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Emmy Awards 2017 Winners: ‘Samurai Jack’ Leads Animation Projects With 4 Wins

The final season of Samurai Jack turned out to be the big animation winner at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, racking up four awards at the ceremony, which took place last Saturday and Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

All four of honors for the Adult Swim series came in the individual achievement in animation category, a juried award that is not voted on by the entire membership, but rather screened by a jury of appropriate branch members. The four artists who won for Samurai Jack were Bryan Andrews (storyboard artist), Scott Wills (production designer), Craig Kellman (character designer), and Lou Romano (background designer).

The "Samurai Jack" crew at the Emmy Awards. Photo via Scott Wills.
The “Samurai Jack” crew at the Emmy Awards. Photo via Scott Wills.

Here is the official description of how the Television Academy votes on the juried categories, which also include Innovation in Interactive Programming and Motion Design:

Juried categories require all entrants to be screened by a panel of professionals in the appropriate peer group, with the possibility of one, more than one or no entry being awarded an Emmy. As a consequence, there are no nominees, but instead a one-step evaluation and voting procedure. Deliberations include open discussions of each entrant’s work, with a thorough review of the merits of awarding the Emmy. After each deliberation, the jury considers the question, “Is this entry worthy of an Emmy award – yea or nay?” Only those with unanimous approval win.

A list of all the animation-related winners of this year’s Emmy Awards is below. To see the nominees in the animation categories, check out this earlier post.

Animated Program
  • Bob’s Burgers “Bob, Actually” (FOX)
Short Form Animated Program
  • Adventure Time “Islands Part 4: Imaginary Resources” (Cartoon Network)
Character Voice-Over Performance
  • Family Guy “The Boys In The Band” (FOX) Seth MacFarlane as Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Brian Griffin, Glenn Quagmire
Original Interactive Program
  • The People’s House – Inside The White House With Barack And Michelle Obama (Samsung/Oculus) Felix & Paul Studios and Oculus
Main Title Design
  • Stranger Things (Netflix)
Special Visual Effects
  • Westworld “The Bicameral Mind” (HBO)
Special Visual Effects In A Supporting Role
  • Gotham “Heavydirtysoul” (Fox)
Individual Achievement in Animation (juried award)
  • Samurai Jack “XCIII” (Adult Swim)
    Bryan Andrews, storyboard artist
  • Samurai Jack “XCIII” (Adult Swim)
    Scott Wills, production designer
  • Samurai Jack “XCII” (Adult Swim)
    Craig Kellman, character designer
  • Samurai Jack “XCV” (Adult Swim)
    Lou Romano, background designer
  • Wander Over Yonder “The End of the Galaxy” (Disney XD)
    Justin Nichols, character animator
Motion Design (juried award)
  • Beyond Magic (ABC)
  • 13th (Netflix)
Innovation in Interactive Programming (juried award)
  • Pearl (Google Spotlight Stories)
  • Tony

    Kudos to all the winners, each one more worthy than the last.
    Bobs Burgers is quite simply the best animated prime time series on broadcast TV right now. Not great design-wise, but shines through with its clever writing and quirky, original characters.
    The last season of Samurai Jack was a stunning way to finish one of the greatest animated shows ever, and proof that not all adult animation needs to look like it was designed by 12 year olds (Castlevania and Rick and Morty not withstanding).
    Even after all these years, Adventure Time never fails to surprise and delight. It’s a shame Cartoon Network doesn’t give it more exposure, especially since it was once its flagship show.
    Finally, nice to see Wander over Yonder getting some love. A fun, infinitely clever show both visually and narratively that never got the attention it deserved from the network.

  • Good job to all of these shows.

  • Dwight

    Sorry, but the last season of Samurai Jack was a hurried wreck, it could have been a LOT better. The design was all well and good, but the quick pace and bland storyline of the last season disappointed in so many ways.

  • FM Hansen

    Congrats to Samurai Jack artist and crew that made it so awesome.