“How To Train Your Dragon” Sweeps Annie Awards

Dreamworks’s How To Train Your Dragon swept the top honors at the 38th Annual Annie Awards ceremony tonight at UCLA’s Royce Hall. The studio won 15 of 24 award categories. Filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro announced Dragon as the Best Animated Feature. Best Animated Short Subject was presented to Pixar’s Day & Night – Tom Hatten, an influence on Teddy Newton’s animation career accepted the award on Newton’s behalf. (Pixar’s film won despite Disney and Pixar withdrawing their traditional support of the Annies this year, and did not enter any of its films or animators in the competition).

Full list of winners after the jump.

Best Animated Television Commercial went to Duck Studios Children’s Medical Center; Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants was honored as Best Animated Television Production for Children and Playdead’s Limbo won Best Animated Video Game. A new category, Character Animation in a Live Action Production was presented to Sony Pictures’ Alice in Wonderland..

The Winsor McCay award was presented to three animation industry veterans: Brad Bird, Eric Goldberg and Matt Groening. Bird is currently filming in Vancouver and accepted his Winsor via a hilarious videotaped message (we’ll do our best to post that here when we can).

A complete list of winners is after the jump.

Winners indicated in bold type:

Best Animated Feature
Despicable Me — Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
How to Train Your Dragon — DreamWorks Animation
Tangled — Disney
The Illusionist — Django Films
Toy Story 3 — Disney/Pixar

Best Animated Short Subject
Coyote Falls – Warner Bros. Animation
Day & Night — Pixar
Enrique Wrecks the World – House of Chai
The Cow Who Wanted To Be A Hamburger – Plymptoons Studio
The Renter – Jason Carpenter

Best Animated Television Commercial
Children’s Medical Center – DUCK Studios
Frito Lay Dips “And Then There Was Salsa” – LAIKA/house
‘How To Train Your Dragon’ Winter Olympic Interstitial “Speed Skating” – DreamWorks Animation
McDonald’s “Spaceman Stu” – DUCK Studios
Pop Secret “When Harry Met Sally” – Nathan Love

Best Animated Television Production
Futurama – The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Kung Fu Panda Holiday – DreamWorks Animation
Scared Shrekless – DreamWorks Animation
Star Wars: The Clone Wars “Arc Troopers” – Lucasfilm Animation, Ltd.
The Simpsons “The Squirt and the Whale” – Gracie Films

Best Animated Television Production for Children
Adventure Time – Cartoon Network Studios
Cloudbread — GIMC
Fanboy & Chum Chum – Nickelodeon, Frederator
Regular Show – Cartoon Network Studios
SpongeBob SquarePants — Nickelodeon

Best Animated Video Game
Heavy Rain – Quantic Dream
Kirby’s Epic Yarn – Good-Feel & HAL Laboratory
Limbo — Playdead
Shank – Klei Entertainment Inc.

Animated Effects in an Animated Production
Andrew Young Kim “Shrek Forever After” – DreamWorks Animation
Jason Mayer “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Brett Miller “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Sebastian Quessy “Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” – Warner Bros. Pictures
Krzysztof Rost “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Television Production
Nicolas A. Chauvelot “Scared Shrekless” – DreamWorks Animation
Savelen Forrest “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III” – ShadowMachine
Elizabeth Harvatine “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III” — ShadowMachine
David Pate “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation
Nideep Varghese “Scared Shrekless” – DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Feature Production
Mark Donald “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation
Anthony Hodgson “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation
Gabe Hordos “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Jakob Hjort Jensen “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
David Torres “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Live Action Production
Quentin Miles – Clash of the Titans
Ryan Page – Alice in Wonderland

Character Design in a Television Production
Andy Bialk “The Ricky Gervais Show” – W!LDBRAIN Entertainment
Stephen DeStefano “Sym-Bionic Titan” – Cartoon Network
Ernie Gilbert “T.U.F.F. Puppy” — Nickelodeon
Gordon Hammond “T.U.F.F. Puppy” — Nickelodeon
Steve Lambe “Fanboy & Chum Chum” – Nickelodeon, Frederator

Character Design in a Feature Production
Sylvain Chomet “The Illusionist” – Django Films
Carter Goodrich “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
Timothy Lamb “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation
Nico Marlet “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Directing in a Television Production
Bob Anderson “The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXI” – Gracie Films
Peter Chung “Firebreather” – Cartoon Network Studios
Duke Johnson “Frankenhole: Humanitas” — ShadowMachine
Tim Johnson “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation
Gary Trousdale “Scared Shrekless” – DreamWorks Animation

Directing in a Feature Production
Sylvain Chomet “The Illusionist” – Django Films
Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud “Despicable Me” — Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
Mamoru Hosoda “Summer Wars” — Madhouse/Funimation
Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Lee Unkrich “Toy Story 3” — Disney/Pixar

Music in a Television Production
J. Walter Hawkes, Billy Lopez “The Wonder Pets!” – Nickelodeon Production & Little Airplane Productions
Henry Jackman, Hans Zimmer and John Powell “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation
Tim Long, Alf Clausen, Bret McKenzie, Jemaine Clement “The Simpsons: Elementary School Musical” – Gracie Films
Shawn Patterson “Robot Chicken’s DP Christmas Special” — ShadowMachine
Jeremy Wakefield, Sage Guyton, Nick Carr, Tuck Tucker “SpongeBob SquarePants” — Nickelodeon

Music in a Feature Production
Sylvain Chomet “The Illusionist” – Django Films
David Hirschfelder “Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” – Warner Bros. Pictures
John Powell “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Harry Gregson Williams “Shrek Forever After” – DreamWorks Animation
Pharrell Williams, Heitor Pereira “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures

