Annie Awards Annie Awards

Annie Awards


I’m getting an award!

The Annie Award nominations were announced this morning. The big news is that the juried awards are going to John Kricfalusi, John Canemaker and Glen Keane (getting The Winsor McCay Award, for lifetime achievement), and to Jonathan Gay, Gary Grossman and Robert Tatsumi, the creators of Flash computer software (recieving the Ub Iwerks Award for technical achievement). And little ‘ol me will be recieving the June Foray Award for “significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation”. I’m not sure what to say… except that I’m sincerely honored!

The Annie committees also nominated Ratatouille, The Simpsons Movie, Persepolis, Surf’s Up! and Bee Movie for Best Animated Feature; Everything Will Be OK (Bitter Films), How to Hook Up Your Home Theater (Walt Disney Feature Animation), Mascot Prep (Walt Disney Television Animation), The Chestnut Tree (Picnic Pictures), and Your Friend the Rat (Pixar) for Best Animated Short Subject. Click here for the full list of nominees and winners. The Awards will be presented Friday February 8th at a new location, Royce Hall (on the UCLA Campus) in Westwood. Tickets are now on sale, more information here.

  • John Stell

    Hey, that’s great Jerry. Congrats! Make sure the next time you’re interviewed on one of the Warners’ sets we can get a glimpse of that award in the background.

  • amid

    Hard to believe you hadn’t already won an award for “significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.â€? You’ve been doing it for decades. CONGRATS!

  • Matt

    The guys who invented Flash?!? Maybe they should get their award when they acknowledge their software is actually used for animation. And then only after they get the damn bugs out. Geez

    But congrats to you, sir

  • Corrado (Anthony)

    Congrats, Jerry!! You’ve done lots of great things: this fine website, lots of good books etc.

    As for the other awards, they must have some sort of odd nomination process every year. Shows like South Park are snubbed for shows like Robot Chicken. And don’t get me started on the Voice Acting categories. They seem to favor “name” actors instead of the hard-working VA folk. Hopefully Tom kenny wins.

  • Congrats Jerry!! The most deserved award of the bunch.

    The shorts catagory has me stumped.. The jury sees non-studio work right? I guess I need to see “Mascot Prep” & “Your Friend the Rat”. wow.

  • Congrats Jerry!

    But how does “Bee Movie” get a best animated pic nomination over a “Meet The Robinsons”?
    Not like it matters, Ratatouille will win anyways (deservedly)!

  • Congrats Jerry!

  • Absolutley fantastic!

    well deserved!

  • I’m with Amid- you’ve had this honor coming for years, Jerry. Congratulations!!!

  • red pill junkie

    Well desserved honor. Congrats Jerry Man!

    PS: The creators of Flash receiving a prize???

    What has the world come to!! ;-)

  • Congratulations, Jerry. Long overdue.

  • RR

    Wow, what a weird year… Don Hertzfeldt versus three Disney shorts!You know who I’ll be rooting for! :)

  • Congratulations on your June Foray award, Jerry. Frankly, though, from where I stand, you also ought to be getting the Winsor McCay award.

    Lifetime achievement, anyone? Let me phrase it like this: only Disney had a Dave Smith in the 1970s. But you’ve repeatedly proven that it’s in *every* corporate owner’s interest — for financial reasons, screw the sentiment! — to have a Dave Smith… to have a person, or persons, working for them with a proper understanding of the corporation’s animation holdings and history.

    You’ve even proven it, indirectly (and continue to prove it!), when one or another corporation *didn’t* take your suggestions. Of course, pity that should happen at all, but it’s the exception that proves the rule.

  • Congratulations, Mr. Beck!

  • tom

    Jerry, congrats – most deserved and about time

  • charlie j

    Horray for John K.! He’s long overdue for an award.

  • Congratulations Jerry! That’s great news!

  • Congratulations Jerry! Richly deserved! This is going to be a good year.

  • Tim

    Congratulations to all the nominees! Can anyone shed light on why no one was selected for the Production Design Category in Television? That seems really odd.

