There’s a lot on the line tonight for the Best Animated Feature nominees at the 42nd annual Annie Awards. T42nd Annie Awards featured imagehe champion should be considered the favorite to win the Oscar next month, as nine of the 13 winners since the Best Animated Feature Oscar category was introduced also took the top prize at the Annies. That includes last year, when Disney’s juggernaut Frozen claimed both prizes.

This year’s toon Oscar race is considered wide open in the wake of the snub for presumed front-runner The Lego Movie. Rival studios were stunned by the lack of a nom for the Warner Bros pic and immediately started to ramp up their promo machines. But Lego Movie is among the eight nominees for Best Animated Feature tonight, going up against the five Academy Award hopefuls — Big Hero 6, How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Boxtrolls, The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya and Song Of The Sea — along with Cheatin’ and The Book Of Life.

annie-award-trophyFollow along as Deadline live blogs the Annies ceremony, which is happening at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Westwood. Trophies will be handed out in 36 categories ranging from production design, character animation and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music, editing and voice acting. We’ll be updating the winners live and keeping an eye on speeches, trends and everything else. Just don’t expect us to ruminate on who the winners are wearing.

 

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:20 pm

The wait music for the live stream of the show was pretty
cool — Booker T. & The MG’s, Tower of Power, the Soulwax remix of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” But what’s up with playing both “Play That Funky Music” and “Dirty White Boy”? A statement on diversity?

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:21 pm

Presenters and guests tonight include Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci (aka Garfunkel & Oates), June Foray, Richard Sherman, Tomm Moore, Leslie Iwerks, John Musker, Ron Clements, Ryan Potter, Dee Bradley Baker, Carlos Alazraqui, Kevin Shinick, Clare Grant, Duncan Rouleau, Steven T. Seagle, Skip Lusk, Jason Mendelson and Jerry Beck.


Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:22 pm

Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are out to present the first award, but they are teleprompter-less. Nice ad-libbing.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:23 pm

First winner:

Best Student Film

Jason Rayner, My Big
Brother
; Savannah
College of Art and Design

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:25 pm

As the show was about to start, a voice told the crowd, “Kindly refrain from texting, tweeting or twerking — that’s so last year.”

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:25 pm

Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Joaquim Dos Santos, Legend
of Korra, Venom of the Red Lotus
; Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:28 pm

Storyboarding in an Animated
Feature Production

Truong “Tron” Son Mai, How
to Train Your Dragon 2
; DreamWorks Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:29 pm

Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Joaquim Dos Santos, Legend of Korra, Venom of the Red Lotus; Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:29 pm

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

Truong “Tron” Son Mai, How to Train Your Dragon 2; DreamWorks Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:31 pm

Presenters and guests tonight include Garfunkel & Oates (Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci), June Foray, Richard Sherman, Tomm Moore, Leslie Iwerks, John Musker, Ron Clements, Ryan Potter, Dee Bradley Baker, Carlos Alazraqui, Kevin Shinick, Clare Grant, Duncan Rouleau, Steven T. Seagle, Skip Lusk, Jason Mendelson and Jerry Beck.


Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:31 pm

Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production


Illya Owens, Disney
Mickey Mouse

Disney Television Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:32 pm

Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Illya Owens, Disney Mickey Mouse
Disney Television Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:33 pm

Editorial in an
Animated Feature Production

John K. Carr, How
to Train Your Dragon 2

DreamWorks Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:33 pm

Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

John K. Carr, How to Train Your Dragon 2
DreamWorks Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:34 pm

Second win for DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:35 pm

John K. Carr’s pretty choked up about his win. Barely go through his speech.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:36 pm

Best Video Game
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Ubisoft

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:37 pm

The Garfunkel & Oates duo’s time onstage wasn’t exactly Bridge Over Troubled Water, but it sure wasn’t Big Bam Boom. They’re off now.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:39 pm

June Foray — “The First Lady of Animation,” who created the Annie Awards in 1972 — introduces the recipient of the award that bears her name: author and critic Charles Solomon.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:41 pm

June Foray — “The First Lady of Animation,” who created the Annie Awards in 1972 — introduces the recipient of the award that bears her name: author and critic Charles Solomon.

