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About Ethan Minovitz

A longtime contributor top BCDB, Ethan has become our resident research expert. Turned loose inside a database, there is nothing Ethan cannot find. Resident of the Great Northwest, Ethan is fiercely proud of his native Canada. Ethan is a professional researcher in his real life in Vancouver, BC. Ethan would love to hear from you- send a note here.

Brave, Guardians, Ralph each up for 10 Animation Annies

Annie Awards

Annie Awards

Three fea­ture films each have received 10 nom­i­na­tions for the 49th Annual Annie Awards, rec­og­niz­ing the year’s best in the field of animation.

The three are Brave (Pixar Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios), Rise of the Guardians (Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion) and Wreck-It Ralph (Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios). All three are among the eight nom­i­nees for Best Ani­mated Feature.

Also up for Best Ani­mated Fea­ture are Franken­wee­nie (The Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios), Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia (Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion), Para­Nor­man (Focus Fea­tures), Britain’s The Pirates! Band of Mis­fits (Aard­man Ani­ma­tions) and France’s The Rabbi’s Cat (GKIDS).

Nom­i­na­tions were announced Mon­day by the Inter­na­tional Ani­mated Film Soci­ety, ASIFA-Hollywood.

The Annie Awards cover 30 cat­e­gories, includ­ing Best Ani­mated Fea­ture, Best Ani­mated Spe­cial Pro­duc­tion, Com­mer­cials, Short Sub­jects and Out­stand­ing Indi­vid­ual Achieve­ments. How­ever, no nom­i­na­tions were made this year for Best Ani­mated Tele­vi­sion Commercial.

Other nom­i­na­tions:

Annie Award for Best Ani­mated Spe­cial Pro­duc­tion
Bat­man: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (Warner Bros. Ani­ma­tion)
Before Orel – Trust – Star­burns Indus­tries, Inc.
Despi­ca­ble Me: Min­ion May­hem – Illu­mi­na­tion Enter­tain­ment
Dis­ney Tron: Upris­ing – Beck’s Begin­ning – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Drag­ons: Gift of the Night Fury – Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion
Jus­tice League: Doom – Warner Bros. Animation

Best Ani­mated Short Sub­ject
Brad and Gary – Illu­mi­na­tion Enter­tain­ment
Bydlo – National Film Board of Canada
Eyes on the Stars – Sto­ryCorps
Good­night Mr. Foot – Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion
Kali the Lit­tle Vam­pire – National Film Board of Canada
Mag­gie Simp­son in ‘The Longest Day­care’ – Gra­cie Films in Asso­ci­a­tion with 20th Cen­tury Fox TV
Paper­man – Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
The Simp­sons – ‘Bill Plymp­ton Couch Gag’ – Gra­cie Films in Asso­ci­a­tion with 20th Cen­tury Fox TV

Best Gen­eral Audi­ence Ani­mated TV Pro­duc­tion For Preschool Chil­dren
Bub­ble Gup­pies ‘A Tooth on the Looth’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion
Chug­ging­ton ‘Mag­netic Wil­son’ – Ludo­rum
Jake & The Never Land PiratesPeter Pan Returns’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Doc McStuffins ‘The Right Stuff’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Justin Time ‘Marcello’s Meat­balls’ – Guru Stu­dio
Best Ani­mated Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­tion For Chil­dren
Adven­ture Time ‘Princess Cookie’ – Car­toon Net­work Stu­dios
Drag­ons: Rid­ers of Berk ‘How to Pick Your Dragon’ – Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion
LEGO Star Wars ‘The Empire Strikes Out’ – Thresh­old Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Pen­guins of Mada­gas­car ‘Action Reac­tion’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Sponge­Bob SquarePants: It’s a Sponge­Bob Christ­mas! – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
The Amaz­ing World of Gum­ball ‘The Job’ – Turner Broad­cast­ing Sys­tem Europe, Ltd.
The Fairly Odd­Par­ents ‘Farm Pit’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
The Leg­end of KorraWel­come to Repub­lic City’/’A Leaf in the Wind’ — Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Studios

Best Gen­eral Audi­ence Ani­mated Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­tion
‘Space Race, Part 1’ – Weiss­man Markovitz Com­mu­ni­ca­tions for FX
Bob’s Burg­ersEarsy Rider’ – 20th Cen­tury Fox TV
Motorcity ‘Blond Thun­der’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
MAD ‘FrankenWinnie/ParaMorgan’ – Warner Bros. Ani­ma­tion
Robot ChickenDC Comics Spe­cial’ — Stoopid Buddy Stu­dios
South Park ‘Rais­ing the Bar’ – Cen­tral Productions

Ani­mated Video Game
Bor­der­lands 2 – Gear­box Soft­ware
Fam­ily Guy – Back to the Muti­verse – Heavy Iron Stu­dios
Jour­ney – Sony Com­puter Enter­tain­ment Amer­ica
Skull­girls – Lab Zero Games

Best Stu­dent Film
Can We Be Happy Now – Tah­nee Gehm
Defec­tive Detec­tive – Avner Geller & Steve Lewis
Head Over Heels – Tim­o­thy Reckart
I Am Tom Moody – Ainslie Hen­der­son
Ladies Knight – Joseph Rothen­berg
Ori­gin – Jes­sica Poon
The Bal­lad of Poi­son­berry Pete – Karen Sul­li­van
Tule Lake – Michelle Ikemoto

Indi­vid­ual Achieve­ment Categories

Ani­mated Effects in an Ani­mated Pro­duc­tion
Andrew Nawrot, Joe Gorski, Grant Laker – ‘Para­Nor­man
Andrew Schnei­der ‘Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift’ – Blue Sky Stu­dios
Andy Hayes, Carl Hooper, David Lip­ton - Rise of the Guardians
Bill Watral, Chris Chap­man, Dave Hale, Keith Klohn, Michael K. O’Brien ‘Brave
Brett Albert – ‘Wreck-It Ralph
Jihyun Yoon – ‘Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ – Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion
Joel Aron – ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ – Lucas­film Ani­ma­tion Ltd.