  • CJ Holden

    Well, I’m happy that ‘Kim Possible’ finally gets some recognition, while ‘Avatar’ doesn’t. :)

  • Congratulations, Jerry!

  • Like everyone else, congratulations to you, Jerry! You more than deserve it.

    As for the other nominees… whoa whoa whoa… just about everyone in the cast of Ratatouille is nominated for best voice acting EXCEPT Peter O’Toole??
    He’s the one I’d figure would clean-sweep it this year!!

  • Congrats Jerry!

  • Frank J

    The most deserving recipient of the June Foray Award since June Foray!

  • Congratulations Jerry upon a very well deserved honor.

    How nice that you will receive it from June Foray personally.

    Your generosity with your time, expertise and contributions as a teacher, ASIFA-Hollywood Director, exhibitor of some of the best, some of the worst, expositor, advocate and blogmeister are appropriately recognized by the June Foray Award.

  • Relevan

    I’m a bit disappointed in the animated video game category. There are plenty of well-animated games that are not movie or tv-show tie-ins. I’d say that the Rachet and Clank series could probably get at least some recognition in there.

    As for John K… if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. So I’ll leave it at that.

    Also, congrats on the award, Jerry!

  • Chuck R.

    Oh no, more mugshots of Jerry are coming on the Brew!
    So tell us, Oh “Mr. Award Winner”, did you ever get your picture on a bubblegum card?

    Seriously, congratulations! You deserve it!

  • Anonymous

    Congrats to all the nominees, but seriously– NOBODY deserved a nomination in Television Production Design???? Absolutely nothing on TV was good enough to be merely considered? What a huge insult to a lot of talented people working in TV.

  • Anne

    Congratulations, Jerry! :)

  • Roberto

    Congratulations on that well-deserved Annie, Jerry!

  • Robert Schaad

    Jerry, congratulations. It’s no understatement to say that you’ve contributed greatly (and continue to do so) in the recognition of animators and animation itself as an (oft times underappreciated) art form. We’ll be wanting to see photos!

  • Coming from the games industry, I agree w/ Relevan about games category. It’s like that every year really with the Annies. No one seems to look outside of Film or TV tie-ins and into original IP’s.

    Prince of Persia, God of War, Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus. Take a good look at these games. They’re producing the best work in the industry!

    Look at Team Fortress 2 for heavens sake! The design and animation of those character spots rival some film work!

  • Don

    I agree with anonymous. Something very strange went on with the selections comittee this year. First no production design….and then only one character design nominee?

    I know a handful of the people that submitted this year, and there was some truly top quality work. Very insulting.

  • I agree with the O’Toole and TF2 omits as being a giant faux pas.

    The voices that stuck with me as having a great presence were O’Toole and Winstone in Beowulf.

  • red pill junkie

    I agree Bobby Pontilla. I kind of felt like crying at the end of Half Life 2: Chapter 2 ;-)

    Right now I’m playing Assassin’s Creed and it really feels like directing your own movie.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    Congratulations, Jerry – a well-deserved tribute.

    And as a personal sidenote to Relevan – here’s another maxim for you: “If you can’t say anything intelligent, don’t say anything at all.”

  • Don

    Why no Production design? From Steve Worth on Animation Nation:

    “The Annies aren’t “best of the year” awards. They’re presented for general excellence. The nominating committees look over the submissions and can choose up to five nominees. But they aren’t required to choose five. If they don’t feel that there are enough qualified entries, they can choose less, or recommend that the category not be awarded at all.”

    What a load of crap. Maybe if they had been Spumco bgs…….

  • Hokey Smoke, Brewmaster — and Hip-Hip-Foray!!!

    Jerry, congrats from me and Dan Hollis, too!

    From the nominating period, Casper has revealed that once your name was suggested, no one else stood a ghost of a chance. Y’see, Woody had already pecked your name into the award, letter by letter, and everyone agreed it just looked so right when he was done.

    A standard barbarian may take a treasure by force, but you are a noble Hanna-Barberian — whom we all treasure for all you have shared with us over the years.

