The 18th Annual Genesis Awards, presented by The Hollywood Office of The Humane Society of The United States (HSUS), has awarded FINDING NEMO, along with live-action LEGALLY BLONDE 2, its outstanding film prize. The awards will be presented on March 20, 2004 at a gala ceremony in the International Ballroom of The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills. The show will be taped and edited for a two-hour television special airing on Animal Planet on April 25, 2004.
"I'm delighted that on the occasion of HSUS' 50th Anniversary, the Genesis Awards will celebrate a vintage year for positive animal messages in the media," said Gretchen Wyler, vp of The HSUS Hollywood Office. "Hugely successful movies like LEGALLY BLONDE 2 and the Academy Award nominated FINDING NEMO -- with a combined domestic box office of $430 million -- are a testament to the fact that a new consciousness of animal-protection is emerging and is striking a chord with mainstream audiences."
NEMO was honored "for going where few animated features have gone before -- to the depths of the sea to portray fish as feeling creatures who deserve to swim in the freedom of the vast oceans, and not the confines of a 4'x4' fish tank."
In addition, Marvel Comics garnered a special artistic achievement award for the X-MEN UNLIMITED title "Can They Suffer?' by Chuck Austen, which addresses the issue of animal cruelty. The HSUS rewarded the comic "for expanding the signature X-Men message of empathy toward living beings from this planet and beyond to include the most abused species of all -- animals, whose suffering the heroic and popular X-Men will not tolerate."
As well, Dan Piraro's BIZARRO won the Cartoon prize "for creating over two dozen cartoons that dare to touch upon the most controversial of animal issues with an incisive wit that cuts to the quick."
The HSUS is the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than 7 million members and constituents. The HSUS Hollywood Office is devoted to raising public awareness of animal issues through the major media. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife, animals in research and farm animals and sustainable agriculture. For more information, visit www.hsus.org.