Sunday, March 1, 2020

Notice regarding Yearly Women Animator Interviews

Greetings all,

I have made the decision to skip this year's interviews with women animators.

Reason being is actually an uplifting one: turns out that I was asked to teach animation history at a local university. As such, all the time I would have spent on doing interviews in 2019 was reallocated in order to read several books, prepare lectures, presentations, assignments and exams, locate and view films to show in class, locate visual aids, and all the other miscellaneous prep work that was required to teach a college-level course.

I apologize that I couldn't get any interviews prepared ahead of time, but there are only so many hours in a day and I'm already working two jobs between the day job and freelancing.

However, the women animator interviews will return in 2021 (and I may have a couple later this year to whet your appetite). In the meantime, I urge you to visit my Women of Animated Film FaceBook page as I am sharing a bunch of highlights, articles, and films spotlighting women animators over the month of March.

Thank you for your understanding,

Charles Wilson
Smudge Animation

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Animated Thoughts: The 47th Annie Awards

Well, the 47th Annie Awards ceremony has come and gone. Time for the yearly "random thoughts" I had during the broadcast:
  • Opened by honoring Richard Williams. Nice. Very touching words from his daughters and colleague.
  • I immediately put Shadowmachine's Kaiju Confidential on my list of animations to track down and watch.
  • "Saving the polar bears" in... Antarctica... Um... whut?
  • Please God, let Fox and the Pigeon win Best Student Film!
  • YES!!!!! Congrats to Michelle Chua for such a beautiful film. One of my favorites from Ottawa the other year.
  • Best Short Subject... Hrm. Haven't seen 'Uncle Thomas' yet. Was hoping that Acid Rain would win -- though I reserve the right to change my opinion once I see the others in that category.
  • Hi Jerry! :)
  • Oh please, Love, Death, and Robots (The Witness) is nominated for Best Production Design - TV/Media!!! Let an adult-themed animation win...
  • Heh, the Clutch Cargo gag was pretty clever. Loved the mini history lesson.
  • Love Death And Robots (Sonnie's Edge) wins again! This time in the category of Music TV Media. A great night for adult animation!
  • Loved Charles Solomon's part on early CG animation honoring Dr. James Blinn with the Ub Iwerks award. Dr. Blinn sounded like a fascinating man. Wonder if there's a Ted talk or podcast out there with him.
  • Oh please, let The Secret War win Best FX TV/Media... that would be just awesome!
  • And another win for Love Death and Robots. This has got to be my favorite Annie Award ceremony ever!
  • And the award for Editorial TV/Media goes to... Love Death and Robots (Alternate Histories)!
  • Henry Selick wins the Winsor McCay award, and is well deserved. Would love to hang out with him at the OIAF picnic and listen to him tell stories about his career.
  • Satoshi Kon posthumously awarded the Winsor McCay award. Very well deserved. A life and a career that ended far too soon.
  • Y'know, as much as I like Patrick Warburton (we love you Brock Sampson), I'm really enjoying this new format where there are fewer monologues and they 'appear' to have given more time to the award recipients' speeches.
  • Hrm... The Hospital by Amazon Studios... looks interesting. Time to take advantage of that Amazon Prime subscription.
  • Love, Death & Robots missed out on the Best Storyboarding for T.V./Media award. Would have loved a full sweep but happy that they won at least four of the five categories they were nominated in.
  • Kind of wished I'd watched I Lost My Body at Ottawa... honestly glad it won the award. Going to have to re-up my Netflix subscription and track it down.
  • Lotta love for Netflix this year!
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. See you next year! :)

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Monday, January 13, 2020

Animated Events: 2020 Academy Awards Nominees
This week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the nominations for the 92nd Annual Academy Awards.

The following are the films nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Animated Short Film. 

Best Animated Feature:
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World - Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis, and Bonnie Arnold
  • I Lost My Body - Jeremy Clapin and Marc Du Pontavice
  • Klaus - Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh, and Marisa Roman
  • Missing Link - Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner, and Travis Knight
  • Toy Story 4 - Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen, and Jonas Rivera
Best Animated Short:
  • Dcera (Daughter) - Daria Kascheeva
  • Hair Love - Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver
  • Kitbull - Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson
  • Memorable - Bruno Collet and Jean-Francois le Corre
  • Sister - Siqi Song
Additionally, the following two animated feature films had nominations in the category of Music (Original Song):
  • 'I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away' from Toy Story 4; Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • 'Into The Unknown' from Frozen II; Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
As always, for those who would like to see these short films before the awards ceremony, they will be playing at the Detroit Institute of Arts' Detroit Film Theater in January and February.

The schedule from the DIA's website is as follows:
  • Friday, January 31, 2020 - 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, February 2, 2020 - 1:00 PM
  • Sunday, February 2, 2020 - 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 7:00 PM
  • Friday, February 7, 2020 - 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 1:00 PM
  • Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 7:00 PM
  • Friday, February 14, 2020 - 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, February 15, 2020 - 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 1:00 PM
The Academy Awards will be broadcast on Sunday, February 9, 2020.

Congratulations to all the nominees and to all the filmmakers who submitted their films for consideration.

* The Academy Awards and the Oscar are registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.