Your humble ed-otter was pleased and proud to attend the 2012 presentation of the Annie Awards for 2011, which took place at UCLA on Saturday the 4th. The Annie Awards are the “Oscars” of the animation industry, presented every year by the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA). It was a busy year for the awards, with many of the numerous categories having up to 10 nominees. And of course, entries with an interest for furry fans were well-represented. The big winner of the evening was clearly Rango, with five wins including the big one, Best Animated Feature. It also won for Writing, Character Design, and Editing, as well as the new Members’ Favorite category (the single category voted on by all ASIFA members, regardless of their professional or fan status).
Interestingly, it was not a complete Rango sweep, as Rio won for Character Animation (by Jeff Gabor) while Kung Fu Panda 2 won for Production Design, and Best Director (Jennifer Yuh Nelson). Secrets of the Masters, the back-up short included on the Kung Fu Panda 2 DVD, also won for Best Animated Special Production (which honors OVA’s and direct-to-DVD projects). Disney’s 2D Winnie the Pooh also racked up one win, for Feature Film Storyboards by Jeremy Spears. The winner of Animation in a Live Action Production (a new category that was just introduced last year) was Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Minkyu Lee won Best Animated Short Subject for his 17 minute 2D film Adam and Dog.
At the 39th Annual Annie Awards, movies featuring anthropomorphic animal characters took many top awards.
Rango was the big winner, with four awards, including Best Animated Feature. The movie with the most nominations, Kung Fu Panda 2, only won two, but one of them was Best Director for first time theatrical director Jennifer Yuh Nelson.
Other such movies with wins include Rise of the Planet of the Apes, winning Character Animation (in a Live Action Feature), Winnie the Pooh, which won Storyboarding, and Rio, for Character Animation (in an Animated Feature).
Those who only know Underdog from the rather odd 2007 live-action movie, sorry you! Underdog was a hit animated TV series produced by Total Television (who were also responsible for Tennessee Tuxedo), starting in 1964 and running more than 120 episodes until 1973 (and in re-runs ever since). Now Shout Factory have released the complete original series on DVD for the first time, featuring all 124 episodes in a 9-disc box set. Watch as Shoeshine Boy and his super-powered alter ego, Underdog, battle the evil likes of Riff Raff and Simon Bar Sinister to protect his true love, Sweet Polly Purebread. The DVDs also include original episodes of the Underdog back-up shorts GoGo Gophers, Klondike Kat, and Commander McBrag. Check it out at Shout Factory’s web site.
Recommendations for the 2012 Reading List are now being accepted, although the 2012 List will not be posted on the UMA website until March 1, after the nominations for the 2011 Awards have closed. Voting on the 2011 Awards finalists will open on March 15.
All fans are invited to recommend what they feel are worthwhile anthropomorphic works in eleven categories (motion pictures, dramatic short films or broadcasts, novels, short fiction, other literary works, graphic stories, comic strips, magazines, published illustrations, games, and websites) first published during 2012. This List is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.
Well, at least the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino… We want to thank the folks at Cartoon Brew for turning us on to this new press release: “For generations of animation fans there is no greater legend than Chuck Jones. The creator of the famed Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for Warner Bros., Tom & Jerry cartoons, the TV version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and many other well-known classics, Jones was a pioneer in the art of animation and a fine artist in his own right. His life and legacy will be celebrated on January 19 with the official grand opening of The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus Las Vegas… The Chuck Jones Experience is a nearly 10,000-square-foot destination that provides kids and animation fans of all ages with an extraordinary place to not only learn about the art of animation, but to discover the creativity and magic that’s inside us all. Designed to ‘Educate, Inspire & Entertain’, The Chuck Jones Experience takes visitors on a unique journey through Jones’ life, engaging guests with interactive exhibits, displays and learning experiences along the way.
If you've been paying attention to the Recommended Anthropomorphics List, you might have noticed a movie called Leafie: A Hen into the Wild. Otherwise, you have probably never heard of it, unless you are one of Flayrah’s South Korean readers.
When I first saw Leafie's trailer, I was impressed with the animation and character design, and wondered how the movie would hold up. I was finally able to see the movie, and it is certainly one that furries should seek out.
