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Annies 2017: Zootropolis wins six awards


Story by Jack Foley

Walt Disney Feature Animation’s Zootropolis (aka Zootopia in the US) has emerged as the big winner at the 44th annual Annie Awards, winning six categories including best animated feature and best directing for helmers Byron Howard and Rich Moore.

The critically-acclaimed movie also picked up trophies for writing, character design, storyboarding and voice acting. Jason Bateman was recognised for his portrayal of wily fox Nick Wilde – but tied with Auli’i Cravalho for the title character in Moana.

The win for best animated feature means that Zootropolis now looks odds-on favourite to land the Oscar given that in three of the last five years, the winner of the Annie for best animated feature went on to win the Academy Award.

However, two of its biggest challengers didn’t leave Saturday’s ceremony at UCLA’s Royce Hall empty-handed.

Laika’s Kubo & The Two Strings won three trophies, for character animation, editing and production design.

While Disney’s Moana won two awards, for animated effects and aforementioned voice acting.

The best animated independent feature award went to The Red Turtle (from Studio Ghibli, Wild Bunch and Why Not Productions).

While Netflix’s The Little Prince took home a trophy for music.

In the live action feature categories, visual effects Oscar contenders The Jungle Book and Marvel’s Doctor Strange picked up Annies for character animation and animated effects, respectively.

And there was a special achievement award for Roger Ross Williams’ Oscar-nominated documentary Life, Animated. The documentary tells the moving story of Owen Suskind, an autistic boy who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a way to communicate with classic Disney animated films.

Two more special awards were bestowed upon legendary animator Dale Baer, independent animation champion Caroline Leaf and influential anime director Mamoru Oshii, who received Winsor McCay Awards for career achievement.

Bill and Sue Kroyer, meanwhile, received the June Foray Award for their ‘benevolent and public-spirited influence’ within the animation community.

The main winners at a glance

Best Animated Feature
Zootopia (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Finding Dory (Pixar Animation Studios)
Kubo and the Two Strings (LAIKA)
Kung Fu Panda 3 (Dreamworks Animation)
Moana (Disney)

Best Animated Feature-Independent
The Red Turtle (Studio Ghibli, Wild Bunch, Why Not Productions)
Long Way North (Sacrebleu Productions, Maybe Movies, Norlum Studios, France 3 Cinéma, and 2 minutes)
Miss Hokusai (Produciton I.G)
My Life As A Zucchini (Rita Productions, Blue Spirit Productions, Gebeka Films, KNM)
Your Name. (CoMix Wave Films)

Best Animated Special Production
Pear Cider And Cigarettes (Massive Swerve Studios, Passion Pictures Animation)
Audrie & Daisy (AfterImage Public Media, Actual Films)
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll (DreamWorks Animation)
Little Big Awesome (Titmouse, Inc., Amazon Studios)
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (CBS Films, J.P. Entertainment, Participant Media)

Best Animated Short Subject
Piper (Pixar Animation Studios)
Blind Vaysha (National Film Board of Canada)
Deer Flower (Studio ZAZAC)
Path Title Sequence (Acme Filmworks)
Pearl (Google Spotlight Stories, Evil Eye Pictures)

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial
Loteria ‘Night Shift’ (Passion Pictures Ltd.)
Duelyst ( Powerhouse Animations Studios, Inc.)
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer (Plastic Wax)
Lily & the Snowman (Hornet)
The Importance of Paying Attention: Teeth (Bill Plympton Studio)

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Children
*Adventure TIme
Episode: Bad Jubies (Bix Pix Entertainment, Cartoon Network Frederator Studios)*

DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender
Episode: Return of the Gladiator (DreamWorks Animation Television)

Elena of Avalor
Episode: A Day to Remember (Disney Television Animation)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Episode: Trans-Dimensional Turtles (Nickelodeon)

Wander Over Yonder
Episode: My Fair Hatey (Disney Television Animation)