  • Steve Gattuso

    Congratulations, Jerry! It’s long overdue.

    About the Games category:

    There’s only one limit on what’s put up there, and that’s what’s submitted in the first place. We’re all wishing the major games publishers would get their games in, but there’s this invisible wall that keeps them from noticing the Annies. Every game you folks have brought up here and many more, and none of them represented. If any of you reading this have any connections/clout in the games industry, please help us get more entries from publishers next year. And for pity’s sake, not just movie tie-ins!

    And as for the few folks who may have problems with Flash getting the Ub Iwerks award, talk to me. I’m the one who brought it before the board. Just two things to explain why I did it:

    1. You could make a lovely animated short and spend a year going around the world on the festival circuit and schmoozing every producer you can find to get distribution, or you can put it on Newgrounds/YouTube/Google Video and get more hits in a day than that year of struggle will have gotten you. And all of those sites run on Flash. Or if you did the short in Flash in the first place, slap it on your own website and anyone in the world with a PC can watch it. Just for the ability to distribute your work, Flash is a sea change for animation in general and more than deserving of the award. But…

    2. If you happen to take note of last year’s Annie nominees for Best TV Production, four out of five were done in Flash. That includes the eventual winner, “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.” It’s not quite that heavy this year, but it still holds that some of the best work being done in TV is using the software.

    I can certainly understand why some might be non-plussed by the decision. But in the face of just those two things, how could it be ignored?

  • And certainly well-deserved, Mr. Beck! Congrats and thank you for all that you do!!!

  • Carolyn Bates

    Bravo, Jerry!

  • RR

    Steve G,

    1. You could make a lovely animated short and spend a year going around the world on the festival circuit and schmoozing every producer you can find to get distribution, or you can put it on Newgrounds/YouTube/Google Video and get more hits in a day than that year of struggle will have gotten you

    Hey, watch your mouth there. Y’know, some of us still believe that animated films belong in movie theaters (gasp!).

    If if I ever have to decide whether my movie is seen in front of 5,000 people in movie theaters at film festivals – projected perfectly on a big screen with big sound in front of a hushed audience – I’ll take that any day of the week in lieu of having 500,000 casual couldn’t-care-less internet surfers skim over my movie for 30 seconds while killing time at work, via a pixel filled little box on YouTube.

    That’s why everyone generally disrespects Flash. It’s the perfect format for 30 second internet nonsense that nobody has to really care about or pay much attention to. Let’s face it, that’s what 99.9% of web surfers are looking for when they want to watch a net cartoon. They don’t want a life changing, Oscar winning experience. They just want something to momentarily distract them while they surf other sites. So yeah, Flash is great for the internet because 1) higher quality film and digital formats don’t look as good on YouTube because they have to be degraded so much, and 2) the general population is not really seeking quality animation anyway, they want a silly joke and then they want it to go away.

    But shame on you for suggesting that is some ideal situation for animators. That’s the worst situation for animators. To be clear: I’m not knocking Flash. I’m knocking this dumb idea that the internet will save us all just because it makes some things easier. Easier is not always better. In fact, most of the time easier makes things a lot worse.

  • John K. AND Jerry – honored on the same night? Barrier got passed up again? Hmmmm Karma? Jerry really deserves this, in spite of unleashing Cartoon Dump on the world(kiddin’ ya, JB- viva la DUMP!).

  • DeK

    Congratulation, Jerry!

    For RR: You are clearly confusing Flash (vector animation) with Flash Video (raster video, embeddable into Flash applications) Don’t know if the award is for the former or the latter or both things.

    Also. Nobody forces you to use Flash Video with the same crappy compression as youtube. Dailymotion accepts video at 640×480. Vimeo goes up to HD720. FLV is just another container for audio and video, with almost no features (-> less overhead) and the great advantage that the software to reproduce it is already installed into 95% of the machines connected to the Internet.

    DeK (somebody who disrespects Flash Video, BTW)

  • RR – You know you can do both? (internet and festivals).
    I do, with a reasonable degree of success.
    And I don’t use Flash either.

