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It’s December 1st, and that can mean only one thing: time to hand out awards! As we get closer to the end of the year, the more substantial the awards being handed out and announced are, but for animators, and those that produce animated works, the biggest prize of their art form is The Annie. The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annie Awards will be handed out for the 42nd year on January 31, 2015 at UCLA’s Royce Hall, and whether you’re interested in either film or TV production, this year has produced a very competitive race for the best in animation. So who all is up for Annies’ glory, and who is likely to start the year 2015 listening to “We are the Champions” on repeat? Read on.

The full list was announced on the Annie’s website this morning, but Focus Features’ The Boxtrolls leads the nominations with a total of 13 including Best Feature, several nods for character design, storyboarding, voice acting, screenplay and direction. Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2 has the second most nominations and will face-off against Boxtrolls in many of the same races including Best Feature, Screenplay and Directing, though Dragons does have an edge in Best Music and Editing categories. Disney’s Big Hero 6 is a distant third with seven nominations. The LEGO Movie follows with six nominations, then The Book of Life with five nods, and Song of the Sea, Cheatin’, and Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya with three total nominations each round out the nominees for best picture.

On TV, Disney dominated with eight nominations for Disney’s Mickey Mouse, and seven for the special Toy Story That Time Forgot. Mickey Mouse was highlighted for Best Writing, Directing, Music and Voice Acting while Toy Story won nods for Best Special, Writing and Character Design. The Disney Channel’s Wander Over Yonder tied for six nominations with the Fox war horse The Simpsons, which won nominations for writing, directing and a special nod for the Couch Gag designed by Michael Socha called “Inside Homer.”

The Annies also recognize live-action films and video games. The visual effects work in Edge of Tomorrow, Noah,  The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Transformers: Age of Extinction,  X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Guardians of the Galaxy all being highlighted, with The Hobbit getting two nominations. On the video game side, Forza Horizon 2, Valiant Hearts: The Great War, Don’t Starve and Assassin’s Creed Unity all received one nomination, while Child of Light received two.

In other news, The LEGO Movie received the Best Animated Feature award from the New York Film Critics Circle today. The NYFCC is the first major award of the film awards’ season that goes all the way to the Oscar ceremony at the end of February. At this point, it might be safe to say that LEGO Movie is the frontrunner for the Animated Feature Oscar, but obviously we’ll reserve judgment on that till a few more awards come in.

Here’s the complete list of Annie Award nominees:

Best Animated Feature

    Big Hero 6 – 
Walt Disney Animation Studios
    Cheatin’ – Plymptoons Studio
    How to Train Your Dragon 2 – DreamWorks Animation
    Song of the Sea – GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon
    The Book of Life – Reel FX
    The Boxtrolls – Focus Features/Laika
    The LEGO Movie -Warner Bros. Pictures
    The Tale of The Princess Kaguya – GKIDS/Studio Ghibli

Best Animated Special Production

    Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey – Voyager Pictures LLC
    Dawn of the Dragon Racers – DreamWorks Animation
    How Murray Saved Christmas – Universal Television
    Polariffic – Bent Image Lab
    Toy Story That Time Forgot – Pixar Animation Studios

Best Animated Short Subject

    Coda
- 62 George Street
    Duet
- Glen Keane Productions
    Feast
- Walt Disney Animation Studios
    Inside Homer – The Simpsons Couch Gag (Episode #549)  – Acme Filmworks
    Me and My Moulton
- National Film Board of Canada
    Silent -
Creative Artists Agency
    The Dam Keeper 
- Tonko House LLC
    The Raven – Moonbot Studios

Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial

    Citizen M: “Swan Song” – Stoopid Buddy Stoodios
    Flight of the Stories – Aardman Animations
    LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham 
- Plastic Wax

Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Preschool Children

    Doc McStuffins 
- Disney Channel / Disney XD
    Peter Rabbit – 
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
    Tumble Leaf
- Amazon Studios
    Wallykazam! – 
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
    Zack & Quack
- Zodiak Kids

Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children’s Audience

    Adventure Time
 – Cartoon Network
    Gravity Falls – 
Disney Television Animation
    Legend of Korra – Nickelodeon Animation Studio
    Over The Garden Wall
 – Cartoon Network
    Wander Over Yonder 
- Disney Television Animation

Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production

    Archer
 – FX Networks
    Back To Backspace
- Cartoon Network Studios
    Bob’s Burgers
 – Bento Box Entertainment
    Rick and Morty 
- Starburns Industries, Inc.
    Mike Tyson Mysteries 
- Warner Bros. Animation
    Regular Show 
- Cartoon Network Studios
    The Simpsons
 – The Simpsons

