ASIFA-Hollywood's night to shine was a real winner!
Every year, the Hollywood animation industry gathers together for the Annie Awards, a professional awards show organized by ASIFA-Hollywood. Over the years, the Annies, as they are affectionately referred to, have grown in scope and ambition to include 20 competition categories for outstanding achievement, as well as the historical Winsor McCay and June Foray Awards.
The 1997 Annie Awards ceremony took place on Sunday, November 16 in the elegant Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. This, the 25th annual, was ASIFA-Hollywood's most organized, and punctual show to date. Starting at 2:00 p.m. with a champagne reception, guests had ample time to meet and greet on the patio outside the theater. The show itself, hosted by voice actor Gary Owens, was a well-produced two hours of Owens' witty remarks and character voices, nominee footage, acceptance speeches, and introductions by presenters such as Bill Kroyer, Nick Bosustow, June Foray and Jerry Beck.
There were even a few surprises, such as the announcement of Turner Feature Animation's Cats Don't Dance as the Animated Theatrical Feature winner. It is the first non-Disney winner since the category was added in 1994. The film also won for its songs by Randy Newman in the category, Music in an Animated Feature/Home Video Production. But, in the end, Disney took home the most bronze zoetropes with a total of five awards between their Home Video and Feature Animation divisions. Following close behind was Film Roman with four awards for The Simpsons. Hanna-Barbera and Wild Brain each took home two awards, and Nickelodeon, Spumco, Warner Bros. Television Animation and Warner Bros. Feature Animation each took home one award.
Always looking to the future, ASIFA-Hollywood president Antran Manoogian hopes to see the Annies televised one day, much like the Clios or even The Oscars. He says, "It has always been the goal to get the Annie Awards on television, and, if all goes as planned, hopefully this will be the case for next year."
The 1997 Annie Award winners are:
Outstanding Achievement Awards:
Animated Theatrical Feature: Cats Don't Dance (Turner Feature Animation).
Animated Television Program: The Simpsons (Animation Production by Films Roman, A Gracie Film Production in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television).
Animated Home Video Production: Aladdin and the King of Thieves (Disney).
Animated Interactive Production: Green Eggs and Ham (Wild Brain).
Animated Promotional Production: Coca Cola, Super Mom (Wild Brain)
Animated Short Subject: Bjork, "I Miss You" music video (Spümco).
Outstanding Individual Achievement Awards:
Character Animation: Nik Ranieri for Hades in Hercules.
Directing in an Animated Feature Production: Ron Clements and John Musker for Hercules.
Directing in an Animated Television Production: Mike B. Anderson for "Homer's Phobia," an episode of The Simpsons.
Effects Animation: Mauro Maressa for Hercules.
Music in an Animated Feature/Home Video Production: Randy Newman (songs) for Cats Don't Dance.
Music in an Animated Television Production: Alf Clausen (underscore) for The Simpsons.
Producing in an Animated Feature Production: Alice Dewey, Ron Clements and John Musker for Hercules.
Producing in an Animated Television Production: Al Jean and Michael Reiss for "The Springfield Files," an episode of The Simpsons.
Production Design in an Animated Television Production: Mitch Schauer, Executive Producer for "Born to Be Beavers," an episode of Angry Beavers.
Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production: Nora Johnson for "Orthodontic Police," an episode of Cow and Chicken.
Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production: June Foray as Granny in The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries.
Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Production: Rob Paulsen as Pinky in Steven Spielberg presents Pinky & The Brain.
Writing in an Animated Television Production: Jason Butler Rote and Paul Rudish for "The Beard to be Feared," an episode of Dexter's Laboratory.
Technical Achievement in the Field of Animation: Space Jam (Warner Bros. Feature Animation).
June Foray Award: Phyllis Craig (posthumously).
Winsor McCay Awards: Willis O'Brien, Myron Waldman and Paul Winchell.