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‘The Mitchells vs. The Machines’ Leads 49th Annie Awards with Eight Wins; ‘Flee’ Takes Indie Prize

Netflix's acclaimed "Arcane" topped the TV categories with nine awards.

The Mitchells vs. The Machines Netflix

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines”

©2021 SPAI. All Rights Reserved.

Animation

Sony Animation/Netflix’s innovative, 2D-inspired “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” led the 49th annual Annie Awards Saturday with eight wins, including best feature, direction and writing (Mike Rianda, Jeff Rowe), character design, production design, editorial, FX, and voice acting (Abbie Jacobson as Katie). ASIFA-Hollywood’s animation version of the Oscars was held virtually at UCLA’s Royce Hall for the second consecutive year because of the pandemic.

Disney’s Oscar frontrunner, “Encanto,” the animated musical set in Colombia, followed with three awards for character animation, music (score by Oscar nominee Germaine Franco, song by Lin-Manuel Miranda), and storyboarding. It went into the awards ceremony with nine noms. Disney’s other Oscar contender, “Raya and the Last Dragon,” however, was shut out after leading the pack with 10 noms, as was Pixar’s “Luca,” which had eight noms.

Meanwhile, the Oscar-nominated animated doc, “Flee,” the Afghan refugee drama from Danish director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, earned best indie feature honors. Additionally, live-action character animation went to Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (handled by WetaFX).

Best short went to Oscar nominee “Bestia” (Chile), the chilling stop-motion drama by Hugo Covarrubias about the inner life of a woman who trains dogs for torture during the Chilean military dictatorship of the ’70s. Special presentation was won by “Namoo,” the very personal virtual reality experience from Korean director Erick Oh and Baobab Studios. It’s a 2D work capturing the beautiful and heartbreaking moments of a painter’s life, constructed around a symbolic tree.

In terms of the Oscar race, the Annies are usually a good barometer, forecasting six of the last nine winners. However, “Encanto,” led by Oscar-winning “Zootopia” co-directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush, and co-director Charise Castro Smith, has garnered too much adulation and buzz to be denied this late in the season. It’s also bostered by additional Oscar noms for Miranda’s original song (“Dos Oruguitas”) and Franco’s score (she’s the first Latina and first woman at Disney feature animation to land in the category).

FLEE, Amin (right), 2021. © Neon /Courtesy Everett Collection

“Flee”

Courtesy Everett Collection

Yet the Annies showing for “The Mitchells” is impressive, proving just how much it has wowed the animation community. Oscar-winning producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”) shepherded newbie director Rianda’s wild, hand-made vision about a wacky family fighting the robot apocalypse. At the same time, Sony Pictures Imageworks upped its innovative tech to make a moving illustrated book, divided between the organic imperfections of the human world and the slick, sharpness of the robot world.

On the TV side, Netflix’s acclaimed “Arcane” animated action series, created by Christian Linke and Alex Yee, based on the “League of Legends” video game franchise, topped everything with nine wins, including best general audience, direction, writing, character animation, character design, production design, FX, storyboarding, and voice acting (Ella Purnell as Jinx).

The Winsor McCay Award for career contributions to the art of animation are being presented to Ruben Aquino, legendary Disney animator; Lillian Schwartz, computer animation pioneer; and Toshio Suzuki, prolific Studio Ghibli producer.

"Encanto"

“Encanto”

Disney

The June Foray Award for significant and benevolent or charitable impact will be awarded to Renzo & Sayoko Kinoshita, influential animation filmmakers and founders of the Hiroshima International Animation Festival.

The Ub Iwerks Award for technical advancement will be presented to Python Foundation, promoting, protecting, and advancing the open-source Python programming language, and facilitating the growth of the diverse Python community; and The Special Achievement Award recognizing unique and outstanding achievement not recognized within the existing award category structure will be presented to Glen Vilppu, artist and author internationally known for teaching and training animation professionals. The Certificate of Merit for service to the art and industry will be presented to Evan Vernon.