Best Animated Video Game

    Forza Horizon 2 – Microsoft – Turn 10 Studios
    Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft
    Child of Light – Ubisoft

Best Student Film

    After School – Junyi Xiao
    Dead Over Heels  – Jose Matheu
    El Coyote
 – Javier Barboza
    Frog’s Legs -
 Katie Tamboer
    My Big Brother 
- Jason Rayner
    Tiny Nomad 
- Toniko Pantoja

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES___________________

Outstanding Achievement, Animated Effects in an Animated Production

    Michael Kaschalk, Peter DeMund, David Hutchins, Henrik Falt, John Kosnik – Big Hero 6 – Walt Disney Animation Studios
    James Jackson, Lucas Janin, Tobin Jones, Baptiste Van Opstal, Jason Mayer – How to Train Your Dragon 2
- DreamWorks Animation
    Fangwei Lee, Krzysztof Rost, Jihyun Yoon, Robert Chen – Mr. Peabody & Sherman -
DreamWorks Animation
    Mitul Patel, Nicolas Delbecq, Santosh Khedkar, Yash Argawal – Penguins of Madagascar
- DreamWorks Animation
    Augusto Schillaci, Erich Turner, Bill Konersman, Chris Rasch, Joseph Burnette – The Book of Life – Reel FX
    Rick Sevy, Peter Vickery, Kent Estep, Peter Stuart, Ralph Procida – The Boxtrolls
 – Focus Features/Laika
    Jayandera Danappal, Matt Ebb, Christian Epunan Hernandez, Danielle Brooks, Raphael Gadot – The LEGO Movie – Warner Bros. Pictures

Outstanding Achievement, Animated Effects in a Live Action Production

    Steve Avoujageli, Atsushi Ikarashi, Pawel Grochola, Paul Waggoner, Viktor Lundqvist – Edge of Tomorrow – Sony Pictures Imageworks
    Raul Essig, Karin Cooper, Rick Hankins, Owen Calouro – Noah – 
Industrial Light & Magic
    Charles-Felix Chabert, Daniel La Chapelle, Spencer Lueders, Klaus Seitschek, Chris Messineo – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 
- Sony Pictures Imageworks
    Areito Echevarria, Andreas Soderstrom, Ronnie Menahem, Christoph Sprenger, Kevin Romond – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – 
Weta Digital
    Michael Balog, Jim Van Allen, Rick Hankins, John Hansen – Transformers: Age of Extinction -
 Industrial Light & Magic
    Jeremy Hampton, Daniel Stern, Edmond Smith III, Hiroshi Tsubokawa, Daniel Jenkins – X-Men: Days of Future Past – 
Digital Domain

Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production

    Don Crum – Toy Story That Time Forgot – 
Pixar Animation Studios
    Carlo Vogele – Toy Story That Time Forgot 
- Pixar Animation Studios
    Ken Kim – Toy Story That Time Forgot  – Pixar Animation Studios
    Michael Granberry – Tumble Leaf – Amazon Studios
    Teresa Drilling – Tumble Leaf – Amazon Studios
    Justin Nichols – Wander Over Yonder – Disney Television Animation

Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in a Feature Production

    Fabio Lignini – How to Train Your Dragon 2 
- DreamWorks Animation
    Steven “Shaggy” Hornby – How to Train Your Dragon 2
- DreamWorks Animation
    Thomas Grummt – How to Train Your Dragon 2
- DreamWorks Animation
    Ravi Kamble – Penguins of Madagascar
 – DreamWorks Animation
    Travis Knight – The Boxtrolls – Focus Features/Laika
    Malcolm Lamont – The Boxtrolls
- Focus Features/Laika
    Jason Stalman – The Boxtrolls – Focus Features/Laika

Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in a Live Action Production

    Daniel Barrett, Paul Story, Eteuati Tema, Alessandro Bonora, Dejan Momcilovic – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
 – Weta Digital
    Kevin Spruce, Dale Newton, Sidney Kombo, Chris Mullins, Brad Silby – Guardians of the Galaxy – Framestore
    Eric Reynolds, David Clayton, Andreja Vuckovic, Guillaume Francois, Gios Johnston – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Weta Digital

Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in a Video Game

    Mike Mennillo – Assassin’s Creed Unity – Ubisoft
    Don’t Starve: Console Edition – Klei Entertainment Inc.
    Alex Drouin – Child Of Light – Ubisoft

