LOS ANGELES -- "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" has had an Oscar wish come true.
The director's stop-motion, musical take on the puppet who longs to be a real boy won Netflix its first animated feature trophy on Sunday.
The category has primarily gone to either a Walt Disney or Pixar-produced film for the past decade - with the exception of "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."
"Animation is ready to be taken to the next step. We are all ready for it. Please help us keep animation in the conversation," Del Toro said.
"Pinocchio" was considered the contender to beat. It swept several awards including the Golden Globe and the top honor at the animation industry's Annie Awards.
The voice cast includes Ewan McGregor, Christoph Waltz, fellow Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton.
It earned rave reviews for a stunningly beautiful production that takes a dark look at issues of love and mortality between the titular puppet and surrogate father, Gepetto. A polar opposite of Disney's 1940 version, this "Pinocchio" references Catholicism, fascism and the ugliness of war.
"It's so good to know this art form we love so much - stop motion - is very much alive and well," said co-director Mark Gustafson.
The Mexican-born del Toro, who won the Oscar for best director in 2018 for "The Shape of Water," has said animation is pure cinema. Animators have been hitting back in recent years against the stigma that animated movies are just a kids' genre.
The movie beat out "Turning Red," "Marcel the Shell with Shoes On," "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" and "The Sea Beast."
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.