Ani­mated Effects in a Live Action Pro­duc­tion
Jerome Plat­teaux, John Sig­urd­son, Ryan Hop­kins, Raul Essig, Mark Chat­away ‘The Avengers’ – Indus­trial Light & Magic
Stephen Mar­shall, Joseph Pep­per, Dustin Wicke – Colum­bia Pic­tures
‘The Amaz­ing Spider-Man – Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion
Sue Rowe, Simon Stanley-Clamp, Artemis Oikonomopoulou, Hol­ger Voss, Nikki Makar, Cather­ine Elvidge ‘John Carter’ — Cine­site
Willi Geiger, Rick Han­k­ins, Flo­rent Andorra, Flo­rian Witzel, Aron Bonar ‘Bat­tle­ship’ – Indus­trial Light & Magic

Char­ac­ter Ani­ma­tion in an Ani­mated Television/Broadcast Pro­duc­tion
Dan Driscoll ‘Sponge­Bob SquarePants: It’s a Sponge­Bob Christ­mas!
Jen­nifer Dickie ‘Justin Time: Yodel Odel Day’ – Guru Stu­dio
Keith Kel­logg ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Revenge’ – Lucas­film Ani­ma­tion Ltd.
For­rest Save­len ‘Sponge­Bob SquarePants: It’s a Sponge­Bob Christ­mas!’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Shi Zimu ‘Drag­ons: Rid­ers of Berk’ – Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion
Sihanouk Mari­nona ‘Before Orel: Trust
Teri Yam ‘Drag­ons: Rid­ers of Berk’ – Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion
Yan Jiazhuang ‘Drag­ons: Rid­ers of Berk’ – Dream­Works Animation

Char­ac­ter Ani­ma­tion in a Fea­ture Pro­duc­tion
Dan Nguyen ‘Brave
David Pate ‘Rise of the Guardians
Jaime Lan­des ‘Brave
Phillppe LeBrun ‘Rise of the Guardians
Pierre Per­ifel ‘Rise of the Guardians
Travis Hath­away ‘Brave
Travis Knight “Para­Nor­man
Will Becher ‘The Pirates! Band of Mis­fits

Char­ac­ter Ani­ma­tion in a Live Action Pro­duc­tion
Erik de Boer, Amanda Dague, Matt Brown, Mary Lynn Machado, Aaron Grey ‘Life of Pi — Orang­utan’ – Rhythm & Hues Stu­dio
Erik de Boer, Matt Shumway, Brian Wells, Vinayak Pawar, Michael Holzl ‘Life of Pi — Tiger’ – Rhythm & Hues Stu­dio
Jakub Pis­tecky, Maia Kayser, Scott Benzu, Steve King, Kiran Bhat ‘The Avengers’ – Indus­trial Light & Magic
Mike Beaulieu, Roger Vizard, Atushi Sato, Jackie Kochler, Derek Esparza, Richard Smith, Mac Tyrie – Colum­bia Pic­tures – The Amaz­ing Spider-Man — Sony Pic­tures Animation

Char­ac­ter Design in an Ani­mated Television/Broadcast Pro­duc­tion
Andy Bialk ‘Drag­ons: Rid­ers of Berk: Alvin and the Out­casts’ – Dream­Works Ani­ma­ton
Andy Suri­ano ‘DC Nation-Plas­tic Man: The Many and the Fowl’ – Big Hair Pro­duc­tions, Inc.
Bryan Koni­et­zko, Joaquim Dos San­tos, Ryu Ki-Hyun, Kim Il Kwang, Kim Jin Sun ‘The Leg­end of Korra: Wel­come to Repub­lic City’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
“C” Rag­gio IVKick But­towski: Pet­ri­fied’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Der­rick Wyatt, Chap Yaep, Steven Choi ‘Ben 10: Omni­verse: The More Things Change, Pt. 2’ – Car­toon Net­work Stu­dios
Gor­don Ham­mond ‘T.U.F.F. Puppy: Dud­ley Do-Wrong’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Robert Val­ley ‘Dis­ney Tron: Upris­ing: The Rene­gade, Part I’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Thad­deus Paul Caul­dron ‘Secret Moun­tain Fort Awe­some: Secret Moun­tain Uncle Grandpa’- Car­toon Net­work Studios

Char­ac­ter Design in an Ani­mated Fea­ture Pro­duc­tion
Bill Schwab, Lore­lay Bove, Cory Loftis, Minkyu Lee ‘Wreck-It Ralph
Car­los Grangel ‘Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia
Carter Goodrich ‘Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia
Craig Kell­man ‘Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’
Heidi Smith ‘Para­Nor­man
Yarrow Cheney, Eric Guil­lon, Colin Stimp­son ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ – Illu­mi­na­tion Entertainment