Production Design in a Television Production
Alan Bodner “Neighbors From Hell” – 20th Century Fox Television
Barry Jackson “Firebreather” – Cartoon Network Studios
Pete Oswald “Doubtsourcing” – Badmash Animation Studios
Richie Sacilioc “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation
Scott Wills “Sym-Bionic Titan” – Cartoon Network Studios

Production Design in a Feature Production
Yarrow Cheney “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
Eric Guillon “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
Dan Hee Ryu “Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” – Warner Bros. Pictures
Pierre Olivier Vincent “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Peter Zaslav “Shrek Forever After” – DreamWorks Animation

Storyboarding in a Television Production
Sean Bishop “Scared Shrekless” – DreamWorks Animation
Fred Gonzales “T.U.F.F. Puppy” — Nickelodeon
Tom Owens “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation
Dave Thomas “Fairly OddParents” — Nickelodeon

Storyboarding in a Feature Production
Alessandro Carloni “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Paul Fisher “Shrek Forever After” – DreamWorks Animation
Tom Owens “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Catherine Yuh Rader “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in a Television Production
Jeff Bennett as The Necronomicon “Fanboy & Chum Chum” – Nickelodeon & Frederator
Corey Burton as Baron Papanoida “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” – Cartoon Network
Nika Futterman as Asajj Ventress “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” – Cartoon Network
Mike Henry as Cleveland Brown “The Cleveland Show” – Fox Television Animation
James Hong as Mr. Ping “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in a Feature Production
Jay Baruchel as Hiccup “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Gerard Butler as Stoick “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Steve Carrell as Gru “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
Cameron Diaz as Fiona “Shrek Forever After” – DreamWorks Animation
Geoffrey Rush as Ezylryb “Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” – Warner Bros. Pictures

Writing in a Television Production
Daniel Arkin “Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Heroes on Both Sides” – Lucasfilm Animation Ltd.
Jon Colton Barry & Piero Piluso “Phineas & Ferb: Nerds of a Feather” – Disney Channel
John Frink “The Simpsons: Stealing First Base” – Gracie Films
Geoff Johns, Matthew Beans, Zeb Wells, Hugh Sterbakov, Matthew Senreich, Breckin Meyer, Seth Green, Mike Fasolo, Douglas Goldstein, Tom Root, Dan Milano, Kevin Shinick & Hugh Davidson “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III” — ShadowMachine
Michael Rowe “Futurama” – The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television

Writing in a Feature Production
Michael Arndt “Toy Story 3” — Disney/Pixar
Sylvain Chomet “The Illusionist” — Django Films
William Davies, Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders “How to Train Your Dragon” — DreamWorks Animation
Dan Fogelman “Tangled” – Disney
Alan J. Schoolcraft, Brent Simons “Megamind” — DreamWorks Animation

JURIED AWARDS
Winsor McCay Award — Brad Bird, Eric Goldberg, Matt Groening
June Foray — Ross Iwamoto
Ub Iwerks Award — Autodesk
Special Achievement — “Waking Sleeping Beauty”
Student Annie Award — Kirsten Lepore


  • Toonio

    Good for them. HTTYD pushed for something different in storytelling and they deserve proper recognition.

    • Karen

      I liked HTTYD, but hardly think it was “something different in storytelling.” Cute family film that hit all the familiar bases very well.

      Congrats to Bonnie Arnold and the whole HTTYD team.

  • Ethan

    Congratulations, well deserved guy !!
    I’ll never say that enough. Nico Marlet is amazing.

  • someone

    Annie Awards favoring Dreamworks again?
    Not really a big surprise.

    • Ethan

      Did you take the time to vote ?
      Which categories do you disagree with, which artist did not deserve the honor ?

      • someone

        Oh, I’m not particularly disappointed.
        Just not surprised.

      • http://wallcollective.com/cogspa/wall/ joe micallef

        You are quite an enigma Mr. Someone. So much so, I have to question if Someone is your real name.

      • Ethan

        Speaking of Enigma, someone failed the turing test.
        (many levels of jokes here)

      • http://wallcollective.com/cogspa/wall/ joe micallef

        ha ha! good ones!

    • ORly

      Actually, Pixar has won the best feature award many more times than Dreamworks over the years from the same supposedly “favoring” member voters. Including “Up” taking it home last year. And congratulations this year to Teddy Newton for his “Day & Night”.

      • KNSat

        In the years that Dreamworks had movies that were clearly in the same league as Pixar, Dreamworks has won. In the years that they didn’t, Pixar has won. Simple rule, simply applied.

        No one can honestly argue that Up had any real competition from Dreamworks last year.

  • Justin M. Durden

    Best Animated Television Production for Children
    >Spongebob

    I am disappoint.

    • Mrenjoyable

      Agreed. I would have liked to see that go to Adventure Time! I love sponge bob – of course – but AT is really great.

  • http://www.forthebirdsblog.blogspot.com Michael J. Ruocco

    I wish I took the time out to vote this year. Nonetheless, congrats to the HTTYD crew! Well deserved!

    …well, except for Jay Baruchel for Voice Acting. That’s lame.

    • Mark Walton

      Wow. I couldn’t disagree more. Not only did I think Jay did a great job, but if you saw his acceptance speech, he WAS “Hiccup”! All awkward, staring at the floor, embarrased-by-the-attention, self-deprecating – I can’t imagine better type-casting! The guy gave one of two or three of the most humble, heartfelt, generous speeches I’ve ever heard at the Annies (a very similar speech was given by the delightful James Hong for feature acting). I also thought most of his competition, particularly Gerard Butler, was quite good. My biggest beef was that Walt Dohrn didn’t even get nominated for one of the best voice jobs in a long time.

  • Sean D.

    Yay! Congratulations to all the winners.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Congrats to “How To Train Your Dragon.”

