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2017 VES Awards: ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Breaks 19-In-A-Row Disney Win Streak [Full List of Winners]

Animated features by the Walt Disney Company have won 19 animation awards in a row during the last five years of the VES Awards (including three tonight), but the streak was finally broken by Laika’s Kubo and The Two Strings which won the top prize for outstanding visual effects in an animated feature.

Despite leading the animation pack with six nominations, Kubo lost its first five nominations earlier in the evening to Moana (winner of two awards) and Finding Dory (which won for best animated performance). It salvaged the evening at the last moment by taking the final award, marking the first time since 2012 that a non-Disney animated feature had been honored by members of the Disney-leaning Visual Effects Society.

On the photoreal front, Disney’s The Jungle Book dominated the evening with five awards, and Game of Thrones led the way as usual on the broadcast side, also with five awards.

For commercials, this John Lewis holiday spot won three honors:

The VES Awards were handed out this evening at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. In addition to the competitive categories, a lifetime achievement honor was presented to vfx veteran Ken Ralston, who we interviewed on Cartoon Brew earlier today, and the Visionary Award was given to Marvel Studios executive vice president of physical production Victoria Alonso, also profiled on the Brew a few months ago.

A complete list of winners can be found below.

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

The Jungle Book
Robert Legato
Joyce Cox
Andrew R. Jones
Adam Valdez
JD Schwalm

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Deepwater Horizon
Craig Hammack
Petra Holtorf-Stratton
Jason Snell
John Galloway
Burt Dalton

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

Kubo and the Two Strings
Travis Knight
Arianne Sutner
Steve Emerson
Brad Schiff

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards
Joe Bauer
Steve Kullback
Glenn Melenhorst
Matthew Rouleau
Sam Conway

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

Black Sails; XX
Erik Henry
Terron Pratt
Aladino Debert
Yafei Wu
Paul Stephenson

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

Uncharted 4
Bruce Straley
Eben Cook
Iki Ikram

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer
Diarmid Harrison-Murray
Hannah Ruddleston
Fabian Frank
William Laban

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

Pirates of the Caribbean; Battle for the Sunken Treasure
Bill George
Amy Jupiter
Hayden Landis
David Lester

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature

The Jungle Book; King Louie
Paul Story
Dennis Yoo
Jack Tema
Andrei Coval

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature

Finding Dory; Hank
Jonathan Hoffman
Steven Clay Hunter
Mark Piretti
Audrey Wong

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Episode or Real-Time Project

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Drogon
James Kinnings
Michael Holzl
Matt Derksen
Joeseph Hoback

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Commercial

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer
Tim van Hussen
David Bryan
Chloe Dawe
Maximillian Mallman

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

Doctor Strange; New York City
Adam Watkins
Martijn van Herk
Tim Belsher
Jon Mitchell

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

Moana; Motonui Island
Rob Dressel
Andy Harkness
Brien Hindman
Larry Wu

Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Meereen City
Deak Ferrand
Dominic Daigle
François Croteau
Alexandru Banuta

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

The Jungle Book
Bill Pope
Robert Legato
Gary Roberts
John Brennan

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

Deepwater Horizon; Deepwater Horizon Rig
Kelvin Lau
Jean Bolte
Kevin Sprout
Kim Vongbunyong

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

The Jungle Book; Nature Effects
Oliver Winwood
Fabian Nowak
David Schneider
Ludovic Ramisandraina

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

Moana
Marc Henry Bryant
David Hutchins
Ben Frost
Dale Mayeda

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Meereen City
Thomas Hullin
Dominik Kirouac
James Dong
Xavier Fourmond

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

The Jungle Book
Christoph Salzmann
Masaki Mitchell
Matthew Adams
Max Stummer

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Retaking Winterfell
Dominic Hellier
Morgan Jones
Thijs Noij
Caleb Thompson

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer
Tom Harding
Alex Snookes
David Filipe
Andreas Feix

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

Breaking Point
Johannes Franz
Nicole Rothermel
Thomas Sali
Alexander Richter

  • Tony

    What distinguishes Kubo from all the other effects nominees is that its effects where made to match the highly stylized design of the stop motion sets and characters, rather than mimic reality exactly. The voters must have responded to that, which is in many ways more challenging than creating ultrarealistic effects.
    Also, kudos to the team behind Hank the octopus, hands down one of the best animated characters of the past year.

  • Elsi Pote

    It would have been embarrassing for VES not doing so.

    With the go go go of EVERY studio outthere, everything is looking and feeling the quite the same. Now Laika’s artist elbow grease made the difference and Kubo stood up.

    Congrats Laika!

  • I’m so glad I got to see Kubo in theatres and experience it on the big screen. As soon as I saw the trailer I knew it was special and although I rarely see stuff in theatres, Kubo was at the top of my list. The story was incredible, the animation breathtaking, and I believe this was a well-deserved win. Can’t wait to watch it again.