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Brad Bird’s Annie Acceptance Speech

Brad Bird was honored with a Winsor McCay Award for Lifetime Achievement at ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annie Awards on Saturday night. Brad, unable to attend the ceremonies as he was on location in Vancouver filming the live-action Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, sent a video-taped message to the animation community.

The embed below includes the video tribute to Bird’s career, as screened at the Annies – created by award-winning editor Les Perkins – followed by Brad’s pre-recorded acceptance speech.

  • This video is awesome! And the twist at the end rocked!

  • aahahah amazing

  • amid

    It’s rare that a pre-recorded acceptance speech tops an in-person appearance, but I think this one does it! Brad hams it up well. =)

  • Always the show man! Congrats Brad! lol!

  • Hyaw

    That was great and I for one am terribly disappointed that Brad will be leaving Animation for Live Action. But I don’t understand how leaving Animation for LA is in any way “Bigger and Better”.

    • Do you not have a sense of humour? Or did you really think Brad Bird was being held hostage by Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise?

      • They almost got me there. I was about halfway through the speech and was so bummed out by Bird’s speech that I almost clicked it off. Maybe some folks didn’t make it to the end. :)

      • Seriously… if you’ve ever read an interview with Brad Bird (or better, seen his fantastic animated films), you’d know he couldn’t be serious when describing animation as something he has “thankfully left behind”.

      • 2011 Child

        It’s part of the act, peoples. You should certainly be in on it by the time he reads the lines while the camera zooms out.

    • Watch it again and think a little harder about why Brad is saying this.
      Hint: Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg may have something to do with it.

      • 2fraspersecond

        So much meh in the world today..

    • IT IS A JOKE…………….

  • ive never seen anything like that. very funny! How fun to have Tom cruise be a part of that too! WIN

  • Cyle

    Too funny!

  • This definitely tops the acceptance speech given by Tim Burton a year or two ago. Very proud and happy for Brad Bird on his accomplishments in animation. :)

  • greg m.

    Classic! Good one Birdman!

  • I know that this is all in the name of fun, but I do seriously hope Brad doesn’t actually leave animation for good.

  • Henk

    While watching I thought, what an odd speech, and what`s with the blank stare, its almost like i`m watching someone reading from a paper and being held at gunpoint


    C’mon guys, you don’t have to dumb the joke down to the lowest common denominator. You don’t have to explain everything – if they miss it, that’s fine.

    Brilliant speech.

    • Done! You are right. Spoiler removed!

      • There is an unfortunate tendency in the entertainment business to water down the material so that “everyone understands it”.

        I wrote a script for a show where I had a character refer to coffee as “Java”. The broadcast exec pointed out that the kids in the audience might not get the reference. I said that if one viewer looked it up, then we’d have broadened their horizons.

        That to me is a WIN – and a big one.


  • The Kids

    Man, Tom Cruise really cant act. He cant even play act. Hes like an embarrassing Dad. The whole thing reeked of weird Hollywood back rubbing.

    • I took it as the three of them making a funny amateur video and that it was supposed to, for the fun of it, come across that way. This video was never supposed to be about Tom Cruise or his acting; seems to me he makes sure the spotlight is always rightfully on Brad.

  • I also hope Brad Bird doesn’t leave animation for good, but it’s perfectly easy to understand why he’d feel creatively frustrated. You are only allowed to make one or two kinds of multiplex “family” movies – the Disney fairy tale model, or the Pixar buddy comedy model. If you want to stretch your wings as an artist, to be really creative, you won’t find it in American animation. The formula is etched in stone.

    What’s especially tragic is how Bird is wasting his most important years as a work-for-hire on some washed-up Hollywood franchise like Mission: Impossible. Heck, Tom Cruise has fallen so far, he’s working for scale. This is not a good development for one of America’s smartest film directors.

    The silly irony is that most Hollywood movies these days are essentially animated films, only with actors in front of green screens. You’d think Pixar directors would be looked upon as gods. Nope.

  • Spencer Morin

    Pretty easy to ham it up when Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise have your back. Awesome.

  • dave smith

    Doesn’t Brad Bird look exactly like Chris Burke?

  • yoshitoshi

    I dream of having a boss like him one day.

    • You probably won’t; he’s one-of-a-kind.

      • thats what they said about Walt Disney, im sure theres more like him. They dont all film themselves, but they’re out there! Im sure one day if i’m persistent enough Ill also work with a boss like him

  • Would love to spot them downtown and walk up and say, “OMG! It’s Brad Bird, director of Incredibles! You made Iron Giant! OMG, I love your work! So…who’s your friend?”

    • Jim

      Me too Dan.

  • at first I thought his talk of live-action surpassing animation was intentionally grating…then the twist came and I spit out my coke :(

  • “Thank you and help me.”


  • Mike Johnson


    What does he mean about leaving animation?

    Isn’t Tom Cruise the biggest cartoon character of them all?

    Just sayin’…

    • 2011 Child

      Oh for Pete’s pudding it’s part of the act.

  • Ah

    I actually found this joke in bad taste, but maybe I pay too much attention to world events and not enough to entertainment.

  • Steve Gattuso

    WELL…. o_O

    (Of my top ten animation feature directors, Brad Bird is three of them. Maybe four…)

    • That means of your favorite ten, one of them is Brad Bird. Math isn’t your strong suit.

  • Corey

    Haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Thanks Brad.

  • Lily

    It’s an ultimate dream one can have to be working with someone like Brad Bird. He is plain genius. Everything he touches becomes gold.

    • He actually is a very hard worker; he worked in “the trenches” in the LA animation scene for 30 years. He studied. He listened. He watched great films. He paid attention. He drew. He worked as hard as anyone else. He thinks clearly. He has a big heart and a sense of humor. He is educated. All of that is part of “genius”.

  • Vik

    And NOW the thumbnail image at the top of the front page of Cartoonbrew has a spoiler image. I guess you guys have been watching too many Dreamworks trailers. ;)

  • And, to top it off, Tom Kenny’s comments right AFTER the video presentation got big laughs.

    Xemu approves…!

  • what did he say?…What did he say??

  • Even though I was there to see it firsthand, it fun to see this again. Good luck on the film, Brad! I’m sure it’ll be great!


  • Viki


    Wonder if he and Jerry Rees still hang out.