‘The Lion King’ and ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Lead VES Awards with Five VFX Nominations

Disney dominated the 18th annual VES Awards with five nominations apiece for Jon Favreau’s frontrunner “The Lion King” and Robert Rodriguez’s surprising “Alita: Battle Angel” (acquired from Fox). Joining them for the top photo-real prize were the Disney-led “Avengers: Endgame” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” along with Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” (featuring Weta’s breakthrough CG human, via the young Will Smith clone). The VES Awards will be held January 29th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Competing for supporting VFX were Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” (boasting Industrial Light & Magic’s innovative de-aging of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci), Sam Mendes’ “1917,” (which stitched together the World War I thriller as one continuous shot and offered various enhancements), James Mangold’s “Ford v Ferrari,” Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” and “The Aeronauts.”

“Alita: Battle Angel”

Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth

In animation, Disney also fared well, with Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” (which grabbed five nominations) and “Frozen 2.” They were joined by Golden Globe nominee “Missing Link” from Laika, surprise nominee “Klaus” (the innovative 2D feature from Netflix and Spanish director Sergio Pablos), and, in a shocker, “The LEGO Movie 2,” beating out DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.”

On the TV episodic side, Disney + entries, “The Mandalorian” (which collected six nominations) and “Lady and the Tramp” compete with HBO’s “Game of Thrones”(which also got six nominations) and “His Dark Materials,” and Netflix’s “Lost in Space 2” and “Stranger Things 3.”

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“The Lion King,” supervised by three-time Oscar winner Rob Legato, touts a breakthrough virtual production workflow and a breathtaking faux live-action aesthetic, thanks to MPC Film’s accomplished photo-real animation. “Alita,” meanwhile, offers Weta Digital’s impressive humanoid cyborg (performance-captured by Rosa Salazar). Both movies also collected nominations for character animation (Scar and Alita), created environment (the Pridelands and Iron City), virtual cinematography (including legendary DP Caleb Deshanel on “The Lion King”), and effects simulations.

As previously announced, the VES Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Scorsese, the Visionary Award to Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day”), and the Award for Creative excellence to VFX supervisor Sheena Duggal (“Contact,” “Agent Carter”).

The nominees for the 18th Annual VES Awards in 25 categories are as follow:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

“Alita: Battle Angel”
Richard Hollander
Kevin Sherwood
Eric Saindon
Richard Baneham
Bob Trevino

“Avengers: Endgame”
Daniel DeLeeuw
Jen Underdahl
Russell Earl
Matt Aitken
Daniel Sudick

“Gemini Man”
Bill Westenhofer
Karen Murphy-Mundell
Guy Williams
Sheldon Stopsack
Mark Hawker

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
Roger Guyett
Stacy Bissell
Patrick Tubach
Neal Scanlan
Dominic Tuohy

“The Lion King”
Robert Legato
Tom Peitzman
Adam Valdez
Andrew R. Jones

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

“1917”
Guillaume Rocheron
Sona Pak
Greg Butler
Vijay Selvam
Dominic Tuohy

“Ford v Ferrari”
Olivier Dumont
Kathy Siegel
Dave Morley
Malte Sarnes
Mark Byers

“Joker”
Edwin Rivera
Brice Parker
Mathew Giampa
Bryan Godwin
Jeff Brink

“The Aeronauts”
Louis Morin
Annie Godin
Christian Kaestner
Ara Khanikian
Mike Dawson

“The Irishman”
Pablo Helman
Mitch Ferm
Jill Brooks
Leandro Estebecorena
Jeff Brink

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

“Frozen 2”
Steve Goldberg
Peter Del Vecho
Mark Hammel
Michael Giaimo

“Klaus”
Sergio Pablos
Matthew Teevan
Marcin Jakubowski
Szymon Biernacki

“Missing Link”
Brad Schiff
Travis KnightSteve Emerson
Benoit Dubuc

“The LEGO Movie 2”
David Burgess
Tim Smith
Mark Theriault
John Rix

“Toy Story 4”
Josh Cooley
Mark Nielsen
Bob Moyer
Gary Bruins

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

“Game of Thrones”; The Bells
Joe Bauer
Steve Kullback
Ted Rae
Mohsen Mousavi
Sam Conway