    On another note…

    Has the Annie Awards voting procedure become the more complicated and frustrating than a hand drawn traditional animator trying to learn CG animation for the first time on a computer? Seriously. I can’t blame Disney for dropping out of this. I’ve seen ballots from friends who are in the Academy. They are so simple. There needs to be some reform here. Maybe large demonstrations and rioting in front of the ASIFA offices.

  • http://christianscartooncorner.blogspot.com/ Christian

    I talked with Antran about the voting thing afterwards and he said, well, he said enough to allay my concerns about it.

    And, yes, we’ve gotta see that Brad Bird video posted online. That was the only way it could’ve been done to make up for him not being there in person.

  • Elan

    Poor Tangled.

    • Kory

      I know right!?

    • http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog michael sporn

      Poor TANGLED had $240 million. Who cares about awards?

  • Killskerry

    I’m really glad not only that Dragon won many awards as it did but that the Kung Fu Panda holiday special also got its props. It had some extremely clever cinematography and you could just see the love and attention it got despite being just a TV special. Say what you will about Dreamworks but they kicked ASS this past year.

    Congrats to everybody!

    • http://www.thedirtonmyneighbortotoro.blogspot.com Ju-osh

      With the exception of that last Shrek flick, I wholeheartedly agree!

    • Scarabim

      Best part of the special was the 2D animated beginning. With Tai Lung. ;)

  • Matt Sullivan

    I’m surprised and pleased :} Well done Dreamworks.

  • sam

    congrats!

  • Tee

    My favorite of the year. Tied for second were Tangled and Toy Story 3. I know, TS3 is a big deal and all, and it was wonderful, but it also cribbed most of its plot from TS2, and it’s in no way a freestanding creation. I loved it, but it was not the best film of the year and not the best animated film of the year either. For animated film, I’ve got to go with the Dragon.

  • eeteed

    my favorite part of the show was the part where chris sanders grabbed the award for HTTYD, ran up to john lasseter, and shouted, “IN YOUR FACE, LOSER!”.

    okay, so maybe it didn’t happen. i can dream, can’t i?

    • http://ryuuseipro.blogspot.com/ John Paul Cassidy

      Imagine Chris doing that if he won this year’s Oscar! Either way, that would’ve been sweet revenge. :)

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    how to paint your dragon is a great film… i only had a slight problem with the twee personalities, everything else i was bowled over by. Good work everyone involved

  • Frank

    Of course Pixar won for “Day and Night” – Dreamworks had no entry in that category.

  • AaronSch

    Unfortunately, few outside of the animation community are aware of the “Annie” awards and it was basically a one horse race. Don’t get me wrong, I loved “How to Train Your Dragon,” but Disney/Pixar boycotting the awards and refusing to enter their films and participate makes these awards largely “null and void.” Disney/Pixar’s complaints about the voting process and the fact that DreamWorks Animation pays for its membership are salient points.

    The Disney/Pixar films were likely nominated only to give an air of credibility to the proceedings.

    • Skeptical

      The Golden Globes have the most unfair, biased voting of any awards ceremony you can imagine, and it’s well known the GG voters can be bought. Yet somehow Pixar and Disney are happy to participate. Funny how that works, huh?

      • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

        For one, just Disney stepping out of something as big as The Golden Globes won’t make much of a difference. The Golden Globs is too big and has been going for two long for just one company like Disney to change it.

        Also, why are you making the argument that just because one award show is corrupt the other one is okay being corrupt also?

        Annie’s are supposed to represent the BEST in animation. Yet, they seem to only favor Dreamworks, unless their is some very strong competition. HTTYD was a GREAT movie, did not deserve a sweep however. Despicable Me and The Illusionist deserved more recognition then they got, from the award show that prides itself on knowing animation.

      • ORly

        You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. The Golden Globes is “too big”? It’s a smaller voting pool than ASIFA! Way smaller. It’s been a joke for years. Disney and other companies don’t rock that boat because the general public doesn’t know squat about it except it’s a TV show where stars show up. For winners it’s something they can slap on the ads if their film wins. That’s it.

        Nothing is perfect. Don’t think for a second that the Oscars are some totally holier-than-thou deal either. Don’t think the “best” always wins any given year in every category or even that everything worthy gets a nomination. They don’t. No system is perfect. Thing is, it is what it is and if you are happy when you won under certain conditions you have to man up and be able to deal with it if once in a while you lose under those conditions.

      • Skeptical

        Jacob, you completely miss my point. I never said the Annies or ASIFA were corrupt. The Golden Globes, however, are demonstrably corrupt. Everyone knows it. Everyone who knows anything knows those awards are a joke. But Pixar honchos have absolutely no problem with that, because the Golden Globes love Pixar, and have honored them repeatedly.

        Disney and Pixar supported ASIFA and the Annies when they were doing all the winning. When they lose, they try to take the ball and go home. It’s shabby, and it’s terribly unfair to the individual artists at Pixar and Disney who are denied the chance to be nominated and honored.

        Something else you and many people don’t seem to realize is that ASIFA’s role in the Annies is to get competent judges who will nominate the very best in the field. ASIFA doesn’t pick the winners. The actual winners have often been the results of popularity contests, but the nominees have generally been representative of the best in the field. When Disney and Pixar refuse to submit individual animators and artists for nomination, the black mark is on them. Not on ASIFA, not on the voters.

        If you thought Despicable Me and The Illusionist deserved more nominations, then you have to ask if those studios submitted the right candidates, or maybe the judges know what they’re doing more than you do. And if individuals from those films were nominated but didn’t win, then your problem is with the voters, all of whom this year were required to be qualified professionals, and all of whom were required to look at all the nominees work. It’s hard to get much more fair than that.

      • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

        Sorry ORly I wasn’t very spacific. I think that the Golden Globes have too big of a field of choice, for Disney to make much of a difference. If Disney dropped out the Golden Globes would still have a few dozen good films to choose from. In my opinion the Golden Globes don’t need Disney as much as the Annie’s need Disney.

        I don’t think that there is any award show that is completely accurate. I think some try harder then others. I would put both the Annies and the Golden Globes at the lower end of the spectrum. The Critics Choice awards in my opinion are closest to the top.

      • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

        Skeptical, I knew that Toy Story 3 and Tangled couldn’t get any nominations in the individual categories because they didn’t submit their work. However, I did think that both The Illusionist and Despicable Me deserved more recognition then they received. If the other studios are not submitting their work, you could hardly call the “Annie Awards” an award show for the Industry of Animation. If they are submitting their work and just are not being recognized, then it seems we still have some problems with the judging system. I felt that The Illusionist deserved recognition for some of their hand drawn animation, the subtlety in some of the animation was fantastic. It also surprises me that there was no other storyboarding nominations for films outside Dreamworks.

      • Skeptical

        Jacob, it appears to me that you’re not an industry professional, and therefore were unable to see the nominees in categories like storyboards. For those outside the industry, the only place you can ever see the actual storyboards is if a few panels are included in a ‘making of’ book. So you have absolutely no idea how the storyboards of the DreamWorks’ films compared to those of other feature films. As an insider, I know that the storyboards that come out of DreamWorks are generally amazing, and are consistently at the apex of what is produced throughout the industry.

        Realize that in a category like character animation, there are potentially scores of valid nominees. Unless you have actually sat though all of those reels, you don’t know what any given individual animator at a given studio actually did. The individual awards are not about recognizing good efforts, or recognizing good films — they’re about recognizing the very best of what was accomplished. A few years ago, James Baxter’s incredible work on Spirit wasn’t even deemed worthy of a nomination. That’s how it goes sometimes. While you may love the finished version of The Illusionist, your judgment about the quality of that film doesn’t necessarily mean that any of those individual animators did work so outstanding that it deserved to be in the five nominees.

        And if the fact that some studios don’t submit all their best candidates means the Annies are invalid, then no award ceremony can ever be valid, because that’s how they ALL function. The producers always have the responsibility to submit the work. ASIFA can’t go into the studios and review everyone’s work.

        Ultimately, it sounds like your judgment of the quality and legitimacy of an award is the extent to which the results agree with your personal tastes.

  • http://artofthecartoon.com artofhtecartoon

    Great Work by the team for HTTYD!!!

    I do wish Tangled came away with something, because I loved the Glen Keane-ish animation in a CG movie. And I did think Toy Story 3 was an awesome ending to an amazing trilogy, but I have no complaints whatsoever with HTTYD winning that many awards. The flight sequences were a sight to see, and I’m glad to see that Dreamworks took some chances in pushing the story. I hope to see more of this from Dreamworks in the future!

  • Lib

    Really, How To Train Your Dragon was good for Dreamworks standards, but just that.

    I’m glad Limbo won best game, though.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Wow! Though I think the accolades are well deserved. Congrats to all the winners!

  • Blake

    Why is there always this voting issue when Dreamworks wins, and never when Pixar wins???

    The year that Ratatouille swept the awards, Dreamworks was still paying for it’s members to vote. The big issue here is that people can’t seem to understand is that Dreamworks employees are the ones who vote for THE BEST FILM, not their film. In years when Ratatouille won, Up won, Incredibles won, clearly the Dreamworks employees thought those films were better then their own studios film of that same year, do people not see this???

    To me it seems like more of a conspiracy that Pixar HAS to win every year, doesn’t anyone see this or agree?

    I feel like there will be an animation melt down if Dragons were to win the Oscar over TS3, Pixar fans would riot and accuse Katzenberg of rigging the whole thing, rather then congratulating them on a win, so lame.

    • Not Quite a Fair Fight.

      You’ve got to be kidding me.

      • Matt

        Blake is right. Why is this an issue when a dreamworks movie wins? Pixar/disney has won the annie 13 of the last 18 years. If pixar had such an issue with the annies, why didn’t they pull out last year? perhaps because dreamworks mediocre, lame monster vs aliens wasn’t event nominated – in a field of six nominees no less (too bad Coraline didn’t kicks Up’s ass last year – it was a far superior film). God forbid a movie should actually give Pixar a run for its money. Pixar couldn’t risk losing to they decided to take their toys and leave the playground.

  • Not Quite a Fair Fight.

    Granted “How to Train your Dragon” is the second of 2 good movies Dreamworks has made…(Panda being the 1st)… But its a bit unfair to give them all the glory when the company buys an Asifa membership for *every single Dreamworks Employee*
    They stuff the ballot box, plain and simple. I’m not surprised Disney removed themselves from the running.

    You think Dragon would have fared well against Tangled in a head to head vote? Hmmmm……we’ll never know.

    • tim g

      i think its less a knock against DW for providing their animation professionals memberships to ASIFA…….an organization that is put together to support the animation arts….and MORE of a Knock against other big studios who dont………with the amount of hours all artists at these place work, and the amount of revenues these companies take in……….providing your employees with a membership that not only supports the film-making they dedicated their lives to, it also fosters their involvement with other animation events happening in the community outside your own studios confines…..seems like a good idea to me. SO for me its not about “stuffing the ballot box” and more about the idea that other studios should follow suit and allow their employees the opportunities of benefiting from an ASIFA membership. ALSO, it is not a requirement for these employees to vote, even though they are provided a membership…..you still have to be passionate about your film convictions enough to actually go and place your vote yourself……..and it may not be for the studio you work for.

      • Not Quite a Fair Fight.

        Honestly… Its about stuffing the ballot box.