Direct­ing in an Ani­mated Television/Broadcast Pro­duc­tion
Howie Parkins ‘Jake & The Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns!’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
John Eng ‘Drag­ons: Rid­ers of Berk: Ani­mal House’ – Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion
Mark Cabalero, Sea­mus Walsh ‘Sponge­Bob SquarePants: It’s a Sponge­Bob Christ­mas!’’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Mic Graves ‘The Amaz­ing World of Gum­ball: The Job’
Michael Chang ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Tur­tles: Never Say Xever’ — Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dio
Zack Keller ‘Dick Fig­ures: Kung Fu Win­ners’ – 6 Point Media

Direct­ing in an Ani­mated Fea­ture Pro­duc­tion
Gen­ndy Tar­takovsky ‘Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia
Joann Sfar, Antoine Delesvaux ‘The Rabbi’s Cat
Remi Bezan­con, Jean-Christophe Lie ‘Zarafa’ — GKIDS
Rich Moore ‘Wreck-It Ralph
Sam Fell, Chris But­ler ‘Para­Nor­man

Music in an Ani­mated Television/Broadcast Pro­duc­tion
Adam Berry ‘Pen­quins of Mada­gas­car: Pri­vate and the Winky Fac­tory’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Alf Clausen ‘The Simp­sons: Tree­house of Hor­ror XXIII’ – Gra­cie Films in Asso­ci­a­tion with 20th Cen­tury Fox TV
Fred­erik Wied­mann ‘Green Lantern The Ani­mated Series: Into the Abyss’ — F. Wied­mann, Com­poser
Guy Moon ‘T.U.F.F. Puppy: Really Big Mis­sion’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
John Pae­sano ‘Drag­ons: Rid­ers of Berk: How to Pick Your Dragon’
Michael Rubin ‘Bub­ble Gup­pies: Bub­ble Puppy’s Fin-tastic Fairy­tale!’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Studios

Music in an Ani­mated Fea­ture Pro­duc­tion
Alexan­dre Desplat ‘Rise of the Guardians
Bruce Retief ‘Adven­tures in Zam­bezia’ – Saltz­man Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
Henry Jack­man ‘Wreck-It Ralph
Joel McNeely, Bren­dan Mil­burn, Valerie Vigoda ‘Secret of the Wings’ – Dis­ney­Toon Stu­dios
John Pow­ell, Adam Schlesinger, Ester Dean ‘Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift
John Pow­ell, Cinco Paul ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’
Mark Moth­ers­baugh ‘Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia
Patrick Doyle, Mark Andrews, Alex Man­del ‘Brave

Pro­duc­tion Design in an Ani­mated Television/Broadcast Pro­duc­tion
Alberto Mielgo ‘Tron: Upris­ing: The Stranger’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Ian Wor­rel ‘Grav­ity Falls – Tourist Trapped’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Lynna Blanken­ship, Sean Coons, Hugh Mac­don­ald, Deb­bie Peter­son, Charles Ragins, Lance Wilder, Dar­rel Bowen, John Krause, Kevin Moore, Brent M. Bowen, Brice Mallier, Steven Fahey, Dima Malan­itchev, Karen Bauer, Eli Balser, Anne Legge — ‘The Simp­sons: Moe Goes From Rags to Riches’ – Film Roman
Nick Jen­nings, Mar­tin Ansole­be­here, San­dra Calleros, Ron Rus­sell, San­tino Las­cano, Derek Hunter, Cather­ine E. Sim­monds -
‘Adven­ture Time – The Hard Easy’ – Car­toon Net­work Stu­dios
Peter Mar­tin, Chris Grine, Ira Baker, Ramon Oliv­era, Scott Brown ‘hoops & yo yo’s Haunted Hal­loween’ – Hall­mark
Scott Bran­don James, Lee Keith ‘Justin Time: The Rub­bery Dumplings’ – Guru Studio

Pro­duc­tion Design in an Ani­mated Fea­ture Pro­duc­tion
Kendal Cronkhite-Shaindlin, Shan­non Jef­fries, Lind­sey Oli­vares, Kenard Pak ‘Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Mar­cello Vig­nali ‘Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia
Nash Dun­ni­gan, Arden Chen, Jon Town­ley, Kyle McNaughton ‘Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift
Nel­son Lowry, Ross Stew­art, Pete Oswald, Ean McNa­mara, Trevor Dalmer ‘Para­Nor­man
Nor­man Gar­wood, Matt Berry ‘The Pirates! Band of Mis­fits
Patrick Hanen­berger, Max Boas, Jayee Bor­car, Woony­oung Jung, Perry Maple, Peter Maynez, Stan Seo, Felix Yoon ‘Rise of the Guardians
Rick Heintzich ‘Franken­wee­nie
Steve Pilcher ‘Brave

Sto­ry­board­ing in an Ani­mated Television/Broadcast Pro­duc­tion
Andy Kelly ‘Doc McStuffins: Righty-On-Lefty’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Cole Sanchez, Rebecca Sugar ‘Adven­ture Time: Lady & Pee­bles’ – Car­toon Net­work Stu­dios
Doug Lovelace ‘Drag­ons: Rid­ers of Berk: Por­trait of Hic­cup as a Buff Man’ – Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion
Holly Forsyth ‘Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Iri­neo Mar­ramba, Ciro Nieli ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Tur­tles: I Think His Name is Bax­ter Stock­man’’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Robert Val­ley, Kalvin Lee ‘Tron: Upris­ing: The Reward’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Ryan Kramer, Paul Lins­ley, Kenji Ono, Le Tang, Alice Her­ring, Mike Mullen, Aaron Ham­mer­s­ley ‘Kung Fu Panda: Leg­ends of
Awe­some­ness: Enter the Dragon’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Tom Her­pich, Skyler Page ‘Adven­ture Time: Goliad’ – Car­toon Net­work Studios

