You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

DreamWorks dominates Annie Awards

Company wins most categories, including top feature

Considering its whopping 39 nominations, it was no surprise that DreamWorks Animation dominated Saturday’s Annie Awards, winning in almost every category in which it was nommed, including top feature honors for “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Would the outcome have been different if Disney-Pixar hadn’t pulled out of ASIFA-Hollywood, the org that sponsors the annual kudos for the animation industry? We’ll never know. But the absence of Disney and Pixar was the elephant in the room as host Tom Kenny (voice of Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants”) joked about the event’s belt-tightening measures and new “sponsors” (“Cell Taco,” for one).

So far this awards season, “Toy Story 3” has won the Golden Globe for animated feature, a Producers Guild Award and numerous critics awards. It has amassed more that $1 billion worldwide at the box office. It did receive Annie noms for pic, helmer Lee Unkrich and writer Michael Arndt but was shut out by the DreamWorks Animation juggernaut.

Popular on Variety

But “Dragon” is coming off a winning weekend at the Visual Effects Society’s kudos, picking up the trophy for animation in an animated feature, animated character (Toothless) and effects animation in an animated feature.

Disney and Pixar didn’t come away empty-handed. Pixar’s 3D short “Day and Night” won for short subject (veteran broadcaster Tom Hatten accepted on behalf of the filmmakers), and Ryan Page picked up a trophy for character animation in a live-action production for his work in Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.”

Also, Disney’s veteran animator Eric Goldberg was on hand as one of three recipients of the Winsor McCay Award for career contributions to the art of animation, along with “The Simpsons” and “Futurama” creator Matt Groening. Third honoree, Brad Bird, helmer of “The Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille,” was filming the live-action “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” butsent a video from the set that featured cameos from stars Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg.

DreamWorks Animation ended up with 15 Annie Awards, 10 for “How to Train Your Dragon” and five for its television production “Kung Fu Panda Holiday.”

In addition to best pic, “Dragon” picked up nods for helmers Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, animated effects, character animation, character design, music, production design, storyboarding, voice acting for Jay Baruchel and writing.

“Kung Fu Panda Holiday” was named the top TV production and racked up trophies for character animation, direction, production design and voice acting for James Hong.

Disney withdrew its support from ASIFA and the Annie Awards in August over the org’s judging practices. Its displeasure stemmed from the fact that ASIFA membership is open to anyone, not just industry professionals, much like Film Independent, whose paying members vote for the Spirit Awards.

ASIFA made some tweaks to its judging last year, limiting voting in individual achievement categories to animation pros, and has made significant changes this year so that non-pros aren’t able to vote in any category. Those changes didn’t satisfy Disney, which wanted an advisory committee made up of reps from each studio to recommend rule changes to the ASIFA board.

Following is a complete list of winners:

Feature: “How to Train Your Dragon” — DreamWorks Animation

Short subject: “Day & Night” — Pixar

Television commercial: “Children’s Medical Center” — DUCK Studios

Television production: “Kung Fu Panda Holiay” — DreamWorks Animation

Television production for children: “SpongeBob SquarePants” — Nickelodeon

Videogame: “Limbo” — Playdead

Animated effects in a feature: Brett Miller, “How to Train Your Dragon”

Character animation in a TV production: David Pate, “Kung Fu Panda Holiday”

Character animation in a feature: Gabe Hordos, “How to Train Your Dragon”

Character animation in a live-action production: Ryan Page, “Alice in Wonderland” — Disney

Character design in a TV production: Ernie Gilbert, “T.U.F.F. Puppy” — Nickelodeon

Character design in a feature: Nico Marlet, “How to Train Your Dragon”

Directing in a TV production: Tim Johnson, “Kung Fu Panda Holiday”

Directing in a feature: Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, “How to Train Your Dragon”

Music in a TV production: Jeremy Wakefield, Sage Guyton, Nick Carr and Tuck Tucker, “SpongeBob SquarePant”

Music in a feature: John Powell, “How to Train Your Dragon”

Production design in a TV production: “Richie Sacilioc, “Kung Fu Panda Holiday”

Production design in a feature: Pierre Olivier Vincent, “How to Train Your Dragon”

Storyboarding in a TV production: Fred Gonzales, “T.U.F.F. Puppy”

Storyboarding in a feature: Tom Owens, “How to Train Your Dragon”

Voice acting in a TV production: James Hong, “Kung Fu Panda Holiday”

Voice acting in a feature: Jay Baruchel, “How to Train Your Dragon”

Writing in a TV production: Geoff Johns, Matthew Beans, Zeb Wells, Hugh Sterbakov, Matthew Senreich, Breckin Meyer, Seth Green, Mike Fasolo, Douglas Goldstein, Tom Root, Dan Milano, Kevin Shinick & Hugh Davidson, “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III,” Shadow Machine

Writing in a feature: William Davies, Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, “How to Train Your Dragon”


Winsor McCay Award: Brad Bird, Eric Goldberg, Matt Groening

June Foray Award: Ross Iwamoto

Ub Iwerks Award: Autodesk

Special Achievement: “Waking Sleeping Beauty”

More Scene

  • Peter Caranicas

    Variety's Peter Caranicas Honored With the Inaugural HPA Legacy Award

    Peter Caranicas, Variety managing editor, features, was honored with the inaugural Hollywood Professional Assn. Legacy Award at the organization’s 14th annual gala at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Caranicas joined Variety as features managing editor in 2008, and currently serves as both deputy editor and managing editor, features. He has developed the editorial franchises Dealmakers [...]

  • Diane Lane Jane Fonda Piper Perabo

    Diane Lane, Piper Perabo Arrested at Jane Fonda's Weekly Climate Change Protest

    Jane Fonda’s weekly Fire Drill Fridays protest to urge government officials to seriously consider the impact of climate change saw a number of celebrities this week, with Diane Lane, Piper Perabo and model Amber Valletta among those arrested. This week, Fonda avoided arrest at the Capitol. “The Good Place” star Manny Jacinto also participated in [...]

  • Lily Tomlin Paley Honors

    Lily Tomlin Shares How She Wants 'Grace and Frankie' to End

    Lily Tomlin knows that all good things must come to an end. It was announced a few months ago that “Grace and Frankie” will bow out after Season 7 on Netflix, and on Thursday night, Tomlin shared how she would like the series to end, saying that she envisions herself and Jane Fonda “going out [...]

  • Laverne Cox Charlie's Angels

    How Laverne Cox Landed a Cameo in Elizabeth Banks' 'Charlie’s Angels'

    Laverne Cox officially earned her wings, scoring a role in Sony’s “Charlie’s Angels.” But she revealed her cameo almost didn’t happen. When the Emmy-nominee heard that Elizabeth Banks was directing the film, the longtime fan of the franchise (and of Banks herself) reached out about being part of the project. Cox had previously worked with [...]

  • Lena Waithe'The Inheritance' Broadway play opening,

    Lena Waithe, Anderson Cooper Attend Broadway Opening of 'The Inheritance'

    “The Inheritance” pulls viewers in many directions — toward pain and hope, trauma and healing. It’s what brought stars like Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and Lena Waithe to Broadway on Sunday — a chance to heal, to remember and grieve. Also in attendance for the premiere at the Barrymore Theater [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content