What has happened to the ANNIE AWARDS?
When looking at the list of the ANNIE AWARDS nominees you have ask",Wouldn't it have been easier to list the folks who were not nominated from certain studios?" The list would have been shorter.
It reminds of me 1976 - the "MOST PROLIFIC YEAR OF ANIMATION" - at least at that point in time it was. 1976 was the year Disney's THE RESCUERS, Bakshi's LORD OF THE RINGS and Bruno Bozetto's ALLEGRO NON TROPPO were released. This was not a pre ANNIE AWARD era. ANNIE AWARDS were given each year to deserving artists and contributors from all phases of animation. Specific feature films were not recognized.
In 1976, ASIFA Hollywood wanted to give an ANNIE for Best Animated Feature. There was an uproar over the idea of competition among animated feature films. The artistic aspects had always been paramount to ASIFA members. Recognition was given to deserving members and non members from ALL the studios. The independent animators were cherished for their efforts.
Like the now defunct, Animation Celebration (animation festival) it was better when the studios were not involved. Instead of celebrating the art form. the ANNIES have become a popularity contest among studios.
Having 4 or 5 animators from the same studio nominated for best animation seems insane!
Then again for Disney and Pixar to pull out of the ANNIES also seems insane!
When you have hundreds of people working together on a film, of course, they will have allegiances to that studio and film. Animation is more prone to that situation than any other medium. But if only one or two studios are voting for the nominations for the ANNIES - and for the final awards, the results can not be a true reflection of the the medium or the industry.
Any award this year in the feature area will have to seem hollow.
Hopefully, next year Pixar and Disney will be back in the ASIFA fold. Come on, buy your folks memberships to ASIFA Hollywood as Dreamworks does.
Of course, if we could elimniate the studio element to the ANNIES that would be best.