New York – Animation distributor GKIDS has announced that A Letter to Momo and Ernest & Celestine have been nominated for the 2014 Annie Awards. Ernest & Celestine received a total of six nominations, the most for any independent or internationally produced film. In addition to Best Animated Feature, the film received nods for directing, writing, production design, character animation and editing in an animated feature. The 41st Annual Annie Awards will take place on February 1, 2014 at UCLA’s Royce Hall, in Los Angeles, California. Both films are also qualified for the upcoming 2014 Academy Awards in the Best Animated Feature category, where the company has had past success with The Secret of Kells, A Cat in Paris, and Chico & Rita.
Additionally, Ernest & Celestine was one of six films to receive a Satellite Awards nomination today in the category of Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media.
Ernest & Celestine opens March 14 in New York and Los Angeles, followed by national expansion to all major US markets. Both films are qualifying for awards consideration in the original foreign language versions but will be released theatrically in English.
GKIDS Annie Award Nominees:
Ernest & Celestine
Best Animated Feature
Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production – Patrick Imbert
Directing in an Animated Feature Production - Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, Stéphane Aubier
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production - Zaza, Zyk
Writing in an Animated Feature Production - Daniel Pennac
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production - Fabienne Alvarez-Giro
From the creators of the Academy Award-nominated Triplets of Belleville and The Secret of Kells comes a visually stunning, enormously entertaining new film with generation-spanning appeal. Deep below snowy, cobblestone streets, tucked away in networks of winding subterranean tunnels, lives a civilization of hardworking mice, terrified of the bears who live above ground. Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer – and when she nearly ends up as breakfast for ursine troubadour Ernest, the two form an unlikely bond. But it isn’t long before their friendship is put on trial by their respective bear-fearing and mice-eating communities. The film premiered at Cannes, has played Toronto, London, Los Angeles, and other prestigious film festivals, is the winner of France’s Cesar Award for Best Animated Feature, and currently has a 100% rating on RottenTomatoes.com. The English voice cast includes Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Mackenzie Foy (Twilight: Breaking Dawn), Lauren Bacall (The Big Sleep), Paul Giamatti (John Adams), William H. Macy (Fargo), Megan Mullally (Will and Grace), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), and Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire).
A Letter to Momo
Best Animated Feature
From the animation studio behind Ghost in the Shell and the director of Jin-Roh, comes a stunningly drawn and wonderfully expressive tale that combines bursts of whimsy and kinetic humor with deep felt emotion. The last time Momo saw her father they had a fight – and now all she has left to remember him by is an incomplete letter, a blank piece of paper penned with the words “Dear Momo” but nothing more. Moving with her mother to the remote Japanese island of Shio, Momo soon discovers three yokai living in her attic, a trio of mischievous spirit creatures that only she can see and who create mayhem in the tiny seaside community as she tries desperately to keep them hidden. But these funny monsters have a serious side and may hold the key to helping Momo discover what her father had been trying to tell her. A Letter to Momo was seven years in the making, and the hand-made animation is superb, from the painstakingly rendered serenity of the island's Shinto shrines to the climactic finale – a frantic chase featuring thousands of squirming, morphing ghosts and spirits that is the best cinematic flight of supernatural fancy in many years.