Annecy: Aardman Takes MIFA and Variety’s 2016 Animation Personality of the Year Award

Aardman’s Peter Lord and David Sproxton accepted the plaudit with good humor and typical modesty

ANNECY — As Aardman Animations gears up to shoot “Early Man,” one of the biggest animated features coming out of Europe, co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton accepted MIFA and Variety’s second Animation Personality of the Year Award at a ceremony June 15 at the Annecy Festival. The occasion was inevitably laced, the awardees being Aardman, with a large dose of humour. They followed in the footsteps of Chris Meledandri and Illumination Entertainment, the 2015 winners of the plaudit.

Mickael Marin, head of Annecy’s MIFA’s market, and Peter Debruge, Variety’s Chief Film Critic,  presented the award, with Debruge delivering what he termed a personal reflection. It will however resonate with many film lovers.

“We all grew up loving animated movies, Disney movies, whatever, but Aardman, which I discovered at junior high, bridged the gap and gave me permission to love animation all my life.”

Since then, Debruge added, “this tiny group of creative, nutty guys have conquered the world, and we’ve seen this not just in feature films but TV and advertising.”

Netting $106.8 million back in 2000, Aardman’s “Chicken Run” indeed remains one of the highest, if not the highest-grossing of European animation productions in the U.S. Nearer the present,  Aardman produced two of the four biggest European animation hits in Europe over 2010-14: “Arthur Christmas” and “The Pirates: Band of Misfits.”

“There are few companies in Europe which have created movies where all generations can have fun and Aardman is one of them,” Marin opined.

40 years in the business, Aardman has always, however, worn its greatness lightly It was most certainly not going to change when accepting the Mifa-Variety 2016 Animation Personality of the Year Award.

“The prize says ‘Personality of the Year’ and my theory is this should go to Aardman himself,” Lord said of the hopeless hero of the company’s very first movie. He added: “In the world of animation, you don’t get many big egos, outrageously colourful personalities, you get many decent, hardworking people who love what they do. This award isn’t just about Dave and me – though obviously we are pretty spectacular.”

“It’s all about the staff we have at Aardman. The Award should say ‘Personalties’ to recognize all the hard work all our people do back in Bristol. Thank you hugely,” Sproxton concluded.

More Digital

  • Ryan Chanantry - Topic SVOD

    First Look Media's Topic Plans to Launch Subscription VOD Service (EXCLUSIVE)

    Can Topic execute a solid pivot into premium video? The digital storytelling outlet of Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media thinks it can put together a niche Netflix-style subscription-video service curated to appeal to young “culture cravers.” Topic plans to launch the subscription VOD service in the fourth quarter of 2019, stocked with hundreds of hours [...]

  • Dan Ahdoot

    This New Podcast Lets You Take a Peek Into Celebrities' Fridges (EXCLUSIVE)

    Comedian Dan Ahdoot wants to show you a side of celebrities you haven’t seen before — which is why he is having them open up their fridges. Anyone appearing on Ahdoot’s new podcast “Green Eggs & Dan,” which was launched by the podcast network Podglomerate Wednesday, has to bring along a photo of the inside [...]

  • Spotify-Disney

    Spotify Pacts With Disney to Launch Hub With Music From Movies, TV Shows

    Fans of Disney movies and TV shows can now dive into a dedicated music hub on Spotify, featuring seven playlist sections with top hits from Disney animated favorites and music from Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films. Disney’s No. 1 most-streamed song on Spotify is “Let It Go” from the “Frozen” soundtrack, followed by “Moana”’s [...]

  • La Linea Invisible

    Mariano Barroso Shoots Basque Conflict Origins Story ‘La Linea Invisible’

    IRUN, Spain  — When- and why – do people begin to kill for a cause? Having created “What the Future Holds,” maybe the best reviewed to date of any Movistar + Original Series, Spain’s Mariano Barroso (“The Wolves of Washington”) tackles this question head on in “La Línea Invisible,” a six-part series, again from Movistar [...]

  • The Lion King

    ‘The Lion King’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Walt Disney Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Lion King.” Ads placed for the remake had an estimated media value of $5.64 million through Sunday for 1,290 national ad airings on [...]

  • Apple Plans to Fund Podcast Exclusives:

    Apple Reportedly Plans to Fund Original Podcasts

    Apple has plans to open its checkbooks for podcasts that would be exclusive to its podcasting apps, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The investments would help the company defend its market leadership in an increasingly crowded field, and fend off competitors like Spotify, Pandora and Luminary. News of the plans sent Spotify’s stock down more than 3%; [...]

  • LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet

    LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet Dermot McCormack President

    Live entertainment digital media company LiveXLive Media today announced that AOL and MTV veteran Dermot McCormack has been named president of the company. According to the announcement, McCormack will lead the business and creative operations of LiveXLive, effective immediately. McCormack previously served as AOL’s Global President of Video and Studios, where he oversaw the video [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content