      • ORly

        Do you work for a major studio? Have you ever belonged to ASIFA? If so, have you ever voted?

        I’m guessing no to all of the above. You are simply totally wrong and to repeat crap about cheating and stuffing ballots isn’t going to make it true because your toaster tells you it is.

  • Tom

    It was great to see HTTYD win (that and TS3 tie for my favorite animated films of the year), but after receiving their hundredth accolade for the evening, it got a little tiresome. I loved last years Annie’s because it seemed more well balanced… something for Up, something for Fantastic Mr. Fox, something for Coraline, something for Princess and the Frog…

    Highlight of the evening was Guillermo del Toro, and Tom Cruise making a guest appearance in Brad Bird’s Winsor McCay acceptance video.

  • Hmm

    I’m surprised/disappointed Sym-Bionic Titan didn’t win for TV production design.

  • Ethan

    Disney strongly supported the Asifa since 1972. the awards have always been in tune with the oscars, then something happened.

    2006: Pixar loses at the oscars, but wins at the Annies. There are strong claims that the Academy is biased and only votes for “one of them”, while the Asifa is the true prestigious award, because it is voted by their peers. The internet animation fan mob spreads this like a wildfire. The Asifa gains more prestige.

    2007: Pixar wins everything, so the Asifa is still great! The Annies are the REAL awards for animation.

    2008: Oups, this time Dreamworks wins. All of a sudden the disney camp claims the asifa is biased, but not the oscars anymore! They request the asifa to change the rules and accept ONLY industry professionals. Effectively blaming the fans for losing.

    2009: After those changes, Disney wins most Annies. So maybe the decision to ditch the fans was an effective strong arm tactic?

    2010: No wait! We don’t think it’s the fans anymore! They asked the Asifa to change the rules again, and have the studios decide the voting rules every year. The Asifa put it’s foot down. Pixar publicly boycotts the Annies.

    Ditching the fans to get more favorable votes one year, while at the same time claiming there are too many industry professionals from DW voting at the Annies is a complete contradiction. The actions of the Disney camp do not match the statements about DW bias, it doesn’t make any sense. The drama queen tactic worked because the public is not aware of the facts, they don’t know how the voting process actually works. As far as I’m concerned, the Asifa should have put their foot down the FIRST time they asked to change the rules.

    Hey, maybe next year they’ll blame the furries, who knows…

  • Kieran Pertnav

    How can Dreamworks get AWARDS for milking its franchises to death with endless holiday specials and sequels? I thought HTTYD was the most overrated film of the year- the story was totally generic and it wasn’t funny, it was essentially just an animated effects movie.
    Once again, Cartoon Network got seriously snubbed. T.U.F.F Puppy beating SBT for prodcution design is a travesty- T.U.F.F Puppy is typical Butch Hartman- not hideous but not anything groundbreaking, while Sym-Bionic Titan is brilliantly designed from the backgrounds up through the characters to the giant robots. Plus, SPONGEBOB AGAIN! WTF? The show is a mere shell of its former self, just playing it safe and doing the same old things its always done, while shows like Regular Show and Adventure Time push creative boundaries with their more conversational-sounding dialogue and Adventure Time’s manic, colorful animation.
    The fact that RS and AT didn’t even get nominated for storyboarding is a reflection of how little the people who judge these awards know about animation, since they’re also the only truly storyboard-driven shows to get nominated, perhaps even on TV, and some of the few shows that actually use unique facial expressions and poses.
    As usual, the Annies continued to honor play-it safe, generic animation, while snubbing the stuff that was actually creative.

    • Scarabim

      Tuff Puppy is one of the least visually-appealing shows on the air. My Little Pony could beat it in ANY category. INCLUDING humor.

  • Blake

    To: Not Quite A Fair Fight

    You didn’t really address the fact that 2 out of the last 4 years Pixar has won, despite your suggestion that Dreamworks is stuffing the ballot box, would you please explain to me how that works. If Dreamworks is stuffing the box, wouldn’t they win every year?

    How do you explain Ratatouille’s sweep at the awards several years ago, again when Dreamworks was supposedly stuffing the box too.

    And save the sarcastic attitude, this is a serious question, how do you explain that? Becasue for me, it seems like the people voting are voting for the BEST, no matter where they work, and if Dreamworks has the most votes, and a film like UP won, what does that really say.

    • KNSat

      Are you saying that Ratatouille could have lost to Bee Movie?

      Are you saying that Up could have lost to Monsters vs Aliens?

      Unless you are, you haven’t got much of a point.

  • http://www.allofmyheroes.blogspot.com/ Jeaux Janovsky

    Have they ever had any awards for best animated web shows?

    Seems like they should include an online aspect too.

    The Annies were really fun this year. Great location.

    Congrats to all the winners.

    Highlight of the night for me, was meeting Jim Cummings, Billy West, Roger Rose & Matt Groening in the parking garage on the way to my gf’s car! :)

    • Ron

      I could swear they had a special award for web category in 99. I remember because Stephen Worth accepted the award and dangled his dog by it’s leash as he left the stage.

    • Paul N

      Given this year’s voting changes and the means by which one “qualifies” to vote, it’s unlikely to happen. The Annies are very much an L.A., movie, and TV-centric award. Except for a couple of games categories, other types of animation need not apply.

  • http://wallcollective.com/cogspa/wall/ joe micallef

    So animation professionals will look back at 2010 as the year of both TS3 & HTTYD – and in my opinion both are great films and both are deserving of awards. Each film has its strong and weak points. So regardless of who gets the Annie or the Oscar, we can be happy that the industry has produced two award winning films.

    Not to say that Tangled, the Illusionist, or Despicable Me were bad – I thought these were great films as well, and deserve our accolades. Indeed, if you LOVE ANIMATION you will love all these films.