Sto­ry­board­ing in an Ani­mated Fea­ture Pro­duc­tion
Emmanuela Cozzi ‘Para­Nor­man
Johanne Matte ‘Rise of the Guardians
Leo Mat­suda ‘Wreck-It Ralph
Lissa Treiman ‘Wreck-It Ralph
Rob Koo ‘Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wantedd’

Voice Act­ing in an Ani­mated Television/Broadcast Pro­duc­tion
James Patrick Stu­art as Pri­vate ‘Pen­guins of Mada­gas­car: High Molt­age’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Jeff Ben­nett as Keswick ‘T.U.F.F. Puppy: Pup Daddy’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Jes­sica Wal­ter as Mal­ory Archer ‘Archer: Lo Scan­dolo’ – Weiss­man Markovitz Com­mu­ni­ca­tions for FX Net­work
Kevin Michael Richard­son as Willem Viceroy ‘Randy Cun­ning­ham: 9th Grade Ninja: Gos­sip Boy’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Kris­ten Schaal as Mabel Pines ‘Grav­ity Falls: Tourist Trapped’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Mae Whit­man as April O’Neil – ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Tur­tles: Rise of the Tur­tles’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Sam Witwer as Darth Maul ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Revenge’ – Lucas­film Ani­ma­tion Ltd.
Tom McGrath as Skip­per ‘Pen­guins of Mada­gas­car: The Otter Woman’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Studios

Voice Act­ing in an Ani­mated Fea­ture Pro­duc­tion
Adam San­dler as Drac­ula ‘Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia
Alan Tudyk as King Candy ‘Wreck-It Ralph
Atti­cus Shaf­fer as “E“Gore ‘Franken­wee­nie
Cather­ine O’Hara as Weird Girl ‘Franken­wee­nie
Imelda Staunton as Queen Vic­to­ria ‘The Pirates! Band of Mis­fits
Jim Cum­mings as Budzo ‘Adven­tures in Zam­bezia’
Jude Law as Pitch ‘Rise of the Guardians
Kelly Mac­Don­ald as Merida ‘Brave

Writ­ing in an Ani­mated Television/Broadcast Pro­duc­tion
Doug Lang­dale — Kung Fu Panda: Leg­ends of Awe­some­ness: Kung Fu Day Care’ — Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Eric Horsted – Futu­rama: The Bots and the Bees’ – Gra­cie Films in Asso­ci­a­tion with 20th Cen­tury Fox TV
Gabe Garza – ‘Pen­guins of Mada­gas­car: Endan­ger­ous Species’ — Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Ian Maxtone-Graham, Billy Kim­ball ‘The Simp­sons: How I Wet Your Mother’ — Gra­cie Films in Asso­ci­a­tion with 20th Cen­tury Fox TV
Kacey Arnold – ‘Robot and Mon­ster: The Blimp’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Mike Tever­baugh, Linda Tever­baugh — Drag­ons: Rid­ers of Berk: Ani­mal House’ – Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion
Stephanie Gillis ‘The Simp­sons: A Tree Grows in Spring­field’ – Gra­cie Films in Asso­ci­a­tion with 20th Cen­tury Fox TV
Trey Parker – ‘South Park: Jew­pacabra’ – Cen­tral Productions

Writ­ing in an Ani­mated Fea­ture Pro­duc­tion
Chris But­ler — Para­Nor­man
Gideon Defoe - The Pirates! Band of Mis­fits
Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa, Karey Kirk­patrick — From Up on Poppy Hill — GKIDS
John August - Franken­wee­nie
Mark Andrews, Steve Pur­cell, Brenda Chap­man, Irene Mec­chi — Brave
Phil John­ston, Jen­nifer Lee - Wreck-It Ralph

Edi­to­r­ial in an Ani­mated Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­tion
Bret Mar­nell ‘Puss in Boots: Three Dia­b­los’ – Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion
Chris Hink ‘Robot and Mon­ster: Cheer Up Mr. Wheelie’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Hugo Morales, Adam Arnold, Davrik Wae­den, Otto Fer­raye ‘Kung Fu Panda: ‘Mon­key in the Mid­dle’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Hugo Morales, Adam Arnold, Davrik Wae­den, Otto Fer­raye ‘Kung Fu Panda — Enter the Dragon’ – Nick­elodeon Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios
Jason Tucker ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Revival’ – Lucas­film Ani­ma­tion Ltd.
Lynn Hob­son ‘Drag­ons: Rid­ers of Berk: Ani­mal House’ – Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion
Pieter Kauf­man ‘Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess’ – Dis­ney TV Ani­ma­tion
Steffie Luc­ch­esi, Matt Stein­auer, May Blais­dell ‘Dan Vs Mon­ster Under The Bed’ – Film Roman

Edi­to­r­ial in an Ani­mated Fea­ture Pro­duc­tion
Cather­ine Apple ‘Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia
Joyce Arras­tia ‘Rise of the Guardians
Mark Rosen­baum ‘Secret of the Wings’ – Dis­ney­Toon Stu­dios
Nicholas A. Smith, ACE, Robert Gra­ham Jones, ACE, David Suther ‘Brave
Tim Mertens ‘Wreck-It Ralph

Juried Awards

Win­sor McCay Award – Oscar Grillo, Terry Gilliam, Mark Henn
June Foray – Howard Green
Ub Iwerks — Toon Boom Ani­ma­tion Pipeline

The Annie Awards will be pre­sented Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 2 at UCLA Royce Hall in Los Angeles.

