Two very different toon features come into the ASIFA-Hollywood ceremony tied with 10 nominations apiece. Disney/Pixar’s Soul and Apple Original Films/Gkids’ Wolfwalkers will face off against each other in eight of those races, with the former vying for Best Feature but the latter in the Indie Feature hunt.
The Pete Docter-directed Soul has been the darling of guild awards this season, winning animation prizes from the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and PGA, among others, but Wolfwalkers — a “relatively small European movie,” as the filmmakers described it — has held its own by winning more than a dozen awards from critics groups and from the likes of AFI Fest and National Board of Review.
Tonight, Soul will battle for Best Feature against another Pixar pic — Onward, which comes in with seven noms — along with Netflix’s The Willoughbys and a pair of DreamWorks Animation sequels: The Croods: A New Age and Trolls World Tour. Wolfwalkers, meanwhile, will battle A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Calamity Jane, On-Gaku: Our Sound and Ride Your Wave for Indie Feature.
The Big Two also are up for the Animated Feature Oscar next weekend. Since the Academy Awards’ Best Animated Feature category was launched in 2002, 13 of the 19 winners of the Annies’ top feature prize – and six of the past nine – went on to claim Oscar gold. But last year was an anomaly as Netflix’s Klaus all but swept the Annies, beating out eventual Oscar winner, Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4.
In all, trophies will be handed out tonight in 36 categories spanning film, TV and video games — ranging from production design, character animation and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music, editing and voice acting. Entries submitted for consideration were from productions that originally aired, were exhibited in an animation festival or commercially released between January 1 and December 31, 2020.
Here are the winners announced so far for ASIFA-Hollywood’s 48th annual Annie Awards:
BEST SHORT SUBJECT
BEST STUDENT FILM
School: Gobelins, l’école de l’image
Student directors: Marlijn Van Nuenen, Ram Tamez, Alfredo Gerard Kuttikatt