  • Danielle

    Congrats, Jerry! (Also, congrats to the Little Einsteins and Backyardigans crews for their noms!)

  • Congrats on a well deserved honor.

  • Art F

    Congrats, Jerry! Well deserved!

    Also on a personal sidenote:
    Right on, Mike! I’m sick of all the John K bashers!

  • It’s official Jerry, you’ve outrun your Don Johnson alter-ego and left him in your dust trail. Congrats!

  • Jerry getting an award? As Katnip would say: “That sounds logical”.

  • Steve Gattuso

    RR espoused like an elitist bastid:

    “Hey, watch your mouth there. Y’know, some of us still believe that animated films belong in movie theaters (gasp!).”

    There’s nothing that prevents you from still going the theatrical route, but if you want to get a film in front of eyeballs, nothing beats digital distribution. Even with your 99.9% exaggeration, that 0.1% is _still_ more intelligent viewers than you’d get theatrically. Stick contact info at the start and end of the piece, and you can direct them to places where they can see it in better resolution, as well as to more of your work. Most folks just don’t live in cities that have film festivals. Your film may not have the best impact on a small screen, but it beats having no impact at all because nobody but a handful of aficionados in a handful of cities could see it.

    “That’s why everyone generally disrespects Flash. It’s the perfect format for 30 second internet nonsense that nobody has to really care about or pay much attention to.”

    So you’ve decided to insult every person who’s ever done animation for the Internet, anyone who watches it, _and_ ignore everyone mentioned in No. 2 to boot? Congrats! Hope you remembered to use Desenex, or you’ll give your tonsils toe fungus.

    “Easier is not always better. In fact, most of the time easier makes things a lot worse.”

    How does reducing the barrier to entry for the independent, student, or just plain poor animator become an anathema? Yes, you will get more junk, but the percentages remain the same, and the wheat separates from the chaff a lot sooner when you have a large enough audience. Should animators stop drawing with pencils because Sam Singer used them? The entire ovure of late 70’s/early 80’s HB TV animation was done with cels, we better cut that out!

    DeK, it’s for both. Both have had massive effect for animation in general, and will continue to do so into the future.

  • Ellen

    Congrats Jerry! Maybe Amid is next in line? :p

    I really hope Persepolis wins something…anything. I love Ratatouille, but there is something just special and remarkable about Persepolis. I think people will agree when it comes out in December.

    I’m surprised Avatar was only nominated for the game category.

  • RR

    Steve, take a breath there. You can back-pedal all you want, but you clearly implied that the award is being given to the inventors of Flash because they are somehow rescuing animators from movie theaters.

    Yes, filmmakers can and definitely should try every avenue they can. But you clearly made it an either-or option. Again I quote you (my emphasis added):

    1. You could make a lovely animated short and spend a year going around the world on the festival circuit and schmoozing every producer you can find to get distribution, OR you can put it on Newgrounds/YouTube/Google Video and get more hits in a day than that year of struggle will have gotten you

    That’s not a very wise or democratic thing to say, now is it?

    “That’s why everyone generally disrespects Flash. It’s the perfect format for 30 second internet nonsense that nobody has to really care about or pay much attention to.�
    So you’ve decided to insult every person who’s ever done animation for the Internet, anyone who watches it, _and_ ignore everyone mentioned in No. 2 to boot? Congrats!

    No, if you carefully read what I wrote instead of leaping to hysterics you will understand that I am insulting the average internet surfer who browses through webpages in less than 10 seconds and doesn’t pause to actually digest any content (sound like anyone you know?). This is the vast majority of what people do on the internet. They surf, they jump around, they skim. And that’s why the internet will never be a suitable audience for serious film watching or distribution. It’s not like your living room. It’s interactive and people get impatient.

    People rarely sit and watch something more than 30 seconds long. Grind your teeth at me all you like but it’s the simple truth. And that is why Flash is so well suited for the internet, it’s cheap and fast and disposable. That says nothing of the people who work with Flash! It just means it’s a tool best suited for quickie jokes that people love to see on the internet in their spare time. And it’s why Flash has so much difficulty being taken seriously.

