As you may well know, the majority of our Best Animated Feature series coverage has been focused primarily on the Oscars. But then, as any smart person will note, the Oscars aren’t the end-all, be-all of the awards season. For this reason, we now turn our focus to this year’s upcoming Annie Awards for an exciting update.
Annie Awards Nominations
As reported by many, many sources, the nominees for the 42nd annual Annie Awards have been unveiled. And keeping with the unpredictability of this year (brought on by Pixar’s absence), there was a pretty big surprise.
What surprise would that be? Well, it just so turns out that of the eight animated features vying for the top honors this year, LAIKA’s The Boxtrolls holds a surprising lead with a whopping 13 nominations!
Not far behind it is DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 with 10 nominations, followed by Disney’s Big Hero 6 and GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea with 7 nominations each, and Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Movie with 6 nominations.
Rounding out the rest of the numbers are Bill Plympton’s Cheatin, Reel FX’s The Book of Life and GKIDS/Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya.
Like I’ve said before, the unpredictability of this year has lead to an awards season that’s more open-ended and heated than ever before. Reflecting this notion is the category of Direction in an Animated Feature Production. It could go to anyone considering how good a year 2014 was for animation.
The animated short category also packs eight nominees, five of which have also been shotlisted for the Oscars: Alan Holly’s Coda, Glen Keane’s Duet, Patrick Osborne’s Feast, Torill Kove’s Me and My Moulton , and Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi’s The Dam Keeper.
Didier Brunner, Don Lusk and Lee Mendelson will each receive a Winsor McCay Award for their career contributions to animation. Charles Solomon will receive a June Foray Award for charitable impact on the animation industry. DreamWorks Animation’s new Apollo software (used on How to Train Your Dragon 2) will be granted the Ub Iwerks Award for technical achievement. And finally, The Walt Disney Family Museum will be bestowed the Special Achievement Award for recognizing unique or significant impacts on the art of animation.
Online balloting will begin on January 2, 2015, with a deadline set for January 19. The awards ceremony will be held on January 31 at the Royce Hall on the UCLA campus.
What do you think? Any thoughts on the nominations? Any surprises or disappointments?
Best Animated Feature
- Big Hero 6 – Walt Disney Animation Studios
- Cheatin’ – Plymptoons Studio
- How to Train Your Dragon 2 – DreamWorks Animation SKG
- Song of the Sea – GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon
- The Book of Life – Reel FX Animation Studios/Twentieth Century Fox
- The Boxtrolls – Focus Features/Laika
- The LEGO Movie -Warner Bros. Pictures
- The Tale of The Princess Kaguya – GKIDS/Studio Ghibli
Best Animated Special Production
- Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey – Voyager Pictures LLC
- Dawn of the Dragon Racers – DreamWorks Animation
- How Murray Saved Christmas – Universal Television
- Polariffic – Bent Image Lab
- Toy Story That Time Forgot – Pixar Animation Studios
Best Animated Short Subject
- Coda - And Maps And Plans Ltd.
- Duet – Glen Keane Productions/ATAP
- Feast – Walt Disney Animation Studios
- Inside Homer The Simpsons Couch Gag (Episode #549) – Acme Filmworks
- Me and My Moulton – Mikrofilm AS/National Film Board of Canada
- Silent – Moonbot Studios
- The Dam Keeper - Tonko House LLC
- The Raven – Moonbot Studios
Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial
- Citizen M: “Swan Song” – PES Film/Stoopid Buddy Stoodios/RESET
- Flight of the Stories – Aardman Animations
- LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham - Plastic Wax Studios
Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Preschool Children
- Doc McStuffins - Disney Channel / Disney Junior
- Peter Rabbit – Nickelodeon Productions and Silvergate Media
- Tumble Leaf – Amazon Studios and Bix Pix Entertainment
- Wallykazam! – Nickelodeon Productions
- Zack & Quack – The Foundation / QQD Ltd / High1 Entertainment
Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children’s Audience
- Adventure Time – Cartoon Network Studios
- Gravity Falls – Disney Television Animation
- Legend of Korra – Nickelodeon Animation Studio
- Over The Garden Wall – Cartoon Network Studios
- Wander Over Yonder - Disney Television Animation
Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production
- Archer – FX Productions
- Back To Backspace – Cartoon Network Studios
- Bob’s Burgers – Twentieth Century Fox Studios
- Rick and Morty - Starburns Industries, Inc.
- Mike Tyson Mysteries - Warner Bros. Animation
- Regular Show - Cartoon Network Studios
- The Simpsons – Gracie Films in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Best Animated Video Game
- Forza Horizon 2 – Microsoft Studios/Turn 10/Playground Games
- Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft Montpellier
- Child of Light – Ubisoft Montreal
Best Student Film
- After School – Junyi Xiao
- Dead Over Heels – Jose Matheu
- El Coyote – Javier Barboza
- Frog’s Legs - Katie Tamboer
- My Big Brother - Jason Rayner
- Tiny Nomad - Toniko Pantoja
Winsor McCay Award – Didier Brunner, Don Lusk and Lee Mendelson for their career contributions to the art of animation.
June Foray Award – Charles Solomon for his significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.
Ub Iwerks – DreamWorks Animation’s Apollo Software for technical advancement that has made a significant impact on the art or industry of animation.
Special Achievement Award – The Walt Disney Family Museum recognizing the unique and significant impact on the art and industry of animation.