The Reubens have recognized animation on and off since 1957 when Walt Disney won the first animation award. The NCS separated the animation category into two separate awards—feature and television—in 1995. Past winners include legends like Paul Terry, Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, Bill Melendez, Chuck Jones, Joe Grant, and Ralph Bakshi, as well as contemporary animators and directors like Glen Keane, Eric Goldberg, David Silverman, Pete Docter, Chris Sanders, Brad Bird, Nick Park, David Silverman, Craig McCracken, Bruce Timm, Paul Rudish, and Seth MacFarlane.
The organization, which didn’t allow women to join in its earliest years until Hilda Terry broke the barrier in 1950, has made recent strides to recognize the contributions of women cartoonists, and presented a record six awards to women cartoonists last Saturday, including it top prize for Outstanding Cartoonists of the Year to Roz Chast.
Disappointingly its animation award remains an old boys club. No solo woman animation artist has been recognized by the organization since Nancy Beiman won the prize in 1984.