    So calm down mate :)

  • Christina S.

    Is anyone else completely baffled why Kim Possible is in the company of Robot Chicken and Moral Orel and not in the children’s category? That’s just… weird.

    And I’m pretty mad at the Video Game category. It all seems like the nominations were submitted just because the developers knew their games were crap and weren’t going to win any other awards. :\ The Annies seriously need to represent more in the game industry, just so all the actually well animated games could get nominated.

  • As a member of the Board of Directors of ASIFA-Hollywood, and one of the participants in the selection of the creators of Flash for this year’s Ub Iwerks Award, I can speak to why these people are being honored.

    Jonathan Gay, Gary Grossman and Robert Tatsumi created a simple program called FutureSplash Animator, which originally was intended to create moving graphics for banner ads. The program was retitled Flash, and has gone on to become a significant tool, not just for internet animation, but for TV production as well. Before the advent of the personal computer and Flash, students did not have an easy way to shoot experimental tests to learn the art of animation. Flash has replaced expensive film based and video pencil test methods, and is in use at just about every animation school. This perfectly meets the criteria of the Ub Iwerks Award, which is designed to honor technological advances that make a positive impact on the art of animation.

    This year, we are also honoring John Kricfalusi, who was the first to see the potential of Flash as a tool for producing cartoon animation, and a pioneer in promoting the viability of the internet as a new venue for filmmakers to reach audiences. John created the first Flash animated cartoon series, the Annie Award winning “Goddamn George Liquor Program”, and has gone on to prove that Flash is capable of producing highly skilled, professional quality animation.

    I hope this clarifies why the creators of Flash were selected for an Annie Award this year.

  • Frank

    you know, i recently read an interview with jonathan gay concerning the history of flash and its development. no where in the interview is john k mentioned as being instrumental to this process. it was not until the last year or so when john k decided to pat himself on the back on his blog claiming this that he became the “flash pioneer”.

  • I was there, Frank. The first animation John did for Microsoft Network was back when the program was still called Future Splash Animator. It was the Summer of 1996. The only character animation that had been done with the program at that point was a few repurposed sprites of Winnie the Pooh, done for the Disney website by Annmarie Ashkar. She joined Spumco in August or September of 1996 to work on the first two internet cartoon series… Weekend Pussy Hunt for MSN and The Goddamn George Liquor Program for

  • mark

    so i guess annmarie ashkar is the real pioneer then.
    we should throw her a parade.

  • Don

    Exactly right, Mark. John did the same thing he usually did, and Anne Marie figured out how to make it work in Flash.

    Way to pioneer, John!

  • Uh, fellas… Not to interrupt your little theorizing party, but you’re trying to tell the producer of the series who did what. As I said before, I was there.

  • jojo

    yay for hyun-min!

  • Rhett Wickham

    First off, here’s to Jerry for long-overdue recognition among his peers for the extraordinary work he has done to focus attention on the history, art, insanity and delight of animation both within the animation community and – arguably more important – outside the inner circles. With or without the June Foray Award you always have been and always will be a treasure to the industry, Jerry. Congratulations!

    And to my friend John Canemaker. There is, perhaps, nobody more deserving of an award named after Winsor McCay than someone who has helped to bring McCay’s work into better and broader focus.

    As for the Board’s decision to recognize Mssrs. Gay, Grossman and Tatsumi for their Technical Achievement, Stephen and Steve have provided solid reasoning behind the decision – in spite of conjunctions intentionally being wielded or not, and a volley of gross generalizations to rival a State Department memo.

