The 2011 Annie Awards

The 2011 Annie Awards were given out last Saturday and there has been no shortage of coverage on the controversy surrounding this year’s ceremony. The controversy centres on the way winners are selected.  The Annie Awards rules stated that industry professionals who purchased an ASIFA-Hollywood membership could submit a ballot and vote for the categories concerning their particular field (For example, only storyboard artists are allowed to vote for the best storyboarding in a feature production). This upset Disney because Dreamworks had been issuing all of their new employees ASIFA-Hollywood memberships once they were hired. Disney clearly felt that Dreamworks, also one of the biggest sponsors of the Annie Awards, were creating a pool of judges with a majority predisposed to vote for Dreamworks productions. Disney severed all links with the ceremony, removing its sponsorship, and refusing to nominate its works to be entered into the awards. This did not mean that Disney and Pixar would have no chance at the Annies. Individuals who worked on the films could still submit their work for possible nomination without the studios backing. As you might expect Dreamworks won the majority of the awards on the night, receiving ten awards for ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ and five awards for ‘Kung Fu Panda Holiday’. Disney took home just one Annie for Pixar’s ‘Day and Night’ in the best animated short category.

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