This weekend when you see Toy Story 3 --it's safe to assume you'll be there? -- you'll first see a new Pixar short called Day & Night (2010). Don't be surprised if it wins an Oscar on February 27th, 2011. I don't want to spoil one second of the short because it's so inventive, fun and technically /conceptually strong. It's often all of those things simultaneously. You're in for a treat.
Despite Pixar's reputation as an Oscar hog, they're more Streep than Hepburn; They're nominated frequently but they win less than people have imagined.
Unless you're talking about animated features in which case, yes, yes, they win that a lot. They've won it 5 out of its 9 years. But they also lose ridiculous contests like Monsters, Inc vs. Shrek... despite the math being Monsters, Inc > Shrek by 1000 to 1. Argh. That one will haunt me forever.
Pixar Shorts Oscar History
Winners: Tin Toy (1988), Gerri's Game (1997), For the Birds (2001). They win the animated short category but once a decade.
Nominees: Luxo Jr (1986), Mike's New Car (2002, the only one of their shorts using movie characters to be nominated), Boundin' (2003), One Man Band (2005), Lifted (2006), Presto (2008)
Ignored: The Adventures of Andre and Wally B. (1984), Red's Dream (1987), Knick Knack (1989, one of my personal favorites), Jack-Jack Attack (2005), Mater & The Ghostlight (2006), Your Friend the Rat (2007), Partly Cloudy (2009)