For those not familiar with the Annie Awards, they are awards given out to recognize excellence in animation. I love animated films and TV shows so I was excited about this, especially because of how stacked 2016 was. There are the heavy favorites this year, but I was curious as to what surprises I might find among the nominees and winners. I won’t get into everything, but I do want to highlight a few of the awards.
#1. Zootopia wins 6 Annie Awards
At this point it shouldn’t be a surprise that Zootopia is the animated movie favorite for every award this year. Six awards is still pretty impressive though. Zootopia took home awards for best character design, best storyboarding, best directing, best writing, tied for best voicing acting, and best feature film. These are awards I honestly can’t argue with. Sure Zootopia wasn’t my first choice for all of these awards, but I think Zootopia is an outstanding movie and deserves praise. I want to point out that the voice acting award is for a single character. In this case it was Jason Bateman’s portrayal of Nicholas Wilde that got the win. It tied with Auli’i Cravalho’s portrayal of Moana.
#2. Best Directing in a Feature Production Category
As I mentioned before, Zootopia took home this award, but I don’t think that would have been my first choice. My pick would have been for the movie that has been snubbed pretty much everywhere in all of the animated categories. There’s no doubt that Makoto Shinkai should’ve gotten this award for Your Name. I’m glad that Your Name got nominated for 2 awards (The other being Best Independent Animated Feature), but it’s still a shame that a movie with the amount of critical and financial success hasn’t been shown a bit more love. If you’re reading this and never heard of this movie, I suggest you find a theater that’s playing it when the movie gets a wide theatrical release later on this year.
#3. Kubo and the Two Strings
I just love talking about this movie. It got 10 nominations and took home awards in best character animation, best production design, and best editorial in a feature production. This made sense because Kubo was clearly the most visually stunning of the animated movies to come out in 2016. What Studio Laika does with stop-motion animation is unbelievable. Still holding out hope that Kubo can take home the Oscar at the end of the month.
#4. Awards For Live Action Movies
There were two awards given out to live action movies. Best Character Animation was given to The Jungle Book. This was an easy award to predict. The CGI was outstanding and I don’t think that the number 2 choice in this category was even close.
The other award given out was Best Animated Effects, which was given to Dr. Strange. Specifically it was for the mirror dimension scene, which was one of the best scenes in the entire film. I think Deepwater Horizon should’ve won this award though. A lot of the CGI in the movie was integrated so well that it was hard to tell what was CGI and what wasn’t.
There were TV awards given out as well, and the most notable winner for me was Netflix’s Trollhunters. I’ve spoken about this series before and I think it’s absolutely fantastic. Trollhunters got 4 nominations and landed up winning 3 awards. This included best character design, best character animation, and storyboarding for TV/broadcast production. The character animation award stands out here because it given because of the pilot episode of the series. The opening scene of the episode alone deserves praise for its movie quality animation.