The Annie Awards—the highest honor given for excellence in animation—were handed out in a ceremony at UCLA's Royce Hall on Saturday evening (Feb. 5). The award's 38th edition featured a number of CalArtians among the nominees and winners.
The evening belonged to Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon—directed by CalArts alumnus Chris Sanders (Film/Video BFA 84)—as it captured the top honors, winning 15 of the 24 award categories for which it was nominated. The Disney/Pixar film Day and Night, directed by alum Ted Newton (Film/Video 91), earned the award for Best Animated Short. (Both Sanders and Newton are also nominated for Oscars, which will be awarded on Feb. 26.)
Congratulations to the following CalArtian Annie Award winners:
- Chris Sanders won for Directing in a Feature Production for How to Train Your Dragon;
- Ted Newton's Day & Night won Best Animated Short. (A clip from the film is posted above.);
- Director Brad Bird (Film/Video BFA 1976) of Disney/Pixar was one of this year's three recipients for the Winsor McCay Award, which recognize individuals for career contributions to the art of animation.
- Ernie Gilbert (Film/Video 94) earned the Character Design in an Animated Television Production Award for his work on T.U.F.F. Puppy for Nickelodeon;
- Steve Hillenburg (Film/Video MFA 92) and Paul Tibbitt (Film/Video BFA 93) won the Annie for Best Animated TV Production for Children for Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants; and
- Kirsten Lepore, an MFA student in Experimental Animation, received the first Student Annie Award for her film Bottle in an earlier ceremony. (We've posted her video below).
The Annies are sponsored by ASIFA-Hollywood, the International Animated Film Society, dedicated to promoting the craft and art of animation.