Disney sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet has been mistakenly promoted as having won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film by a retailer. Though it appears to have been a one-off mistake, it shows that Disney had the labels ready to go before this year's Oscars, and an image showing the labeling flub has since gone viral. Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, Ralph Breaks the Internet is the sequel to the 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph, which was also nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the Oscars.
Ralph Breaks the Internet may have scored a higher box office gross, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was the clear favorite to win the Oscar. The film received rave reviews and a near-perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, and had already won Best Animated Film at key awards like the BAFTAs, the Critics' Choice awards, and the Golden Globes. The three other films that were up for Best Animated Feature Film this year were Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs, long-awaited sequel Incredibles 2, and Japanese fantasy Mirai.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse unsurprisingly ended up taking home the Oscar as well, but Disney was nonetheless prepared for Ralph Breaks the Internet to win. A user on Reddit shared a photo of the Ralph Breaks the Internet Blu-ray on sale with a label promoting it as having won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, accompanied (rather appropriately) by an image of Ralph hugging Vanillope and looking morose.
While it might seem arrogant of Disney to have had the 2018 Academy Award Winner labels printed in advance of the Oscars, it's actually just pragmatism. Had Ralph Breaks the Internet won the award, retailers would have been able to start promoting it as an Oscar-winner the very next day. Moreover, the studio had reason to be optimistic, since a Disney movie had won the award for Best Animated Feature every year for the past seven years until Into the Spider-Verse came along to break the winning streak.
The most likely explanation is that, in this case, there were labels naming Ralph Breaks the Internet as an Academy Award nominee, and labels promoting it as an Academy Award winner, and the wrong label was used in this instance. The "Best Animated Film of the Year" boast on the actual cover of the Blu-ray is from a review, so fortunately for Disney it seems like the embarrassment is limited to this one mistakenly used label.