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Annie Awards

Disney and the Annie Awards split up!

Word is spreading like wildfire around the industry newspapers and blogs that Disney/Pixar have completely withdrawn their support from the annual Annie Awards, presented by ASIFA-Hollywood. The Annies are considered to be the Oscar Awards of the animation industry, and Disney has been a financial supporter of the awards since 1972. But now (according to reports) Disney fears that the awards process has been skewed towards Dreamworks Animation, as evidenced by the 2009 awards when Kung Fu Panda swept everything — and Wall-E was shut out entirely.  Now (again, this is the word going around) Disney fears that a similar thing might happen, causing How to Train Your Dragon to beat out Toy Story 3 in one or more categories. As evidence, Disney/Pixar have pointed to the fact that Dreamworks offers a free ASIFA-Hollywood membership to its employees as part of their employment package, and previously voting on the Annie Awards was open to all members of ASIFA, regardless of where they worked in the animation industry — if at all. This story is still breaking, and it will be very interesting to see how it plays out. Interestingly, because of the way the Annie Award rules work, Disney/Pixar films can still be nominated for the awards, and win them, even if they’re not official entered by the creators.

Awards Season Kicks Off

The International Animated Film Society (ASIFA) announced the nominees for the 37th annual Annie Awards, presented every year to the best in animated feature films, TV shows, commercials, short films, and more. Walt Disney Animation Studios dominated the nominees 2009 with 17, including eight for the traditional 2D film The Princess and the Frog. That film was nominated for Best Animated Feature, as well as earning individual nominations for animated effects, character animation, production design, and voice acting. Joining Princess in the Best Animated Feature category are Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Secret of Kells, and Up. Notice: Six nominees instead of the usual five.  There’s a lot to choose from this year! Check out all of the 2009 Annie Awards nominees at the Annie Awards web site.

Did you also notice that all of the Best Feature nominees have anthropomorphic animals in either lead or supporting roles?  There’s a lot to choose from for furry fans this year too! Especially when one looks further and finds numerous nominations for the Penguins of Madagascar TV series and Merry Madagascar special (both from Dreamworks Animation, of course), plus nominations for Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas, Open Season 2, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, The Wonder Pets, Ponyo, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Monsters vs. Aliens, and more.

With that many to chose from this year, it’s time for furry fans around the world to get serious thinking about The Ursa Major Awards for 2009, too. Remember, this is the Peoples’ Choice awards for furry fandom! Visit the Ursa Major Awards web site to add items to the Recommended Reading and Viewing List, things that furry fans might want to remember and keep in mind when they’re getting ready to nominate — which, by the way, will begin in January of 2010!