44th Annie Awards: A Star-Studded Celebration

This year’s star-studded 44th Annual Annie™ Award ceremony saw Zootopia honored as as the Best Animated Feature, also receiving Annie trophies for Storyboarding, Character Design, Voice Acting, Writing and Directing. Best Animated Feature –Independent was presented to The Red Turtle. Laika’s Kubo And The Two Strings garnered three Annies for Outstanding Achievement in Character Animation, Production Design and Editorial. Best Animated Special Production was awarded to Pear Cider and Cigarettes. Best Animated Short Subject was Piper; and Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial was awarded to Loteria ‘Night Shift’.

On the TV and Broadcast side of things, Tumble Leaf – Mighty Mud Movers/Having a Ball was selected as the Best Production for Preschool Children, Adventure Time – Bad Jubies was chosen Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Children and Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for a General Audience went to Bob’s Burgers – Glued, Where’s My Bob?

All three Winsor McCay Lifetime Acheivement recipients, legendary animator Dale Baer; independent animation visionary Caroline Leaf; and influential anime director Mamoru Oshii, were in attendance. The Ub Iwerks Award was presented to Google Spotlight’s Virtual Reality Platform and the Special Achievement Award was presented to the documentary Life, Animated. The June Foray Award was presented to Bill & Sue Kroyer. Certificate of Merits were presented to Leslie Ezeh, ASIFA’s volunteer coordinator and Gary Perkovac, ASIFA’s office manager.

Presenting the coveted Annie trophies this year were Lakers basketball legend, Kobe Bryant; actress Jenna Elfman; animator and film director, Patrick Osborne; Auli’l Cravalho – voice of Moana; animator, author and illustrator, Glen Keane; acclaimed animation directors Ron Clements and John Musker; actor and comedian, Tom Kenny; Paige O’Hara – 25th Anniversary of Beauty and the Beast; actor & director, James Hong; directors Travis Knight – Kubo and the Two Strings and Michael Dudok de Wit – The Red Turtle; comedian Stephen Kramer Glickman and actress Chelsea Kane, along with ASIFA-Hollywood President, Jerry Beck and Executive Director, Frank Gladstone.

A complete list of winners can be viewed at www.annieawards.org and highlights of the ceremony will soon be uploaded to the Annies. A repeat of the streamed broadcast is available now at http://annieawards.org/watch-it-live. (Click on “watch again” and scrub forward to the beginning of the broadcast.)