Outstanding Achievement, Character Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

    Andy Suriano – Disney Mickey Mouse – Disney Television Animation
    Benjamin Balistreri – Wander Over Yonder 
-  Disney Television Animation
    Zac Gorman – Welcome to the Wayne – Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Outstanding Achievement, Character Design in an Animated Feature Production

    Shiyoon Kim, Jin Kim – Big Hero 6
- Walt Disney Animation Studios
    Timothy Lamb, Joe Moshier – Mr. Peabody & Sherman – 
DreamWorks Animation
    Craig Kellman, Joe Moshier, Stevie Lewis, Todd Kurosawa – Penguins of Madagascar
 – DreamWorks Animation
    Sang Jun Lee, Jason Sadler, José Manuel Fernandez Oli – Rio 2 
- Blue Sky Studios
    Tomm Moore, Marie Thorhauge, Sandra Anderson, Rosa Ballester Cabo – Song of the Sea
 – GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon
    Paul Sullivan, Sandra Equihua, Jorge R. Gutierrez – The Book of Life – Reel FX  
    Mike Smith – The Boxtrolls
 – Focus Features/Laika

Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

    Yuasa Masaaki, Eunyoung Choi – Adventure Time
 – Cartoon Network
    Bryan Fordney – Archer
 – FX Networks
    Jennifer Coyle & Bernard Derriman – Bob’s Burgers
 – Bento Box Entertainment
    Aaron Springer – Disney Mickey Mouse 
- Disney Television Animation
    Rob Renzetti – Gravity Falls
 – Disney Television Animation
    Robert Alvarez, Ken Bruce, Larry Leichliter – Over The Garden Wall – 
Cartoon Network
    Matthew Nastuk – The Simpsons
 – The Simpsons
    David Thomas – Wander Over Yonder – 
Disney Television Animation

Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated Feature Production

    Don Hall & Chris Williams – Big Hero 6
 – Walt Disney Animation Studios
    Bill Plympton – Cheatin’
 – Plymptoons Studio
    Dean DeBlois – How to Train Your Dragon 2
 – DreamWorks Animation
    Tomm Moore – Song of the Sea
 – GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon
    Jorge R. Gutierrez – The Book of Life
 – Reel FX
    Anthony Stacchi & Graham Annable – The Boxtrolls
 – Focus Features/Laika
    Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, Directors; Chris McKay, Co-Director – The LEGO Movie – Warner Bros. Pictures
    Isao Takahata – The Tale of The Princess Kaguya
 – GKIDS/Studio Ghibli

Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

    Christopher Willis – Disney Mickey Mouse – Disney Television Animation
    Peter Lurye, George Gabriel, Chris Gifford – Dora and Friends: Into the City! – Nickelodeon Animation Studio
    Jay Vincent, Michael Kramer, Jeppe Riddervold, Erin Chapman – Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu
 – Jam
    Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter & Michael McCuistion – Marvel’s Avengers Assemble
 – Dynamic Music Partners
    Nathan Barr & Lisbeth Scott – Tumble Leaf
 – Amazon Studios

Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated Feature Production

    Nicole Renaud, Composer – Cheatin’
 – Plymptoons Studio
    John Powell, Jónsi – How to Train Your Dragon 2
 – DreamWorks Animation
    Danny Elfman – Mr. Peabody & Sherman
- DreamWorks Animation  
    Bruno Coulais & Kila – Song of the Sea
- GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon
    Joe Hisaishi – The Tale of The Princess Kaguya
- GKIDS/Studio Ghibli

Outstanding Achievement, Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

    Kara Vallow, Brent Woods, Lucas Gray & Andrew Brandou – Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
 – Voyager Pictures LLC
    Joseph Holt – Disney Mickey Mouse – Disney Television Animation  
    Narina Sokolova – Mickey Shorts
- Disney
    Kevin Dart, Chris Turnham, Jasmin Lai & Elle Michalka – The Powerpuff Girls – Cartoon Network
    Antonio Canobbio, Khang Le, Mark Taihei, Howard Chen & Brandon Cuellar – Turbo FAST – 
DreamWorks Animation
    Alex Kirwan, Chris Tsirigotis, Alexander Duckworth, Janice Kubo & Francis Giglio – Wander Over Yonder – Disney Television Animation
    Erez Gavish – Zack & Quack – Zodiak Kids

