Annie Awards: 'Zootopia,' 'Kubo and the Two Strings' Lead Noms as Indies Prove Strong Competitors

The Hollywood Reporter
Zootopia (Photo: Disney)
Zootopia (Courtesy of Disney)

By Carolyn Giardin, The Hollywood Reporter

Walt Disney Feature Animation’s Zootopia leads the feature nominees for the 44th annual Annie Awards with 11 nominations, followed by Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings with 10 noms. But the full list of nominations for the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood’s annual awards competition also underscored the strength of several indie films in this year’s awards race.

In the category for best animated feature, Zootopia and Kubo are nominated alongside Pixar’s Finding Dory, DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 3 and Disney’s Moana. Nominees in the separate best animated independent feature category My Life as a Zucchini (also the Swiss foreign-language Oscar entry) and Miss Hokusai, both released by GKIDS, as well as Long Way North, The Red Turtle and Your Name.

The strength of the indies is evident in other categories including the combined feature directing category, where Zootopia directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore and Kubo helmer Travis Knight are nominated alongside three indie directors: My Life as a Zucchini’s Claude Barras, The Red Turtle’s Michael Dudok de Wit and Your Name’s Makoto Shinkai.

Following Zootopia and Kubo in the feature categories are Moana, which earned a total of six nominations; The Red Turtle, which collected five; Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls, which grabbed four apiece, and Finding Dory and My Life as a Zucchini, which took three apiece.

Also to watch with awards season underway, nominees in the best animated short subject category are National Film Board of Canada’s Blind Vaysha, Google Spotlight Stories/Evil Eye Pictures’ Pearl and Pixar’s Piper — all of which made the Oscar shortlist in the animated shorts competition — as well as Deer Flower and Path Title Sequence. Pearl earned an additional three nominations, including best directing in an animated TV/broadcast production for director Patrick Osborne, who previously won an Oscar for his 2014 animated short Feast.

The Annie Awards will be presented Feb. 4 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

A complete list of nominees follows.

Best Animated Feature
Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
Kung Fu Panda 3
Moana
Zootopia

Best Animated Feature — Independent
Long Way North
Miss Hokusai
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Your Name.

Best Animated Special Production
Audrie & Daisy
Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll
Little Big Awesome
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Best Animated Short Subject
Blind Vaysha
Deer Flower
Path Title Sequence
Pearl
Piper

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial
Duelyst
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer
Lily & the Snowman
Loteria ‘Night Shift’
The Importance of Paying Attention: Teeth

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children
Ask the StoryBots
Peg + Cat
Puffin Rock — The First Snow
The Stinky & Dirty Show
Tumble Leaf

Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production for Children
Adventure Time
DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender
Elena of Avalor
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Wander Over Yonder

Best General Audience Animated Television/Broadcast Production
Bob’s Burgers
BoJack Horseman
Long Live the Royals
The Simpsons
The Venture Bros

Best Student Film
Citipati
FISHWITCH
The Abyss
The Wrong End of the Stick
Twiddly Things

Animated Effects in an Animated Production
Kubo and the Two Strings
Kung Fu Panda 3
Moana
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Animated Effects in a Live-Action Production
Deepwater Horizon
Dr. Strange
Ghostbusters
The BFG
Warcraft

Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production
Atomic Puppet
DreamWorks Trollhunters
The Snowy Day
Tumble Leaf
(“Thinking Outside The Hoop/Fig’s Hay- Maze-ing Wander”)
Tumble Leaf (“Mighty Mud Movers/Having a Ball”)

Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production
Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
Kung Fu Panda 3
Zootopia

Character Animation in a Live-Action Production
Captain America: Civil War
Games of Thrones
The Jungle Book
Warcraft

Character Animation in a Video Game
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legends
Titanfall 2
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Witcher 3
(Expansion Packs)

Character Design in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production
Counterfeit Cat
DreamWorks Trollhunters
Pig Goat Banana Cricket
Rain or Shine
Wander Over Yonder

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
The Secret Life of Pets
Trolls
Zootopia

Directing in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production
A Love Story
Adventure Time
Open Season: Scared Silly
Pearl
Wander Over Yonder

Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Kubo and the Two Strings, Travis Knight
My Life as a Zucchini, Claude Barras
The Red Turtle, Michael Dudok de Wit
Your Name., Makoto Shinkai
Zootopia, Byron Howard and Rich Moore

Music in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production
Bob’s Burgers
Disney Mickey Mouse
DreamWorks Trollhunters
Pearl
Star Wars Rebels

Music in an Animated Feature Production
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
Sing
The Little Prince
The Red Turtle
The Secret Life of Pets

Production Design in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production
Adventure Time
Pearl
Puffin Rock
Rain or Shine
The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
Kubo and the Two Strings
Kung Fu Panda 3
The Little Prince
Trolls
Zootopia

Storyboarding in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production
Atomic Puppet
Disney Mickey Mouse
DreamWorks Trollhunters
Milo Murphy’s Law
The Adventures of Puss in Boots

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
Trolls
Zootopia

Voice Acting in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production
BoJack Horseman
Open Season: Scared Silly
Splash and Bubbles
Star Wars Rebels
The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
Storks
Trolls
Zootopia

Writing in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production
Bob’s Burgers (“The Hormone-iums”)
Gravity Falls (“Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls”)
Puffin Rock (“The First Snow”)
The Simpsons (“Barthood”)
The Simpsons (“The Burns Cage”)

Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Editorial in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production
All Hail King Julien
Bob’s Burgers
Disney Mickey Mouse
Gravity Falls
Star Wars Rebels

Editorial in an Animated Feature Production
April and the Extraordinary World
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
Sausage Party
Zootopia