This year, the 49th Annual Annie Awards will be held on Saturday, February 26th, 2022 at 10 p.m. EST.
Hosted by ASIFA Hollywood, the Annies celebrate the yearly achievements of the animation and VFX industry.
My personal favorites are the best animated feature categories, for many reasons but not the least of which is how they bring up fond memories of driving to Ontario the weekend before Thanksgiving to attend the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema--the only animation festival in the world that was dedicated to showing animated feature films and the only place that I could see a lot of the indie features that would get nominated every year.
In the animated feature categories, the nominees are as follows.
- Raya and the Last Dragon
- Sing 2
- The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Best Indie Feature:
- Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko
- Pompo the Cinephil
- The Summit of the Gods
I used to make it a point to watch all the feature film nominees -- the Ottawa Festival and WFAC made it real easy -- however this year, other than 'Mitchells' none of the films in the Best Feature category interest me, so I'll probably watch 'Mitchells' on Netflix before the ceremony. Belle is playing here in Lansing over the next two weeks and I'm purchasing my ticket today. Not sure if I want to see it in IMAX format, but I do plan to watch the subtitled version so I can see the film in as close to the director's original intention as possible.
Had the opportunity to watch The Summit of the Gods this past weekend. It was good production with some really solid storytelling and beautiful visuals. I'd recommend it to anyone but be warned that it's a more mature story. Don't watch it expecting a Disney/Pixar musical.
So far though, there aren't any opportunities to see any of the other indie features around Michigan, but as GKIDS is distributing 'Lady Nikuko' and 'Pompo', I have high hopes that they'll be shown around here soon.
And I have to give a special shout out to three entries in other categories. These three animated series were some of the best I've seen in years and well deserving of their nominations. Arcane is in my list of the top five best animated series I've ever seen.
Arcane (Riot Games/Fortishe Productions/Netflix) was nominated in the following nine categories:
- Best TV/Media - General Audience - Episode: When These Walls Come Tumbling Down
- Best FX - TV/Media - Episode: Oil and Water
- Best Character Animation - TV/Media - Episode: The Monster You Created
- Best Character Design - TV/Media - Episode: Some Mysteries Better Left Unsolved
- Best Direction - TV/Media - Episode: The Monster You Created
- Best Production Design - TV/Media - Episode: Happy Progress Day!
- Best Storyboarding - TV/Media - Episode: When These Walls Come Tumbling Down
- Best Voice Acting - TV/Media - Episode: When These Walls Come Tumbling Down
- Best Writing - TV/Media - Episode: The Monster You Created
Invincible (Amazon Studios) was nominated for 'Best Storyboarding - TV/Media' for the episode "Where I Really Come From"
And Love, Death + Robots (Blur Studio/Netflix) was nominated in the following five categories:
- Best TV/Media - General Audience - Episode: Ice
- Best Character Animation - TV/Media - Episode: All Through the House
- Best Production Design - TV/Media - Episode: Ice
- Best Storyboarding - TV/Media - Episode: Pop Squad
- Best Editorial - TV/Media - Episode: Pop Squad
Congratulations to all the nominees. I look forward to seeing who wins in February. You can see a full list of the nominees and watch the ceremony streamed online at: https://annieawards.org.
* * *