38th Annual Annie Animation Awards: DWA's 'How To Train Your Dragon' Wins (After Disney Boycotts)

The controversial 38th International Animated Film Society’s Annie Awards announced their awards for Best Animated Feature tonight (see below): but remember that the official press release doesn’t mention that Disney/Pixar boycotted the awards and refused to participate due to complaints they have about the voting process among other things — like the fact that DreamWorks Animation pays for membership but Disney doesn’t. Though the Annies nominated two Disney films in the top category as well as directing and writing for Toy Story 3 (how could they avoid it and maintain cred?), the group gave Disney and Pixar only 7 mentions. But the Annies showered 15 nominations on DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon and 39 nods overall that included films like DWA’s Megamind and Shrek Forever After. Tonight’s winners were dominated by DWA:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (February 5, 2011) — DreamWorks Animation’s “How To Train Your Dragon” won top honors as the Best Animated Feature at the 38th Annual Annie Awards on Saturday, February 5 at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Best Animated Short Subject was presented to Pixar’s ‘Day & Night; Best Animated Television Commercial to Duck Studios ‘Children’s Medical Center’; Nickelodeon’s ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ was honored as Best Animated Television Production for Children and Playdead’s ‘Limbo’ won Best Animated Video Game. A new category, Character Animation in a Live Action Production was presented to Sony Pictures’ ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ The Winsor McCay award was presented to three animation industry leaders – Brad Bird, Eric Goldberg and Matt Groening. Brad Bird is currently filming in Vancouver and accepted his Winsor via a videotaped message. Entries submitted for consideration were from productions that originally aired, were exhibited in an animation festival or commercially released between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010:

PRODUCTION CATEGORIES___________________________

Best Animated Feature

  • How to Train Your Dragon – DreamWorks Animation

Best Animated Short Subject

  • Day & Night – Pixar

Best Animated Television Commercial

  • Children’s Medical Center – DUCK Studios

Best Animated Television Production

  • Kung Fu Panda Holiday – DreamWorks Animation

Best Animated Television Production for Children

  • SpongeBob SquarePants – Nickelodeon

Best Animated Video Game

  • Limbo – Playdead


Animated Effects in an Animated Production

  • Brett Miller “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Television Production

  • David Pate “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Feature Production

  • Gabe Hordos “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Live Action Production

  • Ryan Page – Alice in Wonderland – Sony Pictures

Character Design in a Television Production

  • Ernie Gilbert “T.U.F.F. Puppy” – Nickelodeon

Character Design in a Feature Production

  • Nico Marlet “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Directing in a Television Production

  • Tim Johnson “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation

Directing in a Feature Production

  • Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois “How To Train Your Dragon” ��� DreamWorks Animation

Music in a Television Production

  • Jeremy Wakefield, Sage Guyton, Nick Carr, Tuck Tucker “SpongeBob SquarePants” – Nickelodeon

Music in a Feature Production

  • John Powell “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Production Design in a Television Production

  • Richie Sacilioc “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation

Production Design in a Feature Production

  • Pierre Olivier Vincent “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Storyboarding in a Television Production

  • Fred Gonzales “T.U.F.F. Puppy” – Nickelodeon

Storyboarding in a Feature Production

  • Tom Owens “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in a Television Production

  • James Hong as Mr. Ping “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in a Feature Production

  • Jay Baruchel as Hiccup “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Writing in a Television Production

  • Geoff Johns, Matthew Beans, Zeb Wells, Hugh Sterbakov, Matthew Senreich, Breckin Meyer, Seth Green, Mike Fasolo, Douglas Goldstein, Tom Root, Dan Milano, Kevin Shinick & Hugh Davidson “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III” – ShadowMachine

Writing in a Feature Production

  • William Davies, Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders “How to Train Your Dragon”– DreamWorks Animation

JURIED AWARDS__________________________________

Winsor McCay Award — Brad Bird, Eric Goldberg, Matt Groening

June Foray — Ross Iwamoto

Ub Iwerks Award — Autodesk

Special Achievement — “Waking Sleeping Beauty”

  1. With the leading animation studio (Disney) deciding not to participate in the Annie Awards, the Annies are now a predictor of virtually nothing. I mean, how is this a legitimate award if the animated film deemed best of the year by virutally everyone inside and outside the animation industry (“Toy Story 3”) is not listed among the Annie nominees? Answer: It’s not legitimate. For all of us in the animation industry, the Annies are an embarrassment. Our part of the business deserves better.

    1. “I mean, how is this a legitimate award if the animated film deemed best of the year by virutally everyone inside and outside the animation industry (“Toy Story 3?) is not listed among the Annie nominees?”

      Umm… it was. TOY STORY 3 got a shitload of nominations, including Feature, Director and Screenplay. The Annies put out a release after Disney/Pixar withdrew their support for them that it didn’t really matter to them — members nominate and vote for whatever they want.

      1. The Annies are chosen by a small group of insiders at ASIFA who do not even count the votes of others. It is not a democracy. It’s a total racket. You can claim to know the facts, Facts Checker, but in this case, the fact are a scam.

