‘Soul’ and ‘Wolfwalkers’ sweep Annie Awards

The frontrunners for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, “Soul” and “Wolfwalkers” so dominated the 48th annual Annie Awards on April 16 that all the other nominees left empty-handed. Friday marked the second of six days of final balloting for the 93rd Academy Awards.

“Soul” won Best Studio Animated Feature over one of its Oscar rival, “Onward,” as well as “The Croods: A New Age,” “The Willoughbys” and “Trolls: World Tour.” “Soul” also prevailed in six other races: character animation, editorial, music, special effects, storyboards and writing.

Likewise “Wolfwalkers” won Best Independent Feature over Oscar contender “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” plus “Calamity Jane,” “On-Gaku: Our Sound” and “Ride Your Wave.” “Wolfwalker” also walked away with the trophies for character design, direction, production design and voice.

Six of the last 10 Annie Awards champs have lined up with the Oscars: “Rango” (2012), “Frozen” (2014), “Inside Out” (2016), “Zootopia” (2017), “Coco” (2018) and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2019).

In 2020, “Klaus” was the tops with the Annies but it was “Toy Story 4” that took home the top Oscar. Back in 2011, “How to Train Your Dragon” won over the Annies while the academy embraced “Toy Story 3.” In 2013, the Annies went with “Wreck-It-Ralph” while the academy adored “Brave” and in  2015, the Annies named “How to Train Your Dragon 2” as Best Animated Feature but the Oscar winner was “Big Hero 6.”

The Annie Awards also honor achievements in television. Best Animated TV Production (General Audience) is roughly equivalent to the Emmy for Best Animated Program, and this year the Annies went with “Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal” over “Close Enough,” “Harley Quinn,” “The Midnight Gospel” and “Rick & Morty.”

These precursor prizes are presented by the Hollywood chapter of the International Animated Film Association.

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