No surprise that the Oscar frontrunner “Zootopia” won a leading six trophies including Best Animated Feature at the 44th Annie Awards on Saturday, February 4. After all, this Disney film had a leading 11 bids heading into the ceremony. (See the complete list of winners.)
Besides Best Animated Feature, “Zootopia” also took home trophies for Best Directing (Byron Howard and Rich Moore), Best Writing (Jared Bush and Phil Johnston), Best Voice Acting (Jason Bateman, who tied with “Moana” star Auli’i Cravalho) Best Character Design and Best Storyboarding.
Its closest Oscar rival according to our racetrack odds, the Focus Features/Laika release “Kubo and the Two Strings,” had 10 nominations and won three: Best Character Animation, Best Production Design and Best Editing.
The Oscar-nominated Disney flick “Moana” was up for six awards and won Best Animated Effects in addition to Cravalho’s win for her voice performance as the title character.
The other two Annie nominees for Best Animated Feature — Pixar’s “Finding Dory” (three nominations) and DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 3″ (five nominations) — were shut out of these awards. These two hit sequels had already been snubbed by the academy.
The other two Oscar nominees — GKIDS’s “My Life as a Zucchini” and Studio Ghibli’s “The Red Turtle” — contended in the separate category for Best Independent Animated Feature, which was introduced last year, as do Sacreblue Prods.’ “Long Way North,” GKIDS’s “Miss Hokusai” and CoMix Wave Films’ “Your Name.” That award went to “The Red Turtle.”
The Annie Awards, which are presented by the Hollywood chapter of the International Animated Film Association, don’t always agree with the academy choices. Since the Oscars introduced the Best Animated Feature award in 2001, the Annies have previewed 10 of the 15 winners.
It started off with five in a row — “Shrek” (2001), “Spirited Away” (2002), “Finding Nemo” (2003), “The Incredibles” (2004) and “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” (2005) — before the Annies went with “Cars” over the academy’s choice “Happy Feet” in 2006.
The other five double champs were: “Ratatouille” (2007), “Up” (2009), “Rango” (2011), “Frozen” (2013) and “Inside Out” (2015).
There were four years of disagreement: in 2008 the Annie pick was “Kung Fu Panda” while the Oscars embraced “WALL-E”; in 2010 “How to Train Your Dragon” won here over “Toy Story 3”; in 2012 “Wreck-It Ralph” steamrolled over “Brave”; and in 2014 “How to Train Your Dragon 2” prevailed at these awards over “Big Hero 6.”
Pixar’s Oscar contender “Piper” took home the prize for Best Animated Short, while “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” won for Best Animated Special Production.
Over on the TV side, FOX’s “Bob’s Burgers” took the Best Animated Program award against rival nominees “BoJack Horseman,” “Long Live the Royals,” “The Simpsons” and “The Venture Bros.” In addition to taking the top prize, “Bob’s Burgers” was also awarded Best Writing for the episode “The Hormone-iums.”
Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time” won Best Animated Program for Children, while Amazon’s “Tumble Leaf” won the top prize for Preschool Children’s Program, but the biggest winner for TV was Google’s short “Pearl,” which took home three prizes: Best TV Directing, Best TV Music and Best TV Production Design. The only award “Pearl” lost was Best Animated Short.
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