    I have to wonder, why, if you LOVE ANIMATION, why you would have to incessantly pit Pixar vs. Dreamworks? Why can’t we accept both are great. It is my guess that this forum is a soap box for some Pixar employees and/or fan fanatics and some Dreamwork employees and/or fan fanatics who are overly passionate about their companies. But if you review each film unbiasedly, and ignore your allegiance, you will find that they are both winners in one aspect or another.

  • Scarabim

    YES!!!! YES!!!!! (pumps fist) YEESSSSSS!!!!

    I was just watching Dragon today! One of many times, because it’s one of those rarities that just keeps getting better with each viewing. Congrats to Dreamworks! Can’t wait for the sequel!

  • Ron

    I’ve been to the Annie’s 3 times. Every time I went, something swept the show.

    In 2000 – ‘Iron Giant’ swept.

    In 2009 – ‘Kung Fu Panda’ swept.

    In 2011 – ‘How to Train your Dragon’ swept.

    My question- in all the years of Annie’s history, how often has it happened that one film sweeps the show? Is it a regular occurrence?

    • Ethan

      Yes it is common, both Ratatouille and Incredibles swept all awards. Disney used to win everything in feature categories for decades, sometimes split between two of their productions (TS2 and Fantasia 2000 awards were split even, plus the Pixar Short winning). Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit got them all also.

      Past winners can be found here :
      http://www.annieawards.org/legacy.html

      • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

        You are right Ethan there have been many movies to sweep the Annies. However, Kung Fu Panda and HTTYD were the only ones to sweep the Annie Awards that did not win Best Animated Feature in any of the three top award shows, Golden Globes, Critics Choice, or Academy Awards (since the categories opened). Not saying that either Kung Fu Panda or HTTYD did not deserve the best picture win. But, to sweep everything is pretty ridiculous. Ratatouille and Incrediables were recognized by all of the major award shows, and they did not have much competition coming from Dreamworks.

      • Ethan

        They swept both the VES and the Annies. The only 2 awards voted by real industry artists. Ask around in Animation and VFX circles (in person), you’ll have a very different opinion than the hollywood film critics and news bloggers.

        Let’s talk specifics, instead of statistics. Which winning artist do you consider “pretty ridiculous” ? Which one should have won ?

      • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

        “They” did not sweep both the VFX and Annie’s. Wall-E actually won the Outstanding Animation in a Animated Feature award for VFX, along with the Outstanding Character animation award.

        Annie’s and VFX do not have more experience when it comes to judging good writing or good music. I thought the story for both Wall-E and Toy Story 3 was more risky and inventive then Kung Fu Panda or HTTYD. I think that the music for Wall-E was better the Kung Fu Panda’s. In my opinion what Ben Burt did with Wall-E’s voice was much more impressive then Dustin Hoffman’s voice performance. I thought that the animation effects, production design, storyboarding, and directing were all very close races between Kung Fu Panda and Wall-E, and thought it was a little ridiculous that Kung Fu Panda won in each category. I felt it was a little ridiculous that Up won best Animated Feature last year, yet only took home one other reward (that being Best Director). I think UP deserved a nomination for production design. I felt it was ridiculous that Up didn’t win for best score. This has nothing to do with how bad the other artists were, it has to do with how good I thought Pixar was.

        There are many people, including me, and critics who thought that both Wall-E and Toy Story 3 were better Animated films then any of their competition, yet they were both swept by Kung Fu Panda and HTTYD. I am not saying it would be ridiculous if KFP and HTTYD both won best Animated Feature from the Annie’s. However, the idea that they swept the Annie’s is ridiculous to me.

      • ORly

        Jacob, are you an animation professional? Are you an ASIFA member?
        In the categories you listed-effects, production design, storyboard-are you saying they were “close races” based on the individual nominees’ submissions, as the ASIFA voters who looked at them as a requirement of voting did? Or are you just basing that opinion on watching the films?

        Professionals’ opinions are more valid when deciding awards based on professional achievement. They’re not perfect, sometimes there’s WTF things but that’s life. That’s what guild and societies like the the WGA, the DGA, SAG and the Academy are about.

        The other award is open to everyone in the world to vote and confer, and it’s called box office success and popularity.

      • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

        ORly, I have studied Wall-E, Up, and Toy Story 3 enough to feel that I have valid opinions on the movies as a whole and their specific categories. I also think the other award shows have some idea on how to judge good films, even if they are animated. Using the other reward shows as examples to why the Annies have flaws, I don’t think is unreasonable.

      • Steve

        ORLY?!? IDK, u seem wtf st2pd 2 me!! LOL

      • Ethan

        Jacob,
        Sorry, when I said “They”, I meant the recent DW winners for HTTYD voted by the industry, my point was that different targeted groups of people have different opinions. KFP was voted by an expanded group of people, which included people like you, who don’t work in the industry but love animation. I’m not going to ask you if you voted in 2008, when you could.

        “”"Annie’s and VFX do not have more experience when it comes to judging good writing or good music.”"”
        Yes they do. The need to have verifiable credits in screenwriting and music, specifically applied to an animated productions. You are not qualified to vote in either categories, say, if you’re just a news blogger (for example).

        “”"I have studied Wall-E, Up, and Toy Story 3 enough to feel that I have valid opinions”"”
        How many times have you watched those 3 films ? Twice I guess ? If that’s the case, I don’t believe you can actually form a real critical opinion about them. Studying, as you say, would mean actually taking notes, researching many aspects of the film, and watching the film many many times, and also some basic research about the artists who worked on those films. That takes a long time, weeks, even months, not just an afternoon. (I read a book by Niccolo something, he was my inspiration for this one)

      • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

        I have taken notes, watched the movies many many times and researched many aspects of the films and artists working on the films.