DWA’s Guardians on Rise Abroad, Collects $40M

Rise Of The Guardians

Rise Of The Guardians

Though it had tepid results in North Amer­ica, Dream­Works Animation’s Rise of the Guardians col­lected $40 mil­lion in 56 for­eign coun­tries over the weekend.

Dis­trib­uted by Para­mount, Rise of the Guardians was in sec­ond place abroad, sur­passed only by the live-action Twi­light: Break­ing Yawn, Part 2, which gath­ered $48.4 mil­lion from 74 countries.

Appar­ently, the DWA movie will be No. 1 in 20 coun­tries. France was the leader, with $4.7 mil­lion, fol­lowed by Mex­ico, where it gar­nered $3.7 million.

After two weeks, the for­eign total for Guardians is $57 mil­lion. World­wide, it’s grossed almost $106 mil­lion so far.

In North Amer­ica, the movie tied with Steven Spielberg’s Lin­coln for third place at the box office. Each film made $13.5 million.

Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph was tied for sixth place domes­ti­cally with Killing Them Softly, directed by and star­ring Brad Pitt. Each brought in $7 million.

Bah, Humbug: SpongeBob Banned From Xmas Lighting

SpongeBob SquarePants

Sponge­Bob SquarePants

Bureau­crats in Wolver­hamp­ton, Eng­land refused to let Sponge­Bob Squarepants go on stage for the city’s Christ­mas lights turn-on cer­e­mony because it was felt that his cos­tume was to large for him to climb five steps to the platform.

Health and safety con­cerns also stopped him from being lifted onto the back of a float due to the crowd of 2,000 — includ­ing many fam­i­lies with young chil­dren — that showed up to see the car­toon char­ac­ter. That means Sponge­Bob couldn’t be car­ried around town.

Many young fans couldn’t see him Fri­day night because the children’s char­ac­ter could only be on ground level.

How­ever, the yel­low guy was allowed to meet and greet fans in Beat­ties and Mar­ket Square. Health and safety rules meant that he could spend just two 40-minute ses­sions with fans.

Bring­ing Sponge­Bob to the big event cost £1,845 ($3,000 U.S.).

John Williamson, 45, of Wolver­hamp­ton said that his nine-year-old daugh­ter Lola was left in tears after she couldn’t see her idol.

Bah, Humbug: SpongeBob Banned From Xmas Lighting

Bah, Hum­bug: Sponge­Bob Banned From Xmas Lighting

It’s ridicu­lous to ban a children’s char­ac­ter from a Christ­mas lights switch on,” he fumed. “You would hope the coun­cil wouldn’t be such health and safety scrooges and let the kids have a good look at their character.

Lola had been talk­ing about see­ing Sponge­bob Squarepants for days, but was incon­solable when she couldn’t even get a glimpse of him.”

Sponge­Bob had been expected to turn the lights on along­side Coro­na­tion Street star Sher­rie Hew­son, but the soap opera star had to press the but­ton by herself.

Wolver­hamp­ton City Coun­cil lead­ers called last week’s event a success.

The Christ­mas lights switch-on was a great suc­cess, with huge crowds turn­ing up to Mar­ket Square to enjoy the free event,” said Mark Black­stock, the council’s out­door events man­ager. “Unfor­tu­nately, the char­ac­ter actor play­ing Sponge­Bob Squarepants was unable to climb the stairs on to the stage because of his costume.

Health and safety con­sid­er­a­tions meant we were unable to lift him on to the stage using the tail­gate of one of our vehi­cles because of the high num­bers of peo­ple around the stage.

This meant that Sponge­Bob Squarepants was unable to appear on stage dur­ing the event. But he did spend an hour and 20 min­utes meet­ing fans both in Mar­ket Square and Beat­ties House of Fraser.

As the actor could only be per­mit­ted to stay in his suit for 40 min­utes at a time, again for health and safety rea­sons, we arranged the two 40-minute meet and greet ses­sions to enable the pub­lic to see him close up.

Dur­ing this time, he met as many young fans as pos­si­ble at both loca­tions, though we of course apol­o­gise to any­one who couldn’t see him on stage and was unable to meet him in person.”

Ten-year-old Jes­sica Drew, a pupil of Wood­field Junior School in Penn, joined her Girl Guide group to watch the light­ing ceremony.

The fire­works were really good and we enjoyed it, but we were dis­ap­pointed that we didn’t see Sponge­Bob. We just thought that he hadn’t turned up because we never saw him once. There was no sign of him on stage at all,” she remarked.

Just two years ago, another cos­tumed car­toon char­ac­ter let fans down at the city’s Christ­mas lights bash. Peppa Pig had to cut down on her meet-and-greets over con­cerns that she would over­heat in her suit. The woman in the suit cut short the visit her­self, say­ing that she had gone over her time limit in the costume.

Beat­ties staff offered to wear the suit them­selves to pre­vent chil­dren and par­ents from being dis­ap­pointed chil­dren and par­ents. How­ever, they were told that they couldn’t take on Peppa’s role. At the time, Beat­ties said the meet-and-greet had lasted longer than expected in spite of health and safety rules.

Animated Edmond Was a Donkey A Winner at Francophone Fest

Edmond Was a Donkey (Edmond Etait un Ãne (French)

Edmond Was a Don­key (Edmond Etait un Ãne (French)

Franck Dion’s ani­ma­tion “Edmond Etait Un Ane” (“Edmund Was a Don­key”) won the prize for best inter­na­tional short film Fri­day at the 26th Fes­ti­val inter­na­tional de cinéma fran­coph­one en Acadie, held in Monc­ton, New Bruswick.