Outstanding Achievement, Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

    David James, Ruben Perez, Priscilla Wong, Timothy Lamb & Alexandre Puvilland – Mr. Peabody & Sherman
-       DreamWorks Animation
    Adrien Merigeau – Song of the Sea – 
GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon
    Simon Varela & Paul Sullivan – The Book of Life 
- Reel FX
    Paul Lasaine, Tom McClure & August Hall – The Boxtrolls
 – Focus Features/Laika
    Grant Freckelton – The LEGO Movie
 – Warner Bros. Pictures  

Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

    Heiko Drengenberg – Disney Mickey Mouse – Disney Television Animation
    Luke Weber, Alonso Ramirez Ramos, Neil Graf & Steve Heneveld – Gravity Falls 
- Disney Television Animation
    Joaquim Dos Santos – Legend of Korra -Nickelodeon Animation Studio
    Nathaniel Villanueva & Douglas Lovelace – Star Wars Rebels
 – Disney Channel / Disney XD
    Brad Ableson, Matthew Faughnan & Stephen Reis – The Simpsons
 – Film Roman
    Louise Smythe – Toy Story That Time Forgot 
- Pixar Animation Studios
    Mark Ackland – Wander Over Yonder – Disney Television Animation

Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

    Marc E. Smith – Big Hero 6
 – Walt Disney Animation Studios
    Truong “Tron” Son Mai – How to Train Your Dragon 2
 – DreamWorks Animation
    Piero Peluso – Planes: Fire & Rescue
 – Disneytoon Studios
    John Hurst – Rio 2
 – Blue Sky Studios
    Rodrigo Castro – Rio 2
- Blue Sky Studios
    Julian Nariño – The Boxtrolls
 – Focus Features
    Emanuela Cozzi – The Boxtrolls
 – Focus Features/Laika

Outstanding Achievement, Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

    Bill Farmer as the voices of Goofy and Grandma – Disney Mickey Mouse
 – Disney Television Animation
    Carlos Alazaraqui as the voice of Crocker – Fairly Oddparents – Nickelodeon Animation Studio
    Seth Green as the voice of Robot Chicken Nerd – Robot Chicken 
- Stoopid Buddy Stoodios

Outstanding Achievement, Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production

    Cyndi Lauper as the voice of Nurse Cyndi – Henry & Me – Reveal Animation Studios
    Andy Garcia as the voice of Eduardo – Rio 2 
- Blue Sky Studios
    Sir Ben Kingsley as the voice of Archibald Snatcher – The Boxtrolls
 – Focus Features/Laika
    Dee Bradley Baker as the voice of Fish – The Boxtrolls 
- Focus Features/Laika

Outstanding Achievement, Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

    Darrick Bachman – Disney Mickey Mouse
 – Disney Television Animation
    Dave Tennant, David P. Smith, Chris Mitchell & Will Mata – The Powerpuff Girls
 – Cartoon Network
    Rob LaZebnik – The Simpsons
 – 20th Century Fox
    Tim Long  – The Simpsons – 20th Century Fox
    Steve Purcell – Toy Story That Time Forgot  – 
Pixar Animation Studios

Outstanding Achievement, Writing in an Animated Feature Production

    Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson & Jordan Roberts – Big Hero 6
 – Walt Disney Animation Studios
    Dean DeBlois – How to Train Your Dragon 2
 – DreamWorks Animation
    Will Collins – Song of the Sea 
- GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon
    Irena Brignull & Adam Pava – The Boxtrolls
 – Focus Features/Laika
    Phil Lord & Christopher Miller – The Lego Movie
 – Warner Bros. Pictures

Outstanding Achievement, Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production

    Illya Owens – Disney Mickey Mouse
 – Disney Television Animation
    Ernesto Matamoros – Dragons: Defenders of Berk
 – DreamWorks Animation Television
    Mike Elias – Family Guy
 – Super 78
    David Suther, Bradley Furnish & David Condolora – Toy Story That Time Forgot
 – Pixar Animation Studios
    Todd Raleigh & Doug Vito – Turbo FAST
 – DreamWorks Animation

Outstanding Achievement, Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

    Tim Mertens – Big Hero 6 
- Walt Disney Animation Studios
    John K. Carr – How to Train Your Dragon 2 – DreamWorks Animation
    Dan Molina, Mark Keefer & Karen Hathaway – Planes: Fire & Rescue – 
Disneytoon Studios
    Darragh Byrne – Song of the Sea
 – GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon
    David Burrows, Todd Hansen, Doug Nicholas, Jonathan Tappin & Courtney O’Brien-Brown – The LEGO Movie 
- Warner Bros. Pictures

Source: Deadline

Category: Film, TV, Videogames

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