        I was saying that Annie’s and VFX don’t have “more” experience when it comes to judging on the writing and music of a animated feature. It seemed that out of the major award shows it was only the Annies that thought UP’s and Wall-E’s writing, and music were not the best in animation. I know that they changed some things after the 2008 Annie’s, but I don’t blame Disney for not really thinking it was enough. I have already explained some of the problems I had with UP. The fact that Dreamworks was nominated for way more then any other animation studio this year and HTTYD swept the Annies this year, is a good indicator to me of why the Annies still need to work on their judging system.

        It is not too unreasonable to understand why Disney stepped down from the Annies. You obviously don’t agree with their decision, I personally do. Why didn’t Pixar complain when they were sweeping the Annies? One reason might be because it wasn’t as big of a surprise when Pixar swept. Incredibles and Ratatouille were recognized as being the best in animation both critically and publicly. Kung Fu Panda on the other hand was considered to be about even in the public’s eyes with Wall-E and not as good as Wall-E by the majority of Critics and other award shows. Who wouldn’t complain if you got swept by a movie that not only you but the majority of the world thought was as good if not worse then yours?

      • Ethan

        “”"I have taken notes, watched the movies many many times and researched many aspects of the films and artists working on the films.”"”

        Oh, yes! I think I remember now, silly me, you said multiple times on CB that you studied a lot about John Lasseter’s personality, read lots of books about him, many interviews, DVD extras, and you watched all Pixar films many many times. I believe you. The content of you blog proves how much you like that material.

        Of course I assume you did that same kind of research for every film that has been nominated against those disney/pixar films, so you can compare them with the same amount of information ? How many times have you seen the other dozen of films that were nominated ? What amount of research have you done on those ? Have you even SEEN the submitted materials in the categories you disagree with ?

        I know you didn’t, but don’t really care. The bloggers can work on bringing traffic to their blogs, the journal film critics can work on pleasing the editor-in-chief, the Oscars can work of being “more attuned with the tastes of the public” for higher TV ratings, the people’s choice awards can work on being the fairest and dumbest, and the Golden Globes can continue making their money the way they do. But asifa members will vote what they think is best, disregarding all of the above groups. It’s our industry. It’s not perfect, I sometimes disagree, but it’s still much better than any of the above.

        I wish you to be selected in a cold call for the people’s choice awards. You’ll make us proud.

      • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

        Ethan, claiming that the International Animated Filming Society, is the only organization that is trying to judge on the quality of film is a bit ridiculous. The Annie’s judges consist of people mostly tied down to a specific studios. It is reasonable to think that most of those artists would be more open to projects coming from their studio. Academy Awards have a huge range of judges, no one studio can make too great of a impact on the over all judging. True, they do tend to go with the more “inspirational” film, rather then the more sophisticated and usually more risky ones. The Golden Globes care more about the people they want to show up to the party then the people who have done the best work. And, the Peoples choice seems to just go with the most commercially successful films. No award show is perfect, however there are some award shows that try harder then others. I am not going to get into a debate on who does it the best, we can both agree that The Golden Globes are on the bottom of the pedestal.

        The reason why I referenced other award shows and the public, is because I already knew you wouldn’t consider my opinion good enough (considering I am not a professional or anything). You can claim that the Annie’s don’t need anymore change all you want. However, if you think that Disney doesn’t have any good reasons to drop out of the Annie’s, you are wrong. Disney, has good reason to believe that they are better then the Annie’s have given them credit for. Both the public and the critics back up these reasons. Disney has good reason to believe that the Annie Awards are not a accurate judge on the “Best in Animation”. Agree with them or not, Disney has stepped down and the Annie Awards can no longer claim that they judge all of the best in animation.

      • Ethan

        You said “ridiculous” again, you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

        Absurd, unreasonable, unacceptable, silly, outrageous, take your pick. What makes you think I don’t know it’s meaning? Think about it Ethan, you seem to be saying that only the Award System that judges based on quality is the one you are a part of. Don’t you think that is a little “ridiculous”?

      • Ethan

        It’s was a joke, a film reference, nevermind it’s from the 80′ and based on a novel from the 70′s, but I just realized you’re born in the 90′, my bad…. sorry…

      • Ethan

        “”"Absurd, unreasonable, unacceptable, silly, outrageous, take your pick.”"”
        If you meant inconceivable, you’d have a point.

  • Some girl

    Everyone trying to find some conspiracy whenever DW actually beats Pixar. shame.
    Congrats to a wonderful film and all that were nominated!

  • Giovanni Jones

    None of this would matter if “Yogi Bear” was released early enough to qualify for an inevitable clean sweep.

  • http://thatssokraven.livejournal.com/ Kelly Tindall

    I’m fine with it. It was a bit of a blowout, but I’ll watch HTTYD again and enjoy myself each time I do it. It’s a fantastic movie.

  • Blake

    To : KNSat

    Please remove your sarcasm, and read what I actually said to understand my point. All I’m trying to say is, every year the best film wins, and it has nothing to do with whether how many DW employees are voting or not. Clearly I made no mention of Bee movie or MVA, I don’t think those movies were better and never mentioned them. All I’m saying is I don’t understand how any movie OTHER then a DW movie could win if DW was rigging the awards every year by paying for it’s employees to be members, understand what I’m saying? This conspiracy that DW wins because they pay for it doesn’t make any sense if you think about all the years that DW didn’t win, still following me? Cleary the voters coming out of DW are voting for the film they think is the best every year, and they also aren’t the only ones voting for the Annies for crying out loud. This claim that they are rigging the Annies is so ridiculous.

    This is not a biased opinion, I don’t care what studio makes what movie, I just think we should congratulate those who win, and not try and find some kind of conspiracy for why DW wins one year and Pixar doesn’t, it’s just stupid.

