• CGSociety :: Event Coverage
    6th February 2006, by Renee Dunlop
     
     Every year the animation industry gives recognition to the most brilliant of the group. This year’s group had clay feet, but still managed to make it to the stage to accept no less than ten awards, including Best Feature for “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”. The grand winners of the evening were Aardman Animations Ltd. and DreamWorks Animation.

    The Annie Awards ceremony is gaining recognition, and this year was the first year it was recorded for television. Stretch limos pulled up to the red carpet that stretched at least a hundred yards from the curb, through the entrance and courtyard, up to the stage door. TV crews hovered outside interviewing key people as they arrived. Spectators gathered trying to figure out who was there and what was going on. And inside, the champagne flowed.

    The courtyard was filled with guests dressed in “Animation Black Tie”, formal with a twist. Tuxedos were paired with sneakers; satin flounces with bright pink hair. Old friends compared notes since their last meeting. Mascots dressed as giant stuffed penguins gathered at the door waving their flippers in hello.

    The event was open to the public, but was mostly attended by those in the industry. The event’s host, "SpongeBob SquarePants" vocal talent Tom Kenny provided much of the comic relief throughout the show. He is a taller and lankier and deeper voiced version of SpongeBob, but he is just as much of a character. It’s not an act. His antics continued into the after party. Each winner had something gracious and amusing to say. Unfortunately a few hecklers, encouraged by the champagne and impatient for more made a few wisecracks from the back, but they weren’t encouraged to stay for long.
     Wallace & Gromit
    Wallace & Grommit
     




     
     SpongeBob SquarePants
    SpongeBob SquarePants
     Wallace & Gromit
    Wallace & Grommit
     
         
     Brad Bird, William Shatner, “ER” talent Scott Grimes and Parminde Nagra, and Jason Alexander were on hand to present the awards. Seth McFarlane, the voice of Stewie from "Family Guy” won for voice acting, and Peter Shin won for directing the episode “North by North Quahog”. Ernie Gilbert of "The Fairly OddParents" won Character Design in an Animated Television Production. And C.H. Greenblatt, Mike Bell, Tim Hill, and Paul Tibbitt of "SpongeBob SquarePants" won Writing in an Animated Television Production. Best Animated Short Subject was taken by Atomic Television/Plymptoons Productions for “The Fan and The Flower”. Best Animated Television Commercial went to United Airline’s "Mr. Pants" by Acme Filmworks. Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’ Mike Moon, Craig McCracken, Dave Dunnet, Martin Ansolabehere won for “A Lost Claus” by Cartoon Network Studios, and Cartoon Network's "Star Wars: Clone Wars 2" was awarded the prize for television production. And Lauren MacMullan won for her work on AVATAR:The Last Airbender, “The Deserter”, taking home a trophy for Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production. Wallace & Gromit
    Wallace & Grommit
     
        
     Stewie
    The Family Guy
     North by North Quahog
    The Family Guy
     
         
  •  A moving tribute was given on behalf of storyboard supervisor and animator Joe Ranft, who tragically died in a car crash in August at the young age of 45. But instead of sadness, Tom Kenny asked he be rewarded with a long and loud round of applause, and the audience applauded until the paint was loose. Mark Kausler was awarded the June Foray Award for significant impact on animation. The Winsor McCay Award, given as recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation was awarded to three greats, Cornelius Cole III, Tyrus Wong and Fred Crippen. Wong, who worked as a production illustrator on "Bambi" quipped, "My heart hasn't beat like this since I proposed to my wife!" And the Ub Iwerks Award was well earned by Tim Burton’s "Corpse Bride." Mark Kausler
    Mark Kausler was awarded the June Foray Award for significant impact on animation.

    Wallace & Gromit
    Wallace & Gromit
     
        
     Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
    Tim Burton's "The Corpse Bride"
      
        
     But the big winner by far was “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”, requiring extra luggage to take the trophies home across the pond. The “Wallace & Gromit” list of winners included Jason Wen for Animated Effects, Claire Billett for Character Animation, Nick Park for Character Design in an Animated Feature Production, Nick Park, Steve Box for Directing in an Animated Feature Production, Julian Nott for Music in an Animated Feature Production, Phil Lewis for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, Bob Persichetti for Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production, Peter Sallis who plays the voice of Wallace for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production, and Steve Box, Nick Park, Bob Baker, Mark Burton for Writing in an Animated Feature Production.

    Outside Nick Park told me what he likes most about his medium of choice. “I love the whole process,” he said. “It’s somewhere between a cartoon, because of the nature of clay, and a live action movie, because it’s 3-dimensional, and you light it and set up the cameras. Everything I love about movies, animation, and live action come together”

    Related links:
    Annie Awards
    ASIFA
     Winners Wallace & Gromit
    The team behind Wallace & Gromit.
     
        




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