It was another banner year for PIXAR at the Annie Awards, but fan-favorites like Rick and Morty and the game Cuphead also picked up awards.
Pixar Animation Studios swept the 45th Annie Awards, and “Coco” won Best Animated Feature. The animated hit took the top honors across 11 categories including Best Animated Effects, Character Animation, Directing, Music, Production Design, Storyboarding, Voice Acting, Writing, and Editorial. The Best Animated Feature-Independent was awarded to The Breadwinner (Cartoon Saloon/ Aircraft Pictures/ Melusine Productions).
Best Animated Special Production was awarded to Revolting Rhymes (Magic Light Pictures) this year, and Best Animated Short Subject went to Dear Basketball (Glen Keane Productions, Kobe Studios, Believe Entertainment Group).
The award for Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial went to June (Broad Reach Pictures/Chromosphere/Lyft), while the Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production went to the animated hit Rick and Morty – Episode: 30 ‘Pickle Rick’ (Williams Street Productions).
Also in TV, the Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Children went to the We Bare Bears Episode: Panda’s Art (Cartoon Network Animation Studios), and the Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children was awarded to Octonauts – Episode: Operation Deep Freeze (Vampire Squid Productions Limited, a Silvergate Media company, in association with Brown Bag Films).
The Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production was awarded to War For The Planet of The Apes (Chernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, River Road Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Daniel Barrett, Sidney Kombo-Kintombo, Emile Ghorayeb, Luisma Lavin Peredo, Alessandro Bonora).
“This year, we paid tribute to our beloved June Foray, who always delighted in seeing how the event she founded continued to grow year after year. This year was no exception,” remarked Frank Gladstone, Annie Awards executive producer. “June would have enjoyed the increasing numbers, but more important to her, and to us, has always been seeing the proof, inherent in the Annies, that the capability of people, world-wide, to create animated films has also continued to diversify and increase.”
The evening was dedicated to the late June Foray, the legendary voice actress who was, more than anyone else, is responsible for founding the Annies 45 years ago. June’s creativity, generosity and unrelenting advocacy for the animation community were evident in the touching presentation.
Presenters for the evening included actress Wendie Malick; Coco’s Anthony Gonzalez; Director Nora Twomey and actress Saara Chaudry from The Breadwinner; Disney voice talent Russi Taylor; SpongeBob himself, Tom Kenny; Animators Mark Henn and Floyd Norman, and other industry notables, including Debi Derryberry, and E.G. Daily, along with ASIFA-Hollywood President, Jerry Beck, Executive Director, Frank Gladstone and animation producer and ASIFA board member, Sue Shakespeare.
ASIFA-Hollywood had all three Winsor McCay recipients in attendance this year. The Winsor McCay Award for career contributions to the art of animation are being presented to three recipients – British character animator, James Baxter; SpongeBob SquarePants creator, Stephen Hillenburg and the Canadian animation duo, Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis. The Ub Iwerks Award for technical advancement that has made a significant impact on the art and industry of animation was presented to TVPaint for its versatile software for 2D animation.
The Special Achievement Award recognizing the unique and significant impact on the art and industry of animation was presented to Studio MDHR Entertainment for its 1930s inspired wonder-game Cuphead; and the June Foray Award for significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation was presented to animation historian, Didier Ghez. The Certificate of Merit award was presented to David Nimitz, devoted friend and caretaker of veteran voice actress and ASIFA-Hollywood and Annie Award pioneer, June Foray, who passed away last July at the age of 99.
The Annie Awards™ honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 36 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. A complete list of winners can be viewed at annieawards.org.