Jurors Chris LeBlanc, Émi­lie More­ault and Nisk Imbeault rec­og­nized the National Film Board of Canada release “for (Dion’s) capac­ity to cre­ate an effect of total immer­sion in in a skill­fully con­cep­tu­al­ized uni­verse, and for the uni­ver­sal­ity of the theme that can touch on all human marginalities.”

Tied for the “Coup de coeur du pub­lic” prize was Phil Comeau’s feature-length doc­u­men­tary Frédéric Back: Grandeur Nature. Back is a Cana­dian artist and direc­tor of short ani­mated films.

Friday’s award cer­e­mony was held dur­ing the festival’s evening at the Capi­tol theater.

Studio Ghibli Animation Retrospective Coming to Vancouver

Studio Ghibli

Stu­dio Ghibli

Between Decem­ber 14 and Jan­u­ary 3, the Vancity The­atre and The Cin­e­math­eque — both located in down­town Van­cou­ver — are co-hosting Cas­tles in the Sky: The Mas­ters of Stu­dio Ghi­bli.

It’s a major ret­ro­spec­tive of films from the world-renowned anime stu­dio Stu­dio Ghi­bli founded in Tokyo in 1985 by direc­tors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Taka­hata and pro­ducer Toshio Suzuki.

Per­fect for tran­scend­ing the win­ter greys, these films prove that Stu­dio Ghi­bli is every bit the equal of any ani­ma­tion stu­dio in the world or in film history.

All Stu­dio Ghi­bli films pre­sented at the Vancity The­atre will be screened in 35mm in the English-language ver­sions. All films at the Cin­e­math­eque will screen in Japanese-language prints with subtitles.

These films are open to all ages. Princess Mononoke is clas­si­fied 14A; all other titles are rated G or PG. The Vancity The­atre offers a spe­cial rate of $7 for youth under 19.

Tonari No Totoro (My Neigh­bor Totoro)
“Best Ani­mated Film of All Time”- Time Out Mag­a­zine
“When­ever I watch it, I smile, and smile, and smile” — Roger Ebert
Fri­day, Decem­ber 14, 6:30 p.m.; Fri­day, Decem­ber 21, 5 p.m.; Sun­day, Decem­ber 23, 3:50 p.m.; Mon­day, Decem­ber 24, 2 p.m.; Fri­day, Decem­ber 28, 2 p.m.
Japan, 1988, 35mm, 86 min., Eng­lish
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voiced by Dakota and Elle Fan­ning, Tim Daly
Two lit­tle girls and their father move into a beau­ti­ful old house in the coun­try­side to be near their mother, who is seri­ously ill in hos­pi­tal. Largely left to fend for them­selves, Mei and her big sis­ter Sat­suki encounter a strange and beau­ti­ful world of for­est sprites named “Totoros.” Miyazaki’s most beloved film is sim­ply mag­i­cal and mag­i­cally simple.

Kaze No Tani No Naushika (Nau­si­caä of the Val­ley of Wind)
“A joy to watch.”- New York Times
Sat­ur­day, Decem­ber 15, 3 p.m.; Sun­day, Decem­ber 16, 4 p.m.
Japan, 1984, 35mm, 117 min., Eng­lish
Directed by Hayao Miyazake
Voice cast includes Ali­son Lohman, Shia LaBeouf, Edward James Olmos, Chris Saran­don
Miyazaki’s first film as writer-director (based on his own suc­cess­ful manga) is an extrad­i­nar­ily rich fan­tasy film, an eco-allegory set in a feu­dal, toxic future and a spir­ited adven­ture movie. Led by the coura­geous Princess Nau­si­caa, the peo­ple of the Val­ley of the Wind are engaged in a per­pet­ual con­flict with pow­er­ful insects called “ohmu,” guardians of a poi­so­nous (and spread­ing) jungle.

Sen To Chi­hiro No Kamikakushi (Spir­ited Away)
Enchanted and enchant­ing… fast and funny; weird and won­der­ful. Mostly won­der­ful.” — Peter Brad­shaw, The Guardian
Sat­ur­day, Decem­ber 15, 5:20 p.m.; Mon­day, Decem­ber 17, 6:30 p.m.; Thurs­day, Decem­ber 20, 5:30 p.m.; Mon­day, Decem­ber 31, 2 p.m.
Japan, 2001, 35mm, 125 min., Eng­lish, Clas­si­fi­ca­tion: PG
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Dav­eigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, David Ogden Stiers, Michael Chik­lis, John Ratzen­berger
Chi­hiro and her par­ents are en route to a new home when they drive through a mys­te­ri­ous tun­nel and enter a deserted town. When her folks start gorg­ing on food and trans­form into a pair of pigs, Chi­hiro dis­cov­ers this place is not quite as empty as she had imag­ined. This is a place of spir­its, gods, mon­sters and witches.
“Picks up a res­o­nance, weight and com­plex­ity that makes it all but Shake­spearean.… No other word for it: a mas­ter­piece.” — Tony Rayns, Time Out
SIX STARS (excep­tion must be made for the excep­tional). Spir­ited Away is a feast of won­der­ment, a movie clas­sic and a joy that will enrich your exis­tence until you too are spir­ited away. I don’t expect ever to love a film more.” — Nigel Andrews, Finan­cial Times

