Art Directors Guild Awards Unveils New Category Honoring Animation Production Design

The Art Directors Guild (ADG) has introduced a new category to recognize animated filmmaking at its 22nd annual Excellence in Production Design Awards.

The accompanying theme of this year’s ceremony, set to place on Saturday, January 27, 2018, in the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood, will also be animation-related: “Production Design in Animation: Celebrating 100 Years of Imagination.”

“It is our intention to honor and celebrate great Production Design achievements in the remarkable and evolving art form of animation through this new award,” ADG event co-producer Thomas A. Walsh said in a statement yesterday. “By separating feature animation into its own constituent category, we wish to pay tribute to these creative works in a manner equivalent to all our other feature design categories.”

The ADG has previously recognized feature animation production design in other categories, like “Excellence in Production Design for a Fantasy Feature Film.” Past animation nominees at the ADG awards have been Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, The Adventures of TinTin, The Incredibles, and Wall-E.

Here are the eligibility requirements for the ADG’s new animation category:

  • Animated feature films representing 2D (hand drawn), 3D (CGI), clay animation/puppet and motion–capture (live-action/CGI hybrid) will all qualify for this award category.
  • A feature film must have the majority of its sets and locations created using a frame-by-frame technique, and usually falls into one of the two general fields of animation: narrative or abstract.
  • Some of the techniques of animating films include but are not limited to hand-drawn animation, computer animation, stop-motion, clay animation, pixilation, cutout animation, pinscreen, camera multiple pass imagery, kaleidoscopic effects created frame-by-frame, and drawing on the film frame itself.
  • Motion capture and real-time puppetry are not by themselves considered animation techniques.
  • Animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s total running time.
  • A narrative animated film must have a significant number of the top eight (8) major 
characters animated.
  • If the picture is created in a cinematic style that could be mistaken for live action, 
producers must submit information supporting how and why the picture is substantially a work of animation rather than live action.

The submission period for this year’s ADG honors is October 5 through November 9, 2017. For more details, visit the ADG website.