LOS ANGELES, Calif. (February 3, 2018) – Pixar Animation Studios was the big winner at this year’s 45th Annie Awards™ as Coco won Best Animated Feature, and garnered top honors across 11 categories including Best Animated Effects – Shaun Galinak, Dave Hale, Jason Johnston, Carl Kaphan, Keith Daniel Klohn; Character Animation –John Chun Chiu Lee; Character Design – Daniel Arriaga, Daniela Strijleva, Greg Dykstra, Alonso   Martinez & Zaruhi Galstyan; Directing – Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina; Music – Michael Giacchino, Kristin Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Germaine Franco, Adrian Molina; Production Design – Harlye Jessup, Danielle Feinberg, Bryn Imagire, Nathaniel McLaughlin, Ernesto Nemesio; Storyboarding – Dean Kelly; Voice Acting – Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel; Writing –  Adrian Molina, Matthew Aldrich and Editorial – Steve Bloom, Lee Unkrich, Greg Snyder, Tim Fox. The Best Animated Feature-Independent was awarded to The Breadwinner (Cartoon Saloon/Aircraft Pictures/ Melusine Productions).

Best Animated Special Production was awarded to Revolting Rhymes (Magic Light Pictures); Best Animated Short Subject – Dear Basketball (Glen Keane Productions, Kobe Studios, Believe Entertainment Group); Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial – June (Broad Reach Pictures/Chromosphere/Lyft); Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production   Rick and Morty – Episode: 30 ‘Pickle Rick’ (Williams Street Productions);    Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Children We Bare Bears Episode: Panda’s Art (Cartoon Network Animation Studios); Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children Octonauts – Episode: Operation Deep Freeze (Vampire Squid Productions Limited,  a Silvergate Media company, in  association with Brown Bag Films); and Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production: War For The Planet of The Apes (Chernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, River Road Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Daniel Barrett, Sidney Kombo-Kintombo, Emile Ghorayeb, Luisma Lavin Peredo, Alessandro Bonora).

“This year, we paid tribute to our beloved June Foray, who always delighted in seeing how the event she founded continued to grow year after year. This year was no exception,” remarked Frank Gladstone, Annie Awards executive producer. “June would have enjoyed the increasing numbers, but more important to her, and to us, has always been seeing the proof, inherent in the Annies, that the capability of people, world-wide, to create animated films has also continued to diversify and increase.”

The evening was dedicated to the late June Foray, the legendary voice actress who was, more than anyone else, is responsible for founding the Annies 45 years ago. June’s creativity, generosity and unrelenting advocacy for  the animation community were evident in the touching presentation.

Presenters for the evening included actress Wendie Malick; Coco’s Anthony Gonzalez; Director Nora Twomey and actress Saara Chaudry from The Breadwinner; Disney voice talent Russi Taylor; SpongeBob himself, Tom Kenny; Animators Mark Henn and Floyd Norman, and other industry notables, including Debi Derryberry, and E.G. Daily, along with ASIFA-Hollywood President, Jerry Beck, Executive Director, Frank Gladstone and animation producer and ASIFA board member, Sue Shakespeare.

ASIFA-Hollywood was thrilled to have all three Winsor McCay recipients in attendance. The Winsor McCay Award for career contributions to the art of animation are being presented to three recipients – British character animator, James Baxter; SpongeBob SquarePants creator, Stephen Hillenburg and the Canadian animation duo, Wendy Tilby & Amanda Forbis. The Ub Iwerks Award for technical advancement that has made a significant impact on the art and industry of animation was presented to TVPaint for its versatile software for 2D animation.

The Special Achievement Award recognizing the unique and significant impact on the art and industry of animation was presented 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 was  presented to animation historian, Didier Ghez. The Certificate of Merit award was presented to David Nimitz, devoted friend and caretaker of veteran voice actress and ASIFA-Hollywood and Annie Award pioneer, June Foray, who passed away last July at the age of 99.

The Annie Awards™ honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 36 categories   from best feature, best feature – independent, production design, character animation, and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music, editing and voice acting, and have often been a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The ceremony was live-streamed again this year at   www.annieawards.org/watch-it-live where animation enthusiasts and those unable to attend the event, could watch the show. A complete list of winners can be viewed at www.annieawards.org and highlights of the ceremony will be uploaded to the Annies website in the next few weeks.

ASIFA-Hollywood is the world’s first and foremost professional organization dedicated to promoting the art of animation and celebrating the people who create it. Today, ASIFA-Hollywood, the largest chapter of the international organization ASIFA, supports a range of animation activities and preservation efforts through its membership. Current initiatives include the Animation Archive, Animation Aid Foundation, animated film preservation, special events, classes and screenings.

Created in 1972 by June Foray, the Annie Awards have grown in scope and stature for the past four decades. For more information on the Annie Awards™, please visit www.annieawards.org. For information about ASIFA-Hollywood, visit www.asifa-hollywood.org.

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