Gake No Ue No Ponyo (Ponyo On The Cliff)
“You’ll be plan­ning to see Ponyo twice before you’ve fin­ished see­ing it once.… It offers up unfor­get­table images [..] images that use the logic of dreams to make the deep­est pos­si­ble con­nec­tion to our emo­tions, and to our souls.”- Ken­neth Turan, NPR
Sun­day, Decem­ber 16, 2 p.m.; Wednes­day Decem­ber 19, 6:30 p.m.; Mon­day, Decem­ber 24, 3:45 p.m.; Sat­ur­day, Decem­ber 29, 4:15 p.m.
Japan, 2008, 35mm, 101 min., Eng­lish
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Cate Blanchett, Liam Nee­son, Matt Damon
Miyazaki’s strange and beguil­ing fan­tasy film about a sea spirit – it’s an odd eco fable about the ter­ri­ble power of the sea, but illus­trated with such beauty and imag­i­na­tion it trans­ports us entirely into another world. Rated G, this is suit­able for chil­dren of all ages.
“Miyazaki knows the secret lan­guage of chil­dren; he dives deep into the pool of child­hood dreams and fears and, through his ani­magic, takes chil­dren down to where they can breathe, and feel, and be free.” — Richard Corliss, Time

Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)
“Com­plex, superbly ren­dered, and wildly eccen­tric — even by Miyazaki’s own stan­dards.”- J Hober­man, Vil­lage Voice
Sun­day, Decem­ber 16, 6:15 p.m.; Tue. Decem­ber 18, 6:30 p.m.
Japan, 1997, 35mm, 134 min., Eng­lish, Clas­si­fi­ca­tion: 14A
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thorn­ton, Min­nie Dri­ver, Claire Danes, Gillian Ander­son.
Set dur­ing the Muro­machi Period (1333–1568) of Japan, Princess Mononoke is the tale of a mys­ti­cal fight between humans and the Ani­mal Gods of the for­est. Aimed at a slightly older audi­ence than most Ghi­bli fare (it is clas­si­fied 14A), this epic folk tale shows the influ­ence of Akira Kuro­sawa (a Miyazaki fan him­self) and of John Ford, too. The film was the most suc­cess­ful ever at the Japan­ese box office (prior to Titanic), and named the film of the year in Japan’s equiv­a­lent to the Acad­emy Awards.
“A sym­phony of action and images, a thrilling epic of war­riors and mon­sters, for­est crea­tures and mag­i­cal spells, with an under­ly­ing alle­gory about the rela­tion­ship of man and nature.” — Roger Ebert

Tenkû No Shiro Rapyuta (Cas­tle in the Sky)
“Fre­quently astound­ing.” — Richard Har­ring­ton, Wash­ing­ton Post
Sat­ur­day, Decem­ber 22, 12 noon; Sun­day, Decem­ber 23, 5:45 p.m.
Japan, 1986, 35mm, 124 min., Eng­lish
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leach­man
An island in the sky? The story of a young boy who sees a girl float­ing down from the sky. He comes to her aid in her flight from sky pirates, the army and secret agents. An adven­ture story influ­enced by Trea­sure Island and Gulliver’s Trav­els, Cas­tle in the Sky is dynamic, imag­i­na­tive fam­ily enter­tain­ment with valu­able lessons about tech­nol­ogy and ignorance.

Kure­nai No Buta (Porco Rosso)
“Smooshes fan­tasy and his­tory into a pastel-pretty yarn as irre­sistible as his fem­i­nism.” — Jean­nette Cat­soulis, New York Times
Sat­ur­day, Decem­ber 22, 4:10 p.m.; Sun­day, Decem­ber 23, 2 p.m.
Japan, 1992, 35mm, 94 min., Eng­lish
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Michael Keaton, Cary Elwes, Susan Egan, David Ogden Stiers
Pigs will fly! This cock­eyed trib­ute to Humphrey Bog­art and Ernest Hem­ing­way fea­tures an anti-fascist flier (who hap­pens to look like a pig) track­ing sky pirates over the Adri­atic in the 1930s. An exhil­a­rat­ing romp with a melan­choly under­tow — and amaz­ing fly­ing machines!
“Teems with Miyazaki’s per­sonal pas­sions [..] ren­dered with the utmost detail and beauty. As stir­ring as Casablanca, and as sophis­ti­cated as Only Angels Have Wings, it’s a sub­lime chival­ric fable.” Nick Brad­shaw, Time Out

Majo No Takkyûbin (Kiki’s Deliv­ery Ser­vice)
“Aston­ish­ing in its visual splen­dor and delight­fully enter­tain­ing, this mag­i­cal fam­ily film about a lit­tle witch-in-training, from Japan’s cel­e­brated ani­ma­tor Hayao Miyazaki, is not to be missed.” — Los Ange­les Times
Wednes­day, Decem­ber 26, 2 p.m.; Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 2, 4:15 p.m.; Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 3, 2 p.m.
Japan, 1989, 35mm, 103 min., Eng­lish
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices: Kirsten Dunst, Deb­bie Reynolds, Phil Hart­man, Janeane Garo­falo
In keep­ing with tra­di­tion, 13-year-old witch Kiki dusts off her broom and flies away from home for a year of inde­pen­dence and self-discovery in the big city. Her only com­pan­ion is her beloved black cat, Jiji.

