The annual Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic (“funny animal”) literature and art of the year, is now open for voting for works produced during the calendar year 2011. The award, a popular-vote award, has been held every year since 2001; past winners and runners-up are listed on the awards’ website at http://www.ursamajorawards.org/ Finalists in the Best Motion Picture and the Best Dramatic Short Work or Series categories are often animated.
Nominations for the 2011 awards were held during January and February 2012. The final ballot, consisting of the five titles receiving the most nominations in each category, was announced on March 15th. Voting, which is open to the public, will be held from now until May 4th. The winners will be announced at a presentation on June 2nd at the Califur VIII convention at the Irvine Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California on June 1-3, 2012. For information on the CaliFur VIII convention, go to http://www.califur.com/2012/ To vote on the awards, go to http://www.ursamajorawards.org/Voting.htm for instructions.
The awards are presented in eleven categories: motion picture, dramatic short work or series, novel, short fiction, other literary work, graphic novel, comic strip, magazine, website, published illustration, and game.
The finalists in the Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture category, from a total of 20 nominees, are:
Bitter Lake (FurPlanet Productions. Directed by Shay. Released August 19) [Live Action]
Kung Fu Panda 2 (DreamWorks Animation. Directed by Jennifer Yuh. Released May 26) [animation]
Puss in Boots (DreamWorks Animation. Directed by Chris Miller. Released October 28th) [animation]
Rango (Industrial Light & Magic. Directed by Gore Verbinski. Released March 4) [animation]
Rio (20th Century Fox Animation/Blue Sky Animation. Directed by Carlos Saldanha. Released April 15) [animation]
The finalists in the Best Dramatic Short Work or Series category, from a total of 33 nominees, are:
Mongrels, Season 2, Episodes #1 – #8 (BBC Three. Directed by Adam Millar, Jon Brown, Daniel Peak. Broadcast November 7 to December 26) [hand puppets]
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Season One, Episode #12 to Season Two, Episode #11 (Hasbro Studios for The Hub. Directed by James Wootton. Broadcast January 7 to December 17) [animation]
Regular Show, Season Two, Episode #14 to Season Three, Episode #51. (Cartoon Network Studios for Cartoon Network. Directed by Benton Conor, Calvin Wong, Kat Morris, Sean Szeles, J. G. Quintel, Minty Lewis, and others. Broadcast January 3 to December 12) [animation]
Simon’s Cat (Self-produced by animator-director Simon Tofield for broadcast on YouTube. Five produced during 2011, from February 27 to October 11) [animation]
ThunderCats (Studio 4Â°C and Warner Bros. Animation for Cartoon Network. Directed by Michael Jelenic, Todd Casey, Tab Murphy, and others. Broadcast from July 29 to November 25) [animation]
The Ursa Major Awards are also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UrsaMajorAwards