The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced the winners of its 51st Annual Annie Awards on Saturday, and Hayao Miyazaki‘s latest feature film The Boy and the Heron (Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka) won two awards.
Hayao Miyazaki won the award for Best Storyboarding for a feature film, and animation director Takeshi Honda won the award for Best Character Animation for a feature film. Honda was at the event and accepted both awards.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse won Best Feature (The Boy and the Heron and Suzume were both nominated) as well as Best Music (both The Boy and the Heron and Suzume were nominated), Best FX (Suzume was also nominated), Best Production Design (The Boy and the Heron was nominated), and Best Direction (The Boy and the Heron was nominated).
Jack Black was nominated in the Best Voice Acting – Feature for his role as Bowser in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Hokuto Matsumura was also nominated as Sōta Munakata in Suzume. Chloë Grace Moretz won the award for her role in Nimona. Nimona also won for Best Writing for a feature (Suzume and The Boy and the Heron were both nominated for the award).
The Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 project won Best Direction for TV/Media for its “Screecher’s Reach” episode by Cartoon Saloon from Ireland (Pokémon Concierge was also nominated). The project also won a TV/Media award for Best Music for its “Aau’s Song” episode by Triggerfish from South Africa.
The project also earned TV/Media nominations for Best FX and Best Production Design for its “Sith” episode by El Guiri from Spain, Best Character Animation for its “I Am Your Mother” by Aardman from the U.K., and Best Editorial for its “Screecher’s Reach” episode by Cartoon Saloon from Ireland. Blue Eye Samurai won the award for Best FX, Best Production Design, Best Character Animation, and Best Editorial.
The live-action Transformers: Rise of the Beasts movie was nominated in the Best Character Animation – Live Action category, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 won the award.
Studio Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi received the prestigious Winsor McCay Award in recognition of lifetime or career contributions. Hisaishi was not in attendance, as he was conducting a special memorial concert this weekend for the New Japan Philharmonic to celebrate the life of world-renowned composer Seiji Ozawa. Ozawa died on February 6.
Japanese anime industry professionals honored in the In Memoriam segment included character designer Takahiro Kimura, Tatsunoko Production co-founder Ippei Kuri, manga creator Leiji Matsumoto, former Toei President and CEO Osamu Tezuka, and animator Nizo Yamamoto.
The Annie Awards recognize outstanding achievement in animation. ASIFA-Hollywood added the Best Animated Independent Feature award for the 2016 awards in order to “recognize not only features in wide release, but also the independent animators, international studios, anime and special productions that might not otherwise get the attention they deserve.” Mamoru Hosoda‘s Mirai film won the award in 2019.