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The Annie Awards: Half a Century of Celebrating Toons

***This text initially appeared within the March ’23 problem of Animation Journal (No. 328)***

Our world, and the animation trade as a complete, have modified a lot because the first version of Annie Awards passed off on the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio Metropolis again in 1973. The brainchild of gifted voice actress and trade champion June Foray, the Annie Awards occasion has grown and advanced with every passing yr. Nevertheless, the real community-minded spirit and keenness for the artwork type stays the identical. This yr’s fiftieth version of the awards, which can happen at UCLA’s Royce Corridor on Saturday, February 25, guarantees to be fairly a particular celebration certainly.

Sue Shakespeare
Sue Shakespeare

“We’re very enthusiastic about our large fiftieth Annie Awards celebration this yr,” says ASIFA-Hollywood President Sue Shakespeare. “Our slogan is ’50 years of creativity and magic,’ and that’s what we’re celebrating. It has been an modern yr for animation. Take a look at the nominations, and also you see a formidable number of types of movies, reveals, video games, and shorts which have been created.  I don’t consider we’ve seen a lot modern creativity ever earlier than in our trade. I consider that animation is taking up a unique sort of legitimacy now as an artwork type. It’s perceived as artwork in lots of arenas past movie.”

As ASIFA-Hollywood’s Government Director Frank Gladstone factors out, “After two years of being digital, we’re wanting ahead to having a dwell occasion at Royce Corridor once more. As a result of that is our fiftieth anniversary yr, we’re going to have some particular surprises and cameos that can assist us look again in any respect the fantastic recollections by the years. We’ll be saying the names of our hosts fairly quickly, so maintain checking the day by day information as we get confirmations nearer to the occasion date.”

Frank Gladstone
Frank Gladstone

Gladstone additionally factors out that the passionate staff at ASIFA-Hollywood works behind the scenes all yr lengthy to help the neighborhood. “Our animation household is extra international than ever earlier than,” he says. “The Annies are now not a present for individuals who dwell in L.A. It’s for everybody who works within the trade worldwide. ASIFA can also be growing our grants for filmmakers, and we’re additionally concerned in additional preservation work. As well as, we’re producing an animated brief for UNICEF, together with Seneca Faculty’s animation division (produced by Aubry Mintz) and likewise growing our participation in animation occasions worldwide.”

ASIFA-Hollywood Vice President, writer and animation historian Jerry Beck says everybody concerned with the awards may be very pleased with this benchmark yr. “We’ve had many modifications within the awards over time, however wanting again from a 50-year perch, I’d wish to assume we’ve made animation historical past — or not less than honored that historical past — in recognizing many nice artists and animators, filmmakers and movies. I’m additionally excited that we’re again in individual for the primary time in two years. And it’s been an attention-grabbing yr of animated manufacturing as former entrance runners are dealing with true competitors from impartial animators and streaming producers.”

Jerry Beck
Jerry Beck

Beck factors out that animation evolves every year, bringing new sights and sounds. “The Annies showcases what’s occurring now — and previews what’s to return,” he notes. “As normal, visible design is king amongst our nominees. Stylized stop-motion puppets, flat hand-drawn graphics mixing with CGI, extra live-action integration — to not point out extra subtle CGI character animation. And, extra importantly, the artwork is used for tales that not solely come from a filmmaker’s coronary heart, however contact audiences as relatable leisure.”

Shakespeare agrees.The artistry and know-how created by our ‘trade magicians’ is flourishing, and they’re being united in new and thrilling methods. The return to theaters has additionally been wonderful this yr! The spectacular field workplace returns rolling in on varied movies have proved how a lot all of us love a ‘large display screen film expertise!’ With all the wants for and makes use of of animation right this moment, I don’t assume our trade has ever been extra thrilling and wholesome… and the promise of issues to return may be very thrilling! Simply dream it, and animation will carry it to life.”

The Annie Awards will happen on Saturday, February 25 at 7 P.M. at UCLA’s Royce Corridor. For extra data, go to


Annie Awards Studio Features
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Turning Crimson, Wendell & Wild, Puss in Boots: The Final Want and The Sea Beast are nominated for the Annie Award for Greatest Function

The Annies: Main Classes at a Look

See all of the nominees right here.


Greatest Function
Turning Crimson (Pixar)
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix)
Puss in Boots: The Final Want (DreamWorks)
The Sea Beast (Netflix)
Wendell & Wild (Netflix)


Greatest Indie Function
Charlotte (January Movies/Balthazar, Strolling the Canine)
Inu-Oh (Science SARU/GKIDS)
Little Nicholas: Joyful as Can Be ( On Classics/Mediawan/Bibidul)
Marcel the Shell with Sneakers On (A24)
My Father’s Dragon (Cartoon Saloon for Netflix)


Annie Awards Indie Features
Annie Award for Greatest Indie Function nominees: My Father’s Dragon, Marcel the Shell with Sneakers On, Charlotte, Little Nicholas: Joyful as Can Be


Greatest Particular Manufacturing
Prehistoric Planet (BBC Studios/Apple)
Superworm (Magic Gentle Footage)
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (NoneMore /Dangerous Robotic)
The Home (Nexus Studios for Netflix)
The Sandman (Netflix/Warner Bros. TV)


Greatest Brief Topic
Amok (Director: Balázs Turai)
Black Slide (Uri Lotan)
Ice Retailers (João Gonzalez)
Love, Dad (Diana Cam Van Nguyen)
The Flying Sailor (Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby)


Annie Awards Shorts
Annie Awards Greatest Brief nominees: The Flying Sailor; Amok; Love, Dad; Ice Retailers; Black Slide


Greatest TV/Media, Preschool
Elinor Wonders Why (Shoe Hyperlink)
Gabby’s Dollhouse (DreamWorks)
Rise Up, Sing Out (Disney TV)
Spirit Rangers (Netflix/Laughing Wild)
The Tiny Chef Present (Tiny Chef/Think about)


Greatest TV/Media, Kids
Abominable and the Invisible Metropolis (DreamWorks)
Large Nate (Nickelodeon)
Moominvalley (Gutsy)
The Owl Home (Disney TV)
We Child Bears (Cartoon Community)


Greatest TV/Media, Mature 
Bob’s Burgers (twentieth TV, Bento Field)
Harley Quinn (Warner Bros. Animation)
Rick and Morty (Ricky & Morty LLC)
The Simpsons (Gracie Movies/twentieth TV)
Tuca & Bertie (The Tornante Firm)


Greatest TV/Media, Restricted Collection
BAYMAX! (Walt Disney TV Animation)
El Deafo (Lighthouse/Apple)
HouseBroken (Kapital Ent./FOX)
Oni: Thunder God’s Story (Netflix/Tonko Home)
Undone (Tornante Co./Amazon Studios)


Annie Awards Kids Series
Annie Awards Greatest TV/Media – Kids nominees: Abominable and the Invisible Metropolis, The Owl Home, Large Nate, We Child Bears, Moominvalley


Greatest Course, Function
Domee Shi (Turning Crimson)
Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson (Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio)
Dean Fleischer Camp, Kirsten Lepore, Stephen Chiodo (Marcel the Shell with Sneakers On)
Nora Twomey (My Father’s Dragon)
Henry Selick (Wendell & Wild)


Juried Awards
     The Winsor McCay Award: Pete Docter, Evelyn Lambert, Craig McCracken
     The June Foray Award: Mindy Johnson
     The Ub Iwerks Award: Visible Results Reference Platform, Nick Cannon/Francois Chardavoine
     The Certificates of Advantage Award: John Omohundro





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