamed it Award For Best Visual Effects. Whether it’s matte paintings, miniatures, stop-motion, prosthetics, or CGI, these are all powerful weapons in the arsenal of filmmakers that can turn their visions into realities for the audience and leave a lasting impression—even if the film itself is slightly forgettable.

Burger Fiction has compiled all of the Best VFX winners ever in the history of the Academy Awards into one single video. It’s interesting to note what was seen as revolutionary at different times, what audiences were impressed by (in the early days it seemed to be those films that could best recapture the realism of the story), and what has aged well through the years. It’s also surprising to see some of the past winners whether it’s a positive (Way to go, Joe Dante’s Innerspace!) or a negative (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest won an Oscar?).

On February 28, 2016, audiences will find out who will take home the Award for Best Visual Effects between Ex Machina, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.