        1. The Annies are goofy and haphazard but they’re in no way a “scam”. There’s no “small group of insiders”. I’m a member and voter and I had to go through hoops to a)prove my professional animation status and b) sit through every frame of the categories I was qualified to vote in BEFORE I got to cast my online ballot. I never met or spoke to anyone from ASIFA, and no one at my studio(guess where) ever contacted me about voting, not have they in almost 10 years.

          But I’m really part of some insider cabal? What utter bullshit.

    2. perhaps the leading animation studio you referring as Disney , is not leading animation anymore.
      and if you think the Annies is not legitimate, then you are saying that Disney undeservedly won more awards for best animated feature than Dreamworks have in the past. at the Annies.

      Toy Story 3 was a good film that critics overrated, which is the usual for a Pixar movie nowadays, and How to Train Your Dragon certainly deserves all the awards they received.

    3. I didn’t realise that awards were solely “predictors” of something ( you don’t say what). As for your sweeping statements about TS3’s cachet in and out of anaimation- that’s merely your opinion. Do you work for Pixar?

      As a humble viewer, I preferred the fresh HTTYD a thousand times over the ever predictable TS3. As well, the 3D for the former was remarkably superior to TS3, and was used to wonderfully great effect.

    4. True, the Annies may not be a predictor of anything, but Disney/Pixar’s decision to pull out seems equally suspect to me. ASIFA changed their voting rules to ensure that only pros could vote this year in their categories, but the Disney camp still boycotted – when they’ve actually won the top awards 6 out of 8 years that they’ve been up against Dreamworks movies. They claim it’s stacked in voting numbers because Dreamworks buys its employees memberships, but if that’s true, it’s not working with any consistency. 2 wins of of 8? Somebody blow the whistle!

      Not to discredit “How to train Your Dragon,” but I think the awards would have been fairly spread had Disney/Pixar allowed their artists to submit their work for the individual categories. But because they didn’t, the nominations were heavily slanted toward Dreamworks. It doesn’t mean that the winners are any less deserving, but Disney/Pixar’s no-show taints the awards and throws a shadow of suspicion over the whole affair. And my guess is that’s exactly what they wanted.

      1. Pixar got exactly what they wanted. otherwise, they would have pulled out last year when a Dreamworks film wasn’t even’t even nominated for an Annie.

  2. “Sony Pictures’ Alice in Wonderland”.

    Sony’s visual effects house did some of the effects. It’s not Sony’s movie.

  3. How to Train Your Dragon was a great, great movie. I know most people preferred Toy Story 3, but Dragon was excellent.

    That said, I first heard about the Annies a couple of years ago when WALL-E won absolutely NOTHING, losing each category to Kung Fu Panda (which was fine, but…).

    So there’s that.

  4. So with almost no competition from TS3, The Illusionist (5 noms) and Despicable Me (7 noms) won absolutely NOTHING? Maybe Disney/Pixar has a point.

  5. I can assure you that Toy Story and Tangled would have received many more Annie nominations(and likely awards) IF they had submitted for anything. They didn’t-which is what is meant by “boycott”.

    The nominations Pixar and Disney received this year were the ones they didn’t have to submit specific individual candidates’ examples for: best feature, short film, writing and direction, because the films themselves fill that requirement by having been released.

  6. It is a shame in a way that the two best animated movies of recent years are in the same year – I think it is great that dragon won this lot as any other year it would have had a clean sweep… it’s never going to happen but wouldn’t a toy story best picture and a dragon best animated be fab! Both of them are better than The King’s bloody Speech.

  7. Well you know that the fAnnies are complete BS and have a serious allergic reaction to even the name “Disney” when their press release says Day & Night is from studio “Pixar” and not Disney/Pixar and Alice in wonderland is from Sony pictures.

    Um and fact check should really quantify what “shitload” means because for the rest of the world it doesn’t mean “3”– as in 3 nominations for the best reviewed movie of the year.

    And Nikki if you feel the fAnnies lost all legitimacy (which it did when Wall-e also got zero awards) then the best thing to do is not even report on them. They are basically the Dreamworks and independent animation studio Awards now. Ask them to see their roster– the oscars announce every year their membership but the fAnnies are top secret.

  8. But why did they pull out this year? Why not last year? Were they afraid of losing regardless of the circumstances surrounding the controversy? Hrm…perhaps they thought it better to pull out than lose.

  9. The Annies are now officially the equivalent of one of those Middle East dictatorships where the ‘Free and Fair Elections’ already have the winners decided in advance.

    A very sad state of affairs for the animation community.

  10. It’s interesting to note that non-DW films The Illusionist – also nominated for an oscar – and Despicable Me – which easily beat Dragon at the box office – were nominated in around a dozen categories and were also completely shut out.

  11. This appears to be a strategic move by Disney/Pixar. HTTYD is a GREAT animated film, one of the best to have come out in recent years and certainly last year, but Disney/Pixar are shitting on HTTYD’s parade right now. Like others have said, why pull out this year?

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