The June Foray award go to an individual who has given significant and benevolent contributions to the art and industry of animation.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:43 pm

Frank Gladstone, president of ASIFA-Hollywood, which doles out the Annies, is onstage. Bartenders scrambling.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:46 pm

Leslie Iwerks, granddaughter of Ub Iwerks, is presenting the award named for him to DreamWorks Animation for its Apollo Software. The nod is given for technical advancement that has made a significant impact on the art and industry of animation.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:50 pm

Richard M. Sherman is presenting the Special Achievement Award to The Walt Disney Family Museum.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:58 pm

And now back to handing out the hardware. First up:

Character Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production
Benjamin Balistreri, Wander Over Yonder
Disney Television Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20157:59 pm

Second win tonight for Disney Television Animation.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:01 pm

Way to thank your “smokin-hot trophy wife,” Mr. Balistreri. Especially while actually holding a trophy. Well played.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:01 pm

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production

Paul Sullivan, Sandra Equihua, Jorge R. Gutierrez
The Book of Life
Reel FX

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:03 pm

Gutierrez: “Everything Book of Life is nominated for, we lose — so this is going to be the greatest thing in the universe.”

Hee.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:04 pm

Music in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Christopher Willis, Disney Mickey Mouse
Disney Television Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:04 pm

Music in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Christopher Willis, Disney Mickey Mouse
Disney Television Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:05 pm

Second win for Disney Mickey Mouse and third for the studio already.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:06 pm

Everyone going out of their way to overthank their spouses. Anyone got a problem with that?

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:07 pm

Music in an Animated Feature Production

John Powell, Jónsi, How to Train Your Dragon 2
DreamWorks Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:07 pm

Music in an Animated Feature Production

John Powell, Jónsi, How to Train Your Dragon 2
DreamWorks Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:07 pm

Win No. 3 for Dragon 2.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:09 pm

Animated Effects in an Animated Production

Michael Kaschalk, Peter DeMund, David Hutchins, Henrik Falt,
John Kosnik, Big Hero 6
Walt Disney Animation Studios

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:10 pm

First win for Big Hero 6 tonight — and yet another for that Walt Disney Company.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:11 pm

And the play-off music is cued up for the first time…

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:12 pm

20 awards to go

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:13 pm

Animated Effects in a Live Action Production

Steve Avoujageli, Atsushi Ikarashi, Pawel Grochola, Paul
Waggoner, Viktor Lundqvist, Edge of Tomorrow
Sony Pictures Imageworks

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:13 pm

The presenters started to struggle with those names and one finally said “… and all the wonderful people connected to Edge of Tomorrow.”

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:15 pm

Best Animated Short Subject

Feast
Walt Disney Animation Studios

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:15 pm

Best Animated Short Subject

Feast
Walt Disney Animation Studios

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:16 pm

That animation upstart Disney again.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:17 pm

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:21 pm

The first recipient of the Winsor McCay Award is French animation produer Didier Brunner. Charming speech repeatedly asking if the award “is really for me?”

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:23 pm

… but it’s time to wrap it up, Didier.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:25 pm

The Frenchman is the first to say “We are Charlie.” Good job.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:28 pm

Next Windor McCay recipient is Lee Mendelson, who executive produced the classic Peanuts TV specials. Nice touch having Linus narrate the clips reel. Vince Guaraldi’s familiar music on January 31? No problem.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:30 pm

Stacy Ferguson, aka Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, thanks Mendelson for launching her career — as an 8-year-old with a voice role in 1984’s It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:34 pm

A second political comment: Mendelson says, “We’ve got to get immigration reform rolling,” after mentioning animator Bill Melendez (from Mexico) and Phil Roman (from Fresno). “But they both qualify,” Mendelson says.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:39 pm

Don Lusk is the third Winsor McKay honoree. The 101-year-old gives a brief taped speech from home as his son introduces him.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:40 pm

Lusk worked on a few Disney movies you might have hear of: Fantasia, Bambi, Pinocchio, Song of the South, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty and many more.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:42 pm

Voice actors Carlos Alazraqui (The Book of Life) and Dee Bradley Baker (The Boxtrolls) are showing off onstage. Great stuff.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:43 pm

Winner…

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:43 pm

Character Animation in a Video Game

Mike Mennillo, Assassins Creed Unity
“Ubisoft

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:45 pm

Character Animation in a Live Action Production

Daniel Barrett, Paul Story, Eteuati Tema, Alessandro
Bonora, Dejan Momcilovic, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Weta Digital

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:48 pm

Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production

Justin Nichols, Wander Over Yonder; Disney Television
Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:49 pm

Second win for Disney Channel’s Wander Over Yonder.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:51 pm

Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production

Fabio Lignini, How to Train Your Dragon 2
DreamWorks
Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:51 pm

Fourth Annie for DreamWorks sequel.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:52 pm

Alazraqui and Baker by far the most entertaining presenters of the night.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:53 pm

Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Narina Sokolova, Mickey Shorts
Disney

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:54 pm

Another Disney win.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:56 pm

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

Paul Lasaine, Tom McClure, August Hall, The Boxtrolls
Focus Features/Laika

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:56 pm

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

Paul Lasaine, Tom McClure, August Hall, The Boxtrolls
Focus Features/Laika

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:56 pm

First win for Boxtrolls

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:58 pm

Lego Movie guy Phil Lord gives a Twitter shout-out to Book of Life Annie winner Gutierrez:

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20158:58 pm

Best Animated Special Production

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Voyager Pictures LLC

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:00 pm

The comic book-inspired animation on the Neil deGrasse Tyson-hosted Cosmos was cool, wasn’t it?

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:01 pm

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial

Flight of the Stories
Aardman Animations

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:03 pm

In memorial segment, from voice actors to animators to cel painters to Lauren Bacall.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:06 pm

Here come the acting awards.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:07 pm

Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Bill Farmer as the voice of Goofy and Grandma, Disney


Mickey Mouse

Disney Television Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:07 pm

Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Bill Farmer as the voice of Goofy and Grandma, Disney Mickey Mouse

Disney Television Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:08 pm

This is the third win for Disney Mickey Mouse, which puts the classic characters in modern situations.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:10 pm

Aladdin and The Little Mermaid veterans John Musker and Ron Clements are doing some fun shtick in their presenting roles.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:11 pm

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production

Sir Ben Kingsley as the voice of Archibald Snatcher, The
Boxtrolls
Focus Features/Laika

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:12 pm

Sir Ben’s not there, but Boxtrolls lead animator Travis Knight is accepting for him. Funny acceptance speech about landing the Oscar winner to play the villainous Archibald Snatcher.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:15 pm

Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production
Darrick Bachman, Disney Mickey Mouse
Disney Television
Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:17 pm

Writing in an Animated Feature Production


Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, The Lego Movie
Warner
Bros. Pictures

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:18 pm

Lord and Miller are onstage to accept. It’s the film’s lone win so far.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:18 pm

Writing in an Animated Feature Production

Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, The Lego Movie
Warner Bros. Pictures

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:20 pm

Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Preschool
Children

Tumble Leaf, Amazon Studios

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:20 pm

Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Preschool Children

Tumble Leaf, Amazon Studios

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:22 pm

Tumble Leaf was the first kids pilot at Amazon Studios.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:23 pm

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For a
Childrens Audience

Gravity Falls
Disney Television Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:23 pm

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For a
Childrens Audience

Gravity Falls
Disney Television Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:25 pm

Down to the last four awards of the night.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:26 pm

Disney Television Animation already has seven wins with one category to go, and its Disney Mickey Mouse has four with one to go.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:27 pm

Best General Audience Animated Television/Broadcast
Production

The Simpsons, Gracie Films in association with 20th
Century Fox Television

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:27 pm

The SImpsons, still going strong in its 26th season and some 550 episodes, bags its 13th win
in the top category but its first since the 2004 show. That year, it was up
against four daytime shows: The Fairly OddParents, Spider-Man Animated Adventures, Captain Sturdy and Samurai Jack. The first year Homer and company won, it also topped an all-daytime field of The Ren & Stimpy Show, Darkwing Duck, Tiny Toon Adventures and TaleSpin.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:28 pm

The SImpsons, still going strong in its 26th season and some 550 episodes, bags its 13th win in the top category but its first since the 2004 show. That year, it was up against four daytime shows: The Fairly OddParents, Spider-Man Animated Adventures, Captain Sturdy and Samurai Jack. The first year Homer and company won, it also topped an all-daytime field of The Ren & Stimpy Show, Darkwing Duck, Tiny Toon Adventures and TaleSpin.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:29 pm

Best General Audience Animated Television/Broadcast Production

The Simpsons, Gracie Films in association with 20th
Century Fox Television

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:31 pm

Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

Aaron Springer, Disney Mickey Mouse; Disney Television Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:32 pm

That’s it for TV. One to the two big film awards: director and feature

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:33 pm

Directing in an Animated Feature Production

Dean DeBlois, How to Train Your Dragon 2; DreamWorks Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:37 pm

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon 2, DreamWorks Animation

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:37 pm

Dominance

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:40 pm

That’s a wrap. Six wins for How to Train Your Dragon 2 — the gotta-be Oscar front-runner — and five for Disney Mickey Mouse on the TV side.

Erik Pedersen January 31, 20159:40 pm

Boxtrolls is the only other multiple winner among films.