The complete list of Annie winners as follows:

Best Feature

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix

Best Indie Feature

“Flee,” Final Cut For Real, Sun Creature, Vivement Lundi !, MostFilm, Mer Film, VICE, Left HandFilms, Participant

Best Special Production

“Namoo,” Baobab Studios

Best Short Subject

“Bestia,” Trebol 3 Producciones, MALEZA Estudio

Best Sponsored

“A Future Begins,” Nexus Studios

Best TV/Media – Preschool

“Ada Twist,” Scientist Episode: Twelve Angry Birds, Laughing Wild, Higher Ground Productions, Wonder Worldwide, Netflix

Best TV/Media – Children

“Maya and the Three” Episode: The Sun and the Moon, A Netflix Series

Best TV/Media – General Audience

“Arcane” Episode: When These Walls Come Tumbling Down, A Riot Games and Fortiche Production for Netflix

Best Student Film

“Night of the Living Dread”
Student director: Ida Melum
Student producer: Danielle Goff
School: National Film and Television School, UK

Best FX – TV/Media

“Arcane”
Episode: Oil and Water
Guillaume Degroote, Frederic Macé, Jérôme Dupré, Aurélien Ressencourt, Martin Touzé
A Riot Games and Fortiche Production for Netflix
FX Production Company: Fortiche Productions

Best FX – Feature

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix
FX Production Company: Sony Pictures Imageworks

Best Character Animation – TV/Media

“Arcane”
Episode: The Monster You Created, A Riot Games and Fortiche Production for Netflix
Lea Chervet

Best Character Animation – Feature

“Encanto,” Walt Disney Animation Studios
Dave Hardin

Best Character Animation – Live Action

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”
Production Company: Marvel Entertainment
FX Production Company:
Weta Digital
Karl Rapley, Sebastian Trujillo, Richard John Moore, Merlin Bela, Wassilij Maertz, Pascal Raimbault

Best Character Animation – Video Game

“Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart,” Insomniac Games

Best Character Design – TV/Media

“Arcane”
Episode: Some Mysteries Better Left Unsolved
A Riot Games and Fortiche Production for Netflix
Evan Monteiro

Best Character Design – Feature

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix
Lindsey Olivares

Best Direction – TV/ Media

“Arcane”
Episode: The Monster You Created, A Riot Games and Fortiche Production for Netflix
Pascal Charue, Arnaud Delord, Barthelemy Maunoury

Best Direction – Feature

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix
Mike Rianda,
Jeff Rowe

Best Music – TV/ Media

“Maya and the Three” Episode: The Sun and the Moon,
A Netflix Series
Tim Davies, Gustavo Santaolalla

Best Music – Feature

“Encanto,” Walt Disney Animation Studios
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Germaine Franco

Best Production Design – TV/Media

“Arcane”
Episode: Happy Progress Day!
A Riot Games and Fortiche Production for Netflix
Julien Gorgel, Aymeric Kevin, Arnaud Baudry

Best Production Design – Feature

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix
Lindsey Olivares, Toby Wilson, Dave Bleich

Best Storyboarding – TV/Media

“Arcane”
Episode: When These Walls Come Tumbling Down
A Riot Games and Fortiche Production for Netflix
Simon Andriveau

Best Storyboarding – Feature

“Encanto,” Walt Disney Animation Studios
Jason Hand

Best Voice Acting – TV/Media

“Arcane”
Episode: When These Walls Come Tumbling Down
A Riot Games and Fortiche Production for Netflix
Ella Purnell

Best Voice Acting – Feature

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix
Abbi Jacobson

Best Writing – TV/ Media

“Arcane”
Episode: The Monster You Created, A Riot Games and Fortiche Production for Netflix
Christian Linke, Alex Yee

Best Writing – Feature

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix
Mike Rianda, Jeff Rowe

Best Editorial – TV/ Media

“What If…?”
Episode: What If…Ultron Won?
Marvel Studios
Joel Fisher, Graham Fisher, Sharia Davis, Basuki Juwono, Adam Spieckerman

Best Editorial – Feature

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix
Greg Levitan, Collin Wightman, T.J. Young, Tony Ferdinand, Bret Allen

 

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