    I actually can’t handle this conversation anymore, congrats to all the winners, the animation community should tip their hats to everyone who one, you all deserved it, no matter what studio you worked for.

  • http://christianscartooncorner.blogspot.com/ Christian

    Awards don’t mean much to me. I don’t like going to an awards ceremony and seeing one movie sweep everything (not that it’s the movie’s fault if such happens). I liked it two or three years ago at the Annies when there was very good mix of award winners. In some way I liked all the features that were in the running this year and could have accepted any one as the winner. (Don’t tell anybody I haven’t seen The Illusionist yet.)

    I remember getting the e-mail saying I couldn’t vote in the Annies anymore due to not being in the animation industry. This rule may change back sometime. I am only an animation enthusiast and a somewhat informed animation industry observer but I think my voting in times past was sufficiently informed to be considered valid.

  • CN employee

    As an employee of a studio that has a stake in these kinds of awards, it would be nice if I were informed about voting. I think it speaks to a larger issue of non-involvement on the part of at least, many of the bro’s I work with… from going to union meetings, to you know, voting for awards. I’m very new to the industry so I’m only just getting a picture of this sort of thing, but it seems like many of us are too busy, too in the dark, and too Beta to give a sh*t.
    There are a few guys in the building who I noticed are trying to get some rallying/involvement going, but most of us I think would hope that CN would buy us all memberships to what’s it called…ASIFA? So we can vote (when?) for the Annie’s.

  • BT

    All I know is that in a past year WALL-E was completely shut out by KUNG FU PANDA. There are about three ways to interpret that:

    1. the voting was somehow rigged

    2. some sort of industry politics or other issue created a backlash against Pixar

    3. the voters genuinely thought KUNG FU PANDA was superior to WALL-E in every single category

    It doesn’t really matter which reason it was, any of them make the awards untrustworthy to me. So I’m not surprised that there have been controversies and shenanigans since then.

    It’s a shame too, because KUNG FU PANDA is good for Dreamworks, and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON is considerably better, I think. They deserve recognition, so it’s too bad the awards are tainted with this controversy. I think TOY STORY 3 and arguably TANGLED are better movies, but they’re all good and the people who worked on them should be proud. (I haven’t seen THE ILLUSIONIST yet.)

    At any rate it’s another good year for animated features. Has there ever been a period where as many great animated features have come out so close together? Think CORALINE, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, UP… the last few years are an incredible achievement for the artform as a whole.

    • Matt

      RE: the great shut of 08 -nobody ever points out the obvious: Pixar voted for Wall-E….Disney voted for Bolt. pure and simple – and that’s what Pixar wanted to avoid this year.

  • Marc Baker

    I always found it funny that an event like The Annie Awards would air on say Cartoon Network, but instead, they plan to air some lame ‘kids sports’ awards show hosted by Tony Hawk of all people. Sure, The Annie Awards would never get airtime on the big broadcast networks anytime soon, but I think I’ve made my point.

  • Bill

    A lot of talk here about HTTYD sweeping. Note that DreamWorks projects LOST in three categories in which they competed: TV Commercial, Music for TV Production and Storyboarding in a TV production. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

  • Loly

    Best Animated TV commerical – ‘And then there was Salsa’ by Laika, was phenomenal and so well directed. I was so sure it would win. I feel it should have won. Children’s Medical Center was done nicely, but perhaps the judges were voting with their hearts alone.
    Adventure Time – I would have loved to see that win as well. It’s such an awesome show!!!

    I liked ‘How to train your Dragon’ but I didn’t feel it deserved the number of nominations, nor the number of awards this year. Quite disappointing to see that.
    Adventure Time – I would have loved to see that win as well.

  • http://twitter.com/DUCKstudios DUCK April

    Congratulations to all of the winners! Well deserved win for HTTYD.

  • http://www.infurnation.com Rodso64

    It’s truly unfortunate that the Annie Awards this year are going to do little to dispel the notion (held by a good number, it seems) that the Awards have simply become Dreamworks patting itself on the back.

    One of the things that bothers me so much about the controversy is that I see so much heated discussion about what the problem(s) is/are, but so little discussion about what to DO about it/them. Apparently one of Disney/Pixar’s big “demands” is that a committee be set up including numerous studio representatives to advise the ASIFA Board of Directors. Okay, fine, but… why can’t Disney simply subsidize ASIFA memberships for their employees (like Dreamworks did) and get some of their people ON the Board of Directors?

    • Ethan

      Asifa-Hollywood always had many members from all studios (including Disney), and also international members like me. Dreamworks have always paid for the membership as far as I know, but there’s no guarantee they’ll vote for their own studio, in fact history shows they rarely do. The membership is not expensive (75$/year), it’s just a formality, people are making a fuss about the membership all of a sudden because it makes impressive headlines. The big problem is taking the time to vote, it used to take hours (but not anymore, since most members are only qualified to vote in very few categories). The artists who don’t even want to pay the small membership fee, do you think they’ll take the time necessary to vote? I don’t think so, I’d love to see statistics about that. If a studio would ever force employees to vote, it’d get known VERY quickly, it’s not worth the risk, they’d look like fools, the artists wouldn’t want any part of it and would definitely talk about it. It costs much less to bully the asifa to do what they want, and boycott them if they don’t, they can get rid of them without spending a dime. They even saved money.

      There’s nothing to do about it. The timing was perfect. I can only admire the marketing genius who thought it out, in a sick sort of way. I guess he deserve his pay check and bonuses.

      Asifa-Hollywood is a small non-profit chartered organization. I don’t think it’s in any position to fight a mega corporation like Disney. Asifa decided to do the right thing anyway, I respect that a lot. If they ever go bankrupt, I’m very worried about what would happen to the Animation Archive…