    Speaking as someone who works with young animators and story artists, I believe that any tool that encourages interest and access is a very good thing, indeed. Of course there is solid and passionate reason to praise the theatrical short and the pencils that draw them, as well as embracing and treasuring the inspiration and magic they provide. But today’s younger viewers are more likely to be inspired to commit to animation as a career as a result of something delivered through an entirely different venue than the cineplex, and one usings tools other than what Ub Iwerks used to draft Mickey. It’s one thing to be concerned over a generation of film makers who see “Saw II” and say “Now that’s what I want to get paid to do!”. But what’s so awful about a brilliant kid who sees “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” and discovers that she too can bring her dreams to life and share them with others, or a bright and sardonic college freshman who catches a few minutes of “Weekend Pussy Hunt” and realizes that he can satirize contemporary culture in the same medium?

    Diversity of approach is critical to keeping the medium alive. That includes making sure that cel animation and stop motion don’t get relegated to the attic, particularly not in training programs. So far I haven’t seen anybody suggest that a young animator NOT learn how to draw. And if that’s not enough to satisfy concerns about praising a pixel or two ahead of any pencils this year, then consider the number of graduating student animators in relation to available jobs. Then look at what real economic opportunities there are for animators to be their own boss. Surely we all share a desire to help people maintain an original voice and find an audience. If given the choice between a closed set of tools that only increases the number of young animators who end up slaving away at ILM or get sequestered away in-betweening under “run of show” contracts at Disney, or a slightly larger set of tools that includes a way to produce their own work and reach a wider audience through new methods of content delivery AND reap the economic rewards, doesn’t it make sense to go with the latter? For cryin’ out loud, if the only thing FLASH animation has done is produce one less unemployed animator stuffing muffins into their pockets at the buffet line of the Guild Christmas party, then I say give the inventors a Nobel Prize!

    As for John K. – yes, Stephen is very close to John K. and they admire and respect and defend each other’s work. You, too, can champion your friends and colleagues when you get off your duff and devote your waking and sleeping hours to the Animation Archives project, and bother to sit on the Board AND coordinate a much loved, under-appreciated and not yet appropriately recognized program for honoring your peers. Go for it. Until then, John K has clearly had influence on the industry, some love it, some hate it, and very few are indifferent to it. If he were my pal I’d be pushing for him, too. If that still annoys you, then feel free to take umbrage at the “inside lobbyingâ€? for Ollie Johnston, who had Mary Costa championing him year after year after year to the National Council on the Arts until they came to their senses and awarded him the National Medal for the Arts.

    At some point in the not too distant future, when some of us have turned to pudding and are little more than a footnote on Google, an animator who has worked almost entirely in FLASH will be considered for and quite possibly receive a Winsor McCay award for Lifetime Achievement. And when they do, folks who have contributed little more than some bitchy posts or bitterly slaved away on job after job without having broken through to a wider audience or been loved and admired by countless number of their peers, will moan about it here (because Jerry and Amid will be heads in jars working from a lab to keep this site going.)

    Still, I’ve not yet found a part of the film industry where bitter isn’t part of what keeps things alive.
    So, long live animosity, just as long as animation keeps on thriving right alongside.

    P.S. – when finished posting about varying degrees of satisfaction over the nominees, go to the ASIFA Hollywood website and make sure to pay your ASIFA dues so that you can vote.

  • One clarification…

    There was no inside lobbying on the Winsors. I didn’t offer any suggestions for Winsors this year. I just listened and cast a vote. After reviewing all the submissions from the membership, each board member wrote down three names of candidates we felt were best qualified. It turned out that we had all picked the same three names. The first draft passed unanimously.

    I was the one who submitted the suggestion of Jerry for June Foray Award. Not many people know this, but Jerry has over 20 years of service to ASIFA, both at ASIFA-East and ASIFA-Hollywood. His professional accomplishments are considerable, but his benevolent work on behalf of the art of animation is just as important. Jerry was also chosen unanimously on the first draft (with one obvious abstention).

  • zed

    Can anyone shed light on why only three noms for
    Character Animation in a Feature Production?

    – Dave Hardin Surf’s Up (Sony Pictures Animation)
    – Alan Hawkins Surf’s Up (Sony Pictures Animation)
    – Michal Makarewicz Ratatouille (Pixar Animation Studios)

    surely two more could have been picked.

    and congrats to mr. beck