Hauru No Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Mov­ing Cas­tle)
“A stun­ning exam­ple of a pure, dis­ori­ent­ing dream logic that cin­ema pro­vides all too rarely.”- Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
Thurs­day, Decem­ber 27, 4:30 p.m.; Sat­ur­day, Decem­ber 29, 2 p.m.
Japan, 2004, 35mm, 119 min., Eng­lish
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Cast: Voices: Chris­t­ian Bale, Lau­ren Bacall, Blythe Dan­ner, Emily Mor­timer, Jean Sim­mons
Teenager Sophie is cursed by the Witch of Waste and finds her­self trapped in the body of an old woman, and is unable to tell her mother or any­one else what has hap­pened. She finds help of sorts with the wiz­ard Howl, liv­ing as a ser­vant in his aston­ish­ing walk­ing cas­tle. Sophie is an inno­cent who must prove her resource­ful­ness, courage and con­vic­tion in a bewil­der­ing, alien world.

Hei­sei Tanuki Gassen Pom­poko (The Rac­coon War)
“Pom­poko is a delight­ful, often uproar­i­ously funny film, at once child­ishly irrev­er­ent and thought­fully mature. Being a Ghi­bli work, it is beau­ti­fully ren­dered and tech­ni­cally impec­ca­ble, with a great num­ber of mem­o­rable set pieces.”- Tom Mes, Mid­night Eye
Thurs­day, Decem­ber 27, 2:15 p.m.; Sun­day, Decem­ber 30, 3:30 p.m.
Japan, 1994, 35mm, 119 min., Eng­lish
Directed by Isao Taka­hata
Voices: Jonathan Tay­lor Thomas, Clancy Brown, JK Sim­mons
Imag­ine Water­ship Down, Stu­dio Ghibli-style. Instead of rab­bits, we have rac­coons. And not just any rac­coons — these crit­ters have mag­i­cal pow­ers of trans­for­ma­tion. As their habi­tat is stripped and paved by the encroach­ing humans, the good-natured but rather undis­ci­plined for­est crea­tures embark on a cam­paign of dis­rup­tion and distraction.

Neko No Ongaeshi (The Cat Returns)
“An enchant­ing, mag­i­cal fable with a twisted vein of sur­re­al­ism.” — Neil Smith, BBC
Fri­day, Decem­ber 28, 3:45 p.m.; Sun­day, Decem­ber 30, 5:45 p.m.; Mon­day, Decem­ber 31, 4:20 p.m.
Japan, 2002, 35mm, 75 min., Eng­lish
Directed by Hiroyuki Morita
Voices: Anne Hath­away, Cary Elwes, Judy Greer, Elliot Gould, Tim Curry
School­girl Haru bravely saves a cat’s life — and finds her­self sum­moned to the King­dom of the Cats for her pains, where she is to become the wife of the Cat Prince! When she refuses, she starts sprout­ing whiskers and furry ears.… What’s a girl to do?

Mimi O Sumaseba (Whis­per of the Heart)
“A beau­ti­ful film.” — David Jenk­ins, Time Out
Wednes­day, Janu­rary 2, 2 p.m.; Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 3, 4 p.m.
Japan, 1995, 35mm, 111 min., Eng­lish
Directed by Yoshi­fumi Kondo
Voices: Brit­tany Snow, Cary Elwes, David Gal­lagher, Court­ney Thorne Smith
A lovely change of pace from Stu­dio Ghi­bli, this is a teenage first-love story, set in a real­is­ti­cally observed mod­ern day Tokyo. Book­ish school­girl Shizuku meets her soul mate with a lit­tle help from a portly cat.

Call the Film Info Line at (604) 683-FILM (3456) for the lat­est info and listings.

My Little Pony’s Andrea Libman Wins Animation Voice Award

Andrea Libman

Andrea Lib­man

For her por­tray­als of Pinkie Pie and Flut­ter­shy in My Lit­tle Pony: Friend­ship is Magic, Toronto-born Van­cou­ver per­former Andrea Lib­man, 28, won the Award for Best Voice at the inau­gural UBCP/ACTRA Awards.

Two other voice per­form­ers in My Lit­tle Pony: Friend­ship is Magic had been nom­i­nated in the same cat­e­gory: Trevor Devall (Prince Blue­blood) and Tabitha St. Ger­main (many characters).

Also nom­i­nated were Lee Tockar (Dok­tor Frogg) for League of Super Evil: “Lose Weight” and Sam Vin­cent (Lester) for Rated A for Awe­some: “Lost in Character.”

The UBCP/ACTRA Award for Best Actress went to Camille Sul­li­van (Sis­ters & Broth­ers), while the award for Best Actor was given to Stephen Lobo for Afghan Luke. Also for Sis­ters & Broth­ers, Kacey Rohl was named Best Newcomer.

The UBCP/ACTRA Award for Best Stunt was handed out to Phil Mitchell for his work in True Jus­tice: “Urban Warfare.”

Melissa Stubbs received the John Juliani Award of Excel­lence. The Lorena Gale Woman of Dis­tinc­tion Award was given to Carol Whiteman.

The UBCP/ACTRA Awards cer­e­mony took place Sat­ur­day night at the Cana­dian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion stu­dios in Vancouver.

Over 130 per­for­mances were sub­mit­ted to the nom­i­nat­ing com­mit­tee, who used a vot­ing sys­tem to deter­mine the final nominees.

The nom­i­nat­ing com­mit­tee included UBCP mem­bers Blu Mankuma, Brian Markin­son, Car­men Moore, David Myl­rea, Garvin Cross, Jay Brazeau, John Cassini, Lauro Char­trand, Melissa Stubbs, Robert Moloney, Sarