Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix Presents A Double Dare You! Film/A Shadowmachine Production in association with The Jim Henson Company) won the Best Feature honor at the 50th Annie Awards™ celebration Saturday night on the campus of UCLA. Pinocchio also won for Best Character Animation, Feature (Tucker Barrie), Best Direction, Feature (Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson), Best Music, Feature (Alexandre Desplat, Roeban Katz, Guillermo del Toro, Patrick McHale) and Best Production Design, Feature (Curt Enderle, Guy Davis).
Best Independent Feature was presented to Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (Marcel the Movie LLC) which also won for Best Voice Acting, Feature (Jenny Slate as the voice of Marcel) and Best Writing, Feature (Dean Fleischer Camp, Jenny Slate, Nick Paley, Elisabeth Holm).
Best Special Production was presented to The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse (A NoneMore and Bad Robot Production for Apple TV+ and BBC) which also received an Annie for Best Character Animation, TV/Media (Tim Watts), Best Direction, TV/Media (Peter Baynton, Charlie Mackesy), and Best Editorial, TV/Media (Daniel Budin).
Best Short Subject was presented to Ice Merchants (COLA Animation Production & Wild Stream); Best Student Film – The Soloists (Student directors Mehrnaz Abdollahinia, Feben Elias Woldehawariat, Razahk Issaka, Celeste Jamneck & Yi Liu – Gobelins, l’ecole de l’image). Best Sponsored Production – Save Ralph (Arch Model Studio); Best TV/Media – Mature – Bob’s Burgers, Eps. Some Like It Bot Part 1: Eight Grade Runner (20th Television/Bento Box Entertainment); Best TV/Media – Children – Abominable and the Invisible City, Eps. Everest Returns (DreamWorks Animation); and Best Animated TV/Media – Preschool – The Tiny Chef Show, Eps. Pancakes (Tiny Chef Productions LLC/Imagine Entertainment).
Avatar: The Way of Water won for Character Animation in a Live Action Production – (Daniel Barrett, Stuart Adcock, Todd Labonte, Douglas McHale, Stephen Cullingford) (20th Century Studios, Disney Studios, Weta FX.).
“This is a very special year, not only because it is the Annie Awards 50th anniversary, but also because, after nearly three years, this is the first time our community is able to be back together again, in person,” remarked Frank Gladstone, Executive Producer of the Annie Awards. “For a community as close knit as ours, being with each other is of major importance, so we are pulling out all the stops to make this a memorable and historic evening for folks locally, and worldwide.”
The evening’s presenters included Guillermo del Toro (Nominated Director of GUILLERMO DEL TORO’s PINOCCHIO) and Mark Gustafson; Tom Kenny (Voice of Spongebob), Scott Weinger & Linda Larkin (original voices of Aladdin and Jasmine from ALADDIN), Henry Selick (Nominated Director of WENDELL & WILD) and Jorge R. Gutierrez; Peter Ramsey (Director of SPIDERMAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE), Joel Crawford & Wagner Moura (Director and actor nominee for PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Director of KUNG FU PANDA 2) & Domee Shi (Nominee Pixar Director/Writer TURNING RED), Karen Melina White & Paula Jai Parker (Nominee and co-star of PROUD FAMILY: LOUDER & PROUDER), Andreas Deja (Disney Animation Legend) & Kira Lehtomaki (Disney Animator), and Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Austin Powers)
Juried awards were presented for the following: The Winsor McCay Award in recognition of lifetime or career contributions were presented to three recipients – Pete Docter, animated feature writer/director and Pixar CEO; Evelyn Lambart (posthumously), early National Film Board of Canada collaborator, including her significant series of short films; and Craig McCracken, prolific, influential television series creator. The June Foray Award for significant and benevolent or charitable impact was awarded to Mindy Johnson, author, historian and educator.
The Ub Iwerks Award for technical advancement affecting the animation industry was presented to Visual Effects Reference Platform, initially developed by Nick Cannon and Francois Chardavoine to eliminate incompatibilities between digital content creation software. The Certificate of Merit Award for service to the art and industry was presented to John Omohundro.
Many thanks to the generous support from this year’s sponsors and advertisers: Platinum Level – Cartoon Network Studios/Warner Bros. Animation, DreamWorks Animation, Netflix, Nickelodeon, and Walt Disney Animation Studios/Pixar Animation Studios; Gold Level – Disney TV Animation, Illumination Entertainment and Riot Games; Silver Level – Pixar Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Animation, and Walt Disney Animation Studios; Bronze Level – Epic Games, GKIDS, LightBox Expo, ShadowMachine, Skydance Animation and The Gotham Group; and Education/Nonprofit Level – The Animation Guild LATSE Local 839 and Sheridan College.
The Annie Awards™ honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in 37 categories from best feature, best feature – independent, production design, character animation, and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music, editing and voice acting, and have often been a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The ceremony was streamed this year courtesy of ASIFA-Hollywood – www.annieawards.org/watch-it-live. A complete list of winners can be viewed at www.annieawards.org. Video highlights of the ceremony will be uploaded to the Annies website in the next few days.