Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Animated Thoughts: Annies and Oscars, pt. 1

It was an animated weekend. Friday, after teaching my animation history class, I quickly finished grading most of the daily writing assignments, then tuned in to the 48th Annual Annie Awards -- presented on ASIFA Hollywood's "annieawards.org" website. If you haven't watched the ceremony yet, it's in the YouTube video embedded below. Some random thoughts I had about the ceremony are as follows:

  • Really liked the animation that they showed at the beginning with the spinning zoetrope award animated through various styles.
  • Hrm... need to see Hertzfeld's latest film sooner rather than later.
  • Daisuke Tsutsumi seems like a really decent fellow. Very humble.
  • We love you Brock Sampson!
  • Nice to see Cartoon Saloon getting some love.
  • Shroom's Odyssey by Piccalo Pictures - I put this on my list of films to track down.
  • Am really liking the zoetrope bumper animations!
  • Awards ceremony seems to be going at a pretty steady clip since people don't have to walk to and from the front of the auditorium.
  • Another win for Wolfwalkers. Cartoon Saloon is getting the love tonight!
  • Heh. The Frank Gladstone teleconference "cat" filter thing was funny...
  • Epic Games' Unreal engine has come a really looooong way! :o
  • Hoping against hope that Riot Games wins the award for Best Character Animation - Video Game... they didn't :(
  • Nora Twomey is looking healthy. Glad she beat cancer. The industry would be greatly diminished without her.
  • Definitely need to watch Transformers: War for Cybertron.
  • Y'know, Over the moon looks interesting. Might have to put that one and Croods: A New Age on my list of features to track down.
  • Hrm. Pixar's Soul is getting some love tonight.
  • Heh. Pixar's Lamp Life looks funny.
  • Yeah, still need to see Farmageddon. My list of features to watch continues to grow! I really miss the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema. :(
  • Would love to hear all those stories about Willie Ito... Loved the little video trick they did for the presenting of his Windsor McCay Award.
  • Bruce W. Smith was pretty funny and sincere. Great acceptance speech for his Windsor McCay Award.
  • Okay, not the biggest Critical Role fan, but their intro was clever. Reminds me of the "Play All" gag on the Aqua Teen Hunger Force DVD.
  • Wolfwalkers wins again--this time for voice acting. Good night for Cartoon Saloon.
  • Okay the Pixar best writing award "because of zoom" intro was hysterical! Soul is getting bumped up on my list of animated features to catch up on once the semester is over.
  • Loved the animated portrait shout out to Brenda Banks during the In Memoriam video.
  • Oh wow! I had forgotten that Gene Deitch had passed. Man that stings. I remember reading his part-bio/part-lessons for animators e-book on AWN.com many years ago. :(
  • Probably the best, most touching 'In Memoriam' segment I've ever seen. with the animated portraits of select artists.
  • Tartakovsky's Primal won the award for Best TV/Media - General Audience. Still need to watch Primal but that opening sequence is so freaking brutal!
  • Primal wins again... Glad Tartakovsky is getting some love... not sure about the 'shower scene' acceptance speech though.
  • Wolfwalkers wins again! Best Direction Feature.
  • Best Indie Feature: Wolfwalkers! Cartoon Saloon wins big tonight!
  • Best Feature: Soul with a pretty clever acceptance speech by Pixar. I wonder if the award winners were told ahead of time so they could film these acceptance speech videos?

Afterwards, I finished grading the last few papers and shuffled downstairs to watch the latest episode of Invincible. I know that it premieres on Thursday night, but I kind of like watching it on Fridays. Nice treat for getting all my grading done.

Next on my list would be finding time to watch the Academy Award nominated shorts through the program that the DIA set up...

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Animated Events: The 48th Annual Annie Awards


Nominations for the 48th annual Annie awards are live on their website and can be viewed at: https://annieawards.org/nominations

In the Best Feature category, Pixar appears to be starting strong with two entries: Onward and Soul. DreamWorks is matching them with two entries as well: The Croods: A New Age and Trolls World Tour. Additionally, Netflix/BRON Animation/Creative Wealth Media is in the running with their feature The Willoughbys.

Since I haven't seen any of the corporate features in the above list, of a little more interest to me is the Best Indie Feature Category with Studiocanal/Aardman Animation's A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Maybe Movies/Norlum's Calamity Jane, Rock'n Roll Mountain/Tip Top's On-Gaku: Our Sound, Science SARU's Ride Your Wave, and finally Cartoon Saloon/Melusine Productions/GKIDS film Wolfwalkers.

So far, I've seen Ride Your Wave and Wolfwalkers. Personally, I hope to see Farmageddon, Onward, Soul, and the Croods before the Annies, but that is about all the spare time I think I'll have in order to get caught up with feature-length films.

The Annies will be broadcast online on Friday, April 16th, 2021 starting at 7 p.m. and the links to view the ceremony are usually posted on their website: https://annieawards.org. As always, I'll be posting my thoughts about the ceremony in the weeks thereafter.

Best wishes and congratulations to all the nominees.

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