Organizers of the 45th annual Annie Awards have unveiled their annual jury awards, recognizing career achievement and exceptional contributions to animation. Those include the Winsor McCay Award for career contributions to the art of animation, which will be presented to British character animator James Baxter, SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg, and Canadian animation duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis.

ASIFA-Hollywood also said today it will bestow the Ub Iwerks Award for technical advancement to TVPaint for its versatile software for 2D animation; the Special Achievement Award
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 to animation historian Didier Ghez.

The Certificate of Merit award will be presented to David Nimitz, the devoted friend and caretaker of Foray, who passed away in July at 99.

The 45th Annie Awards are set for February 3 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.