Nominations are open for the 2011 Ursa Major Awards, intended to recognize the best works published in the field of anthropomorphics last year. Nominations close on February 29; voting starts March 15 and closes May 4 (to allow last-minute voting from Morphicon).
Furry fans may nominate up to five works in each category. The 2011 Awards will be announced and presented in a ceremony at CaliFur VIII in Irvine, CA, June 1–3, 2012.
Available awards include Best Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Work or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Story, Comic Strip, Magazine, Website, Published Illustration, and Game.
If you cannot think of five worthwhile nominees in each category, see the 2011 Recommended Anthropomorphics List on the Ursa Major Awards website for suggestions.
More from Cartoon Brew: They have a first look at Okami kodomo no ame to yuki, a new 2D anime feature directed by Mamoru Hosoda. The title translates as The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki. Here’s the basic press release: “From the director of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, the story of a college student named Hana who marries a ‘wolf man’ and gives birth to two wolf children. When the wolf man dies, Hana and the children move from the city to a quiet rural town.” The film is being distributed by TOHO Studios, and it’s set for release (at least in Japan) this July. There’s not much yet on the film’s web site (and what’s there is in Japanese), but they’ll add to it as the year goes along.
The Cartoon Brew website has just (2 January) posted an admittedly incomplete preview list of 19 animated feature-length films announced for release during 2012.
Many such as Madagascar 3, Ice Age: Continental Drift, and Norm of the North will feature anthropomorphized animals. However, Japanese film The Wolf Children, featuring two human-wolf hybrid children, sounds likely to especially appeal to Furry fans:
Okami kodomo no ame to yuki (The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki). From the director of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, the story of a college student named Hana who marries a “wolf man” and gives birth to two wolf children. When the wolf man dies, Hana and the children move from the city to a quiet rural town.
Long articles could be (and have been) written on the adventures of Donald and Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Gandy Goose and Homer Pigeon. In the last decade, most American propaganda cartoons have been re-released on DVD, so we can see them for ourselves; they are also on YouTube.
Volumes could also be written of the wartime funny-animal comic book and newspaper comic strip characters who fought the Axis, usually on the Home Front against saboteurs and hoarders. World War II's talking-animal propaganda novels are less well-known. In fact, they are forgotten today except in movie-adaptation credits. That’s too bad, as the books are still enjoyable reading.
The Annies announced their nominees earlier this month, so for once that award will be first up in the rundown. The last month has also been full to the brim with critic’s awards, which can influence the Academy.
The 2011 Recommended Anthropomorphics List will close on Sunday, January 15, giving fans just three weeks to recommend any titles released at the end of the year. Nominations for the 2011 Ursa Major Awards open on January 12 (the first day of Further Confusion 2012).
The Nut Job is a new CGI animated feature film that was announced in Animation Magazine’s 2012 calendar. It’s being produced by Toonbox Entertainment and Red Rover International, who are hoping to release it next summer. The director is Peter Lepeniotis, who first introduced his character Surly the Squirrel in a 2005 animated short film titled, appropriately, Surly Squirrel. In this new feature film, Surly and his rat buddy (named Buddy) must contend with a new group of rodents who invade their city park home. Not a lot to go on yet, but the film does have an entry up on IMDB, and Toonbox also has an web page for the project. Word is that The Nut Job may be developed into a TV series also.
In the “about bloody time” department: Word is out that Gon, the globally-popular manga by Tanaka Masashi, is finally being made into a CGI animated TV series. Gon, if you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know (or perhaps if he threw one on top of you) is a miniature dinosaur-like creature of tremendous speed and power. He lives in the animal world, and always seems to be getting into fights (comical, but still…) with other animals over simple matters like food and territory. Interestingly, this famous Japanese manga is being brought to television by an animation house in Korea, Daewon Media, with the help of the Japanese publishing house Kodansha. There’s a preview video up on YouTube which shows footage that was displayed recently at the TV trade show MIPCOM. The show is all set to premier in Japan and Europe early next year, with the rest of the world hopefully to follow soon after.