Disney and Apple dominated the 2021 Annie Awards. Josh Gad, Matthew Rhys, Philippa Soo, Eva Whittaker, and Patrick Warburton presented at this year’s event; alongside Oscar-winning composer, Michael Giacchino; and award-winning directors Sergio Pablos and Jill Culton. Cartoon Saloon producer and director Nora Twomey also presented, alongside Matthew A. Cherry and the cast of the web series Critical Role.
Pixar’s “Soul” picked up seven Annie Awards this year, winning Best Feature, Character Animation (Michal Makarewicz), Music (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste), Storyboarding (Trevor Jimenez), Writing (Pete Docter, Mike Jones, Kemp Powers), Best FX (Tolga Göktekin, Carl Kaphan, Hiroaki Narita, Enrique Vila, Kylie Wijsmuller) and Editorial (Kevin Nolting, Gregory Amundson, Robert Grahamjones, Amera Rizk).
AppleTV’s “Wolfwalkers” was a close second in overall wins, earning five Annies including Best Independent Feature, Character Design (Federico Pirovano), Direction (Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart), Production Design (Maria Pareja, Ross Stewart, Tomm Moore), and Voice Acting (Eva Whittaker as the voice of Mebh Óg MacTíre).
Magic Light Pictures’ “The Snail and the Whale” won Best Animated Special Production and Best Animated Short Subject, and “Souvenir Souvenir” won Best Sponsored Production.
“This year was a challenge, in many ways, for all of us,” remarked Frank Gladstone, ASIFA’s executive director. “Especially after deciding to go to a virtual award ceremony, we did not know what to expect. To our surprise, we had more submissions this year than we have ever had and, now that we are streaming the Annies worldwide, we are also hoping for the biggest audience ever.”
The Winsor McCay Award for career contributions to the art of animation were presented to three recipients this year, animator Willie Ito, designer Sue Nichols (posthumously) and animator/director Bruce Smith.
The June Foray Award for significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation was awarded to animator and art director Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi. The Ub Iwerks Award for technical advancement that has made a significant impact on the art and industry of animation was presented to Epic Games for its Unreal Engine; and The Special Achievement Award recognizing the unique and significant impact on the art and industry of animation was presented to the documentary, Howard (Stone Circle Pictures).
Each year, the Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 36 categories. A complete list of winners can be viewed at annieawards.org.
photo credit: appletv