×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jeffrey Katzenberg Receives Annecy’s First – and Surprise – Golden Ticket Award

Surprise prize awarded for Katzenberg’s ‘legendary’ animation track-record

A surprised but moved Jeffrey Katzenberg received the Annecy Festival’s first Golden Ticket Award on Wednesday in recognition of his services to animation. The honor had been kept secret from Katzenberg, who is at Annecy to support a strong DreamWorks Animation presence.

A lifelong supporter of Annecy, Katzenberg’s Golden Ticket now gives him a lifelong pass to the Festival. The surprise presentation took place at the end of a keynote masterclass by Guillermo del Toro, who spent much of its second part talking with Katzenberg about DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming family series “Trollhunters” before a standing-room-only audience in Annecy’s central theater, the 1,000-seat Grande Salle Bonnie.

“This is a set-up,” Katzenberg joked, as Annecy Fest artistic director Marcel Jean came on stage to ask what his career highlights had been so far and as a show-reel featuring DreamWorks and Disney animated films and talking heads such as Steven Spielberg began to play on a big screen.

After a standing ovation, Katzenberg recounted how, in 1984, on his first day at Disney as head of Walt Disney Studios, he had a meeting with CEO Michael Eisner in the office once occupied by Walt Disney. At its end, Eisner motioned him over to the window and pointed to a building across the street. “That’s where they make the animated movies. It’s also your problem,” Katzenberg recalled Eisner telling him.

Despite being neither a student nor fan of animated films at the time, Katzenberg said, animation became “my passion and love,” yielding “30-something years of incredible happiness and joy.”

“Not only has Jeffrey been a longtime collaborator and supporter of all of us here in Annecy, his track-record in animation is nothing short of legendary,” Jean said in a statement.

He added: “From reviving the industry with such critically acclaimed films like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Lion King,’ to launching DreamWorks Animation and giving us such memorable characters in films like ‘Shrek,’ ‘Madagascar,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ there is no one more deserving of lifetime pass to our festival.”

The award comes less than two months after Comcast’s NBCUniversal confirmed its purchase of DreamWorks Animation, the company that Katzenberg launched in 1994 and that’s now often mentioned in the same breath as Disney or Pixar.

Under the Comcast purchase terms, Katzenberg will now segue from his position as head of DreamWorks Animation to head up a newly created division, DreamWorks New Media, made up of Awesomeness TV and Nova.

But it remains to be seen whether Katzenberg will ever sever completely his connections with the animation world.

More Film

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho reacts after winning the

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    CANNES — The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu announcing the group’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his sly, politically charged “Parasite.” Following last year’s win for humanistic Japanese drama “Shoplifters,” the well-reviewed Asian thriller represents the yin [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

  • Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The 10 Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The Cannes Film Festival is too rich an event to truly have an “off” year, but by the end of the 72nd edition, it was more or less universally acknowledged that the festival had regained a full-on, holy-moutaintop-of-art luster that was a bit lacking the year before. It helps, of course, to have headline-making movies [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Soaring to $100 Million-Plus Memorial Day Weekend Debut

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake is on its way to a commendable Memorial Day weekend debut with an estimated $109 million over the four-day period. The musical fantasy starring Will Smith and Mena Massoud should uncover about $87 million in its first three days from 4,476 North American theaters after taking in $31 million on Friday. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content