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production For Preschool Children
*Tumble Leaf
Episode: Mighty Mud Movers / Having a Ball (Amazon Studios, Bix Pix Entertainment)*

Ask the StoryBots
Episode: Why Do I Have to Brush My Teeth? (JibJab Bros. Studios for Netlix)

Peg + Cat, “The Disappearing Art Problem
Episode: Peg + Cat, “The Disappearing Art P r o b l e m” (The Fred Rogers Company, 9ate7 Productions)

Puffin Rock – The First Snow
Episode: 59 (Cartoon Saloon, Dog Ears, Penguin Random House)

The Stinky & Dirty Show
Episode: Squeak (Amazon Studios, Brown Bag Films)

Best General Audience Animated Television/Broadcast Production
*Bob’s Burgers
Episode: Glued, Where’s My Bob? (Bento Box Entertainment)*

BoJack Horseman
Episode: Fish Out Of Water (Tornante Producitons, LLC for Netflix)

Long Live The Royals
Episode: Punk Show (Cartoon Network Studios)

The Simpsons – Barthood
Episode: Barthood (Gracie Films in Association with 20th Century Fox Television)

The Venture Bros
Episode: Hostile Makeover (Titmouse, Inc.)

Best Student Film
Citipati (Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg)
FISHWITCH (Adrienne Dowling)
The Abyss (Liying Huang)
The Wrong End of the Stick (Terri Matthews)
Twiddly Things (Adara Todd)

Animated Effects in an Animated Production
Moana (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Head of Effects Animation: Marlon West
Effects Lead: Erin V. Ramos
Effects Lead: Blair Pierpont
Foundation Effects Lead: Ian J. Coony
Effects Lead: John M. Kosnik

Animated Effects in a Live Action Production
Dr. Strange – Mirror Dimension (Marvel Studios)
FX Supervisor: Georg Kaltenbrunner
Digital Artist : Michael Marcuzzi
Digital Artist : Thomas Bevan
Digital Artist : Andrew Graham
Digital Artist: Jihyun Yoon

Character Animation in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
DreamWorks Trollhunters Episode: Becoming, Part 1 (DreamWorks Animation Television)
Character Animator: Mike Chaffe, Character: Blinky, Aaarrrgghh

Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production
Kubo and the Two Strings (LAIKA)

Character Animation in a Live Action Production
The Jungle Book (1) (Walt Disney Pictures)
Animation Supervisor: Andrew R. Jones
Animation Supervisor: Peta Bayley
Animation Supervisor: Gabriele Zucchelli
Character Supervisor: Benjamin Jones

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
Zootopia (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Character Design: Cory Loftis, Character: Nick Wilde, Judy Hopps, Flash, Chief Bogo, Clawhauser, Mr. Big, Fru Fru, Koslov, Bellwether, Yax, Finnick, Doug, Mr. and Mrs. Otterton, Duke Weaselton, Misc. Characters

Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Zootopia (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Directors: Byron Howard and Rich Moore

Music in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
Pearl (Google Spotlight Stories, Evil Eye PIctures)
Composer: Scot Stafford
Composer/Lyricist: Alexis Harte
Composer/Lyricist: JJ Wiesler

Music in an Animated Feature Production
The Little Prince (Netflix, On Animation Studios)
Composers: Hans Zimmer, Richard Harvey, Camille

Production Design in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production
Pearl (Google Spotlight Stories, Evil Eye Pictures)
Production Design: Tuna Bora

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
Kubo and the Two Strings (LAIKA)
Production Design: Nelson Lowry
Production Design: Trevor Dalmer
Production Design: August Hall
Production Design: Ean McNamara

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
Zootopia (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Storyboard Artist: Dean Wellins

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Moana (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Voice Actress: Auli’i Cravalho, Character: Moana

Zootopia (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Voice Actor: Jason Bateman, Character: Nick Wilde