AwardsIdeas/Commentary

Commentary: The Annie Awards In The #MeToo Era

When your first award presenter of the evening is a man charged with rape, it’s a fair indication of where the rest of the evening is headed.

By the time the 45th annual ASIFA-Hollywood Annie Awards had concluded last night, 14 out of the 30 awards had been presented to projects that were initiated and/or greenlit by people accused of sexually predatory behavior. It wasn’t the right time to acknowledge that inconvenient fact because it never is the right time in the animation industry.

Adding to the theme of the evening, no individual woman won any of the 21 achievement categories. Only six women won as part of teams, compared to 46 total male winners.

The Annies’ celebration of male figures and its lack of award-winning women are not unrelated: the institutional failures that allow predatory men to thrive in the animation industry are often the same ones that keep women from advancing in the business and being recognized by their peers. (The biggest wins of the evening for women were Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner, and a Winsor McCay Award for filmmakers Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby. Tellingly, all three of those women are international filmmakers.)

Putting American industry females in the background at the Annie Awards – a recurring pattern at the show – is one of the more visible manifestations of the industry’s attitudes toward women, but to see it happen last night against an intimidating backdrop of winning projects blessed by sex harassers and assaulters set a new low for the Annie Awards.

The animation industry has always operated in a bubble of its own, immune to the pressures and social trends of the larger Hollywood industry of which it is a part. While that can sometimes be a good thing, the industry’s willful disregard for falling in line with the rest of the filmmaking community backfired last night. Perhaps this will be the kick in the pants the organization needs to finally address its boys’ club award ceremony and to evolve the Annies into an awards show for everyone who works in this business.

The full list of Annie Award winners are below.

PRODUCTION CATEGORIES

Best Animated Feature

  • Coco
    Pixar Animation Studios

Best Animated Feature-Independent

  • The Breadwinner
    Cartoon Saloon/Aircraft Pictures/Melusine Productions

Best Animated Special Production

  • Revolting Rhymes
    Magic Light Pictures

Best Animated Short Subject

  • Dear Basketball
    Glen Keane Productions, Kobe Studios, Believe Entertainment Group

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial

  • June
    Broad Reach Pictures/Chromosphere/Lyft

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Preschool Children

  • Octonauts / Episode: Operation Deep Freeze
    Vampire Squid Productions Limited, a Silvergate Media company, in association with Brown Bag Films

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Children

  • We Bare Bears / Episode: Panda’s Art
    Cartoon Network Animation Studios

Best General Audience Animated Television/Broadcast Production

  • Rick and Morty / Episode: 303 -Pickle Rick
    Williams Street Productions

Best Student Film

  • Poles Apart
    Director: Paloma Baeza; Producer: Ser En Low, All Student Crew
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES

Animated Effects in an Animated Production

  • Coco
    Effects Artist: Shaun Galinak; Jason Johnston; Carl Kaphan; Effects Lead: Dave Hale; Keith Daniel Klohn

Character Animation in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

  • Trollhunters / Episode: 205 – Homecoming
    Character Animator: Bruno Chiou; Yi-Fan Cho (Character: Blinky, Dictatious, Aaarrrgghh!!); Lead Animator: Kevin Jong; Chun-Jung Chu (Character: Blinky, Dictatious, Aaarrrgghh!!)

Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production

  • Coco
    Animator: John Chun Chiu Lee (Character: All characters)

Character Animation in a Live Action Production

  • War for the Planet of the Apes
    Animation Supervisor: Daniel Barrett; Sidney Kombo Kintombo; Emile Ghorayeb; Lead Motion Editor: Luisma Lavin Peredo; Lead Facial Modeller: Alessandro Bonora

Character Animation in a Video Game

  • Cuphead
    Lead Animator: Hanna Abi-Hanna (Characters: The Devil, Grim Matchstick, Beppi The Clown, Werner Werman)

Character Design in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

  • Samurai Jack / Episode: XCVI
    Character Design: Craig Kellman (Character: Various)

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production

  • Coco
    Character Art Director: Daniel Arriaga (Character: All characters); Additional Character Art Direction: Daniela Strijleva (Character: All characters); Character Design/Sculptor: Greg Dykstra (Character: All characters); Character Modeller: Alonso Martinez (Character: All characters); Character Designer: Zaruhi Galstyan (Character: All characters)

Directing in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

  • Disney Mickey Mouse / Episode: The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular!
    Director: Dave Wasson; Director: Eddie Trigueros; Director: Alonso Ramirez-Ramos

Directing in an Animated Feature Production

  • Coco
    Director: Lee Unkrich Pixar; Co-Director: Adrian Molina

Music in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

  • Disney Mickey Mouse / Episode: The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular!

    Composer: Christopher Willis

Music in an Animated Feature Production

  • Coco
    Composer: Michael Giacchino; Composer/Lyricist: Kristin Anderson-Lopez; Composer/Lyricist: Robert Lopez; Composer: Germaine Franco; Lyricist: Adrian Molina

Production Design in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

  • Samurai Jack / Episode: XCIII
    Production Design: Scott Wills

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

  • Coco
    Production Design: Harley Jessup; Danielle Feinberg; Bryn Imagire; Nathaniel McLaughlin; Ernesto Nemesio; Tom Cardone; Arden Chan

Storyboarding in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

  • Disney Mickey Mouse / Episode: Bee Inspired
    Storyboard Artist: Eddie Trigueros

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

  • Coco
    Storyboard Artist: Dean Kelly

Voice Acting in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production

  • Coco
    Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel

Writing in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

  • Rick and Morty / Episode: 307 – The Ricklantis Mixup
    Writer: Ryan Ridley; Dan Guterman

Writing in an Animated Feature Production

  • Coco
    Writer: Adrian Molina; Matthew Aldrich

Editorial in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production

  • Samurai Jack / Episode: XCIII, XCIV, XCIX
    Paul Douglas

Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

  • Coco
    Steve Bloom; Lee Unkrich; Greg Snyder; Tim Fox
JURIED AWARDS

Winsor McCay Award – for their career contributions to the art of animation

  • James Baxter
  • Stephen Hillenburg
  • Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis

Ub Iwerks Award – for technical advancement in the art of animation

  • TVPaint

Special Achievement Award

  • Cuphead (Studio MDHR)

June Foray Award – for their significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation

  • Didier Ghez

Certificate of Merit

  • David Nimitz