“His Dark Materials”; The Fight to the Death
Russell Dodgson
James Whitlam
Shawn Hillier
Robert Harrington

“Lady and the Tramp”
Robert Weaver
Christopher Raimo
Arslan Elver
Michael Cozens
Bruno Van Zeebroeck

“Lost in Space” – Episode: Ninety-Seven
Jabbar Raisani
Terron Pratt
Niklas Jacobson
Juri Stanossek
Paul Benjamin

“Stranger Things” – Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum
Paul Graff
Tom Ford
Michael Maher Jr.
Martin Pelletier
Andy Sowers

“The Mandalorian”; The Child
Richard Bluff
Abbigail Keller
Jason Porter
Hayden Jones
Roy Cancinon

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

“Chernobyl”; 1:23:45
Max Dennison
Lindsay McFarlane
Clare Cheetham
Paul Jones
Claudius Christian Rauch

“Living With Yourself”; Nice Knowing You
Jay Worth
Jacqueline VandenBussche
Chris Wright
Tristan Zerafa

“See”; Godflame
Adrian de Wet
Eve Fizzinoglia
Matthew Welford
Pedro Sabrosa
Tom Blacklock

“The Crown”; Aberfan
Ben Turner
Reece Ewing
David Fleet
Jonathan Wood

“Vikings”; What Happens in the Cave
Dominic Remane
Mike Borrett
Ovidiu Cinazan
Tom Morrison
Paul Byrne

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

“Call of Duty Modern Warfare”
Charles Chabert
Chris Parise
Attila Zalanyi
Patrick Hagar

“Control”
Janne Pulkkinen
Elmeri Raitanen
Matti Hämäläinen
James Tottman

“Gears 5”
Aryan Hanbeck
Laura Kippax
Greg Mitchell
Stu Maxwell

“Myth: A Frozen Tale”
Jeff Gipson
Nicholas Russell
Brittney Lee
Jose Luis Gomez Diaz

“Vader Immortal”: Episode I
Ben Snow
Mike Doran
Aaron McBride
Steve Henricks

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

“Anthem Conviction”
Viktor Muller
Lenka Likarova
Chris Harvey
Petr Marek

“BMW Legend”
Michael Gregory
Christian Downes
Tim Kafka
Toya Drechsler

“Hennessy: The Seven Worlds”
Carsten Keller
Selcuk Ergen
Kiril Mirkov
William Laban

“PlayStation: Feel The Power of Pro”
Sam Driscoll
Clare Melia
Gary Driver
Stefan Susemihl

“Purdey’s: Hummingbird”
Jules Janaud
Emma Cook
Matthew Thomas
Philip Child

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

“Avengers: Damage Control”
Michael Koperwas
Shereif Fattouh
Ian Bowie
Kishore Vijay
Curtis Hickman

“Jurassic World: The Ride”
Hayden Landis
Friend Wells
Heath Kraynak
Ellen Coss

“Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run”
Asa Kalama
Rob Huebner
Khatsho Orfali
Susan Greenhow

“Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance”
Jason Bayever
Patrick Kearney
Carol Norton
Bill George

“Universal Sphere”
James Healy
Morgan MacCuish
Ben West
Charlie Bayliss

Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature

“Alita: Battle Angel”; Alita
Michael Cozens
Mark Haenga
Olivier Lesaint
Dejan Momcilovic

“Avengers: Endgame”; Smart Hulk
Kevin Martel
Ebrahim Jahromi
Sven Jensen
Robert Allman

“Gemini Man”; Junior
Paul Story
Stuart Adcock
Emiliano Padovani
Marco Revelant

“The Lion King”; Scar
Gabriel Arnold
James Hood
Julia Friedl
Daniel Fortheringham

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature

“Frozen 2”; The Water Nøkk
Svetla Radivoeva
Marc Bryant
Richard E. Lehmann
Cameron Black

“Klaus”; Jesper
Yoshimishi Tamura
Alfredo Cassano
Maxime Delalande
Jason Schwartzman

“Missing Link”; Susan
Rachelle Lambden
Brenda Baumgarten
Morgan Hay
Benoit Dubuc

“Toy Story 4”; Bo Peep
Radford Hurn
Tanja Krampfert
George Nguyen
Becki Rocha Tower

Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project

“Lady and the Tramp”; Tramp
Thiago Martins
Arslan Elver
Stanislas Paillereau
Martine Chartrand

“Stranger Things 3”; Tom/Bruce Monster
Joseph Dubé-Arsenault
Antoine Barthod
Frederick Gagnon
Xavier Lafarge

“The Mandalorian”; The Child; Mudhorn
Terry Bannon
Rudy Massar
Hugo Leygnac

“The Mandalorian”; Pilot; Pogo
Aidan Martin
Craig Young
Olivier Beierlein
Laurent Herveic

Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial

“Apex Legends”; Meltdown; Mirage
Chris Bayol
John Fielding
Derrick Sesson
Nole Murphy

“Churchill”; Churchie
Martino Madeddu
Philippe Moine
Clement Granjon
Jon Wood

“Cyberpunk 2077”; Dex
Jonas Ekman
Jonas Skoog
Marek Madej
Grzegorz Chojnacki

“John Lewis; Excitable Edgar”; Edgar
Tim van Hussen
Diarmid Harrison-Murray
Amir Bazzazi
Michael Diprose

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

“Aladdin”; Agrabah
Daniel Schmid
Falk Boje
Stanislaw Marek
Kevin George

“Alita: Battle Angel”; Iron City
John Stevenson-Galvin
Ryan Arcus
Mathias Larserud
Mark Tait

“Motherless Brooklyn”; Penn Station
John Bair
Vance Miller
Sebastian Romero
Steve Sullivan

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”; Pasaana Desert
Daniele Bigi
Steve Hardy
John Seru
Steven Denyer

“The Lion King”; The Pridelands
Marco Rolandi
Luca Bonatti
Jules Bodenstein
Filippo Preti

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

“Frozen 2”; Giants’ Gorge
Samy Segura
Jay V. Jackson
Justin Cram
Scott Townsend

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”; The Hidden World
Chris Grun
Ronnie Cleland
Ariel Chisholm
Philippe Brochu

“Missing Link”; Passage to India Jungle
Oliver Jones
Phil Brotherton
Nick Mariana
Ralph Procida

“Toy Story 4”; Antiques Mall
Hosuk Chang
Andrew Finley
Alison Leaf
Philip Shoebottom

Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

“Game of Thrones”; The Iron Throne; Red Keep Plaza
Carlos Patrick DeLeon
Alonso Bocanegra Martinez
Marcela Silva
Benjamin Ross

“Lost in Space”; Precipice; The Trench
Philip Engström
Benjamin Bernon
Martin Bergquist
Xuan Prada

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance”; The Endless Forest
Sulé Bryan
Charles Chorein
Christian Waite
Martyn Hawkins

“The Mandalorian”; Nevarro Town
Alex Murtaza
Yanick Gaudreau
Marco Tremblay
Maryse Bouchard

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project

“Alita: Battle Angel”
Emile Ghorayeb
Simon Jung
Nick Epstein
Mike Perry

“The Lion King”
Robert Legato
Caleb Deschanel
Ben Grossmann
AJ Sciutto

“The Mandalorian”; The Prisoner; The Roost
Richard Bluff
Jason Porter
Landis Fields IV
Baz Idione

“Toy Story 4”
Jean-Claude Kalache
Patrick Lin

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

“Lost in Space” The Resolute
Xuan Prada
Jason Martin
Jonathan Vårdstedt
Eric Andersson

“Missing Link”; The Manchuria
Todd Alan Harvey
Dan Casey
Katy Hughes

“The Man in the High Castle”; Rocket Train
Neil Taylor
Casi Blume
Ben McDougal
Chris Kuhn

“The Mandalorian”; The Sin; The Razorcrest
Doug Chiang
Jay Machado
John Goodson
Landis Fields IV

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

“Dumbo”; Bubble Elephants
Sam Hancock
Victor Glushchenko
Andrew Savchenko
Arthur Moody

“Spider-Man: Far From Home”; Molten Man
Adam Gailey
Jacob Santamaria
Jacob Clark
Stephanie Molk

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
Don Wong
Thibault Gauriau
Goncalo Cababca
Francois-Maxence Desplanques

“The Lion King”
David Schneider
Samantha Hiscock
Andy Feery
Kostas Strevlos

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

“Abominable”
Alex Timchenko
Domin Lee
Michael Losure
Eric Warren

“Frozen 2”
Erin V. Ramos
Scott Townsend
Thomas Wickes
Rattanin Sirinaruemarn

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”; Water and Waterfalls
Derek Cheung
Baptiste Van Opstal
Youxi Woo
Jason Mayer

“Toy Story 4”
Alexis Angelidis
Amit Baadkar
Lyon Liew
Michael Lorenzen

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

“Game of Thrones”; The Bells
Marcel Kern
Paul Fuller
Ryo Sakaguchi
Thomas Hartmann

“Hennessy: The Seven Worlds”
Selcuk Ergen
Radu Ciubotariu
Andreu Lucio
Vincent Ullmann

“Lost in Space”; Precipice; Water Planet
Juri Bryan
Hugo Medda
Kristian Olsson
John Perrigo

“Stranger Things 3”; Melting Tom/Bruce
Nathan Arbuckle
Christian Gaumond
James Dong
Aleksandr Starkov

“The Mandalorian”; The Child; Mudhorn
Xavier Martin Ramirez
Ian Baxter
Fabio Siino
Andrea Rosa

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature

“Alita: Battle Angel”
Adam Bradley
Carlo Scaduto
Hirofumi Takeda
Ben Roberts

“Avengers: Endgame”
Tim Walker
Blake Winder
Tobias Wiesner
Joerg Bruemmer

“Captain Marvel”; Young Nick Fury
Trent Claus
David Moreno Hernandez
Jeremiah Sweeney
Yuki Uehara

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
Jeff Sutherland
John Galloway
Sam Bassett
Charles Lai

“The Irishman”
Nelson Sepulveda
Vincent Papaix
Benjamin O’Brien
Christopher Doerhoff

Outstanding Compositing in an Episode

“Game of Thrones”; The Bells
Sean Heuston
Scott Joseph
James Elster
Corinne Teo

“Game of Thrones”; The Long Night; Dragon Ground Battle
Mark Richardson
Darren Christie
Nathan Abbott
Owen Longstaff

“Stranger Things 3”; Starcourt Mall Battle
Simon Lehembre
Andrew Kowbell
Karim El-Masry
Miklos Mesterhazy

“Watchmen”; Pilot; Looking Glass
Nathaniel Larouche
Iyi Tubi
Perunika Yorgova
Mitchell Beaton

Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial

“BMW Legend”
Toya Drechsler
Vivek Tekale
Guillaume Weiss
Alexander Kulikov

“Feeding America”; I Am Hunger in America
Dan Giraldo
Marcelo Pasqualino
Alexander Koester

“Hennessy; The Seven Worlds”
Rod Norman
Guillaume Weiss
Alexander Kulikov
Alessandro Granella

“PlayStation: Feel the Power of Pro”
Gary Driver
Stefan Susemihl
Greg Spencer
Theajo Dharan

Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project

“Aladdin”; Magic Carpet
Mark Holt
Jay Mallet
Will Wyatt
Dickon Mitchell

“Game of Thrones”; The Bells
Sam Conway
Terry Palmer
Laurence Harvey
Alastair Vardy

“Terminator: Dark Fate”
Neil Corbould
David Brighton
Ray Ferguson
Keith Dawson

“The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance”; She Knows All the Secrets
Sean Mathiesen
Jon Savage
Toby Froud
Phil Harvey

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

“Downfall”
Matias Heker
Stephen Moroz
Bradley Cocksedge

“Love and Fifty Megatons”
Denis Krez
Josephine Roß
Paulo Scatena
Lukas Löffler

“Oeil Pour Oeil”
Alan Guimont
Thomas Boileau
Malcom Hunt
Robin Courtoise

“The Beauty”
Marc Angele
Aleksandra Todorovic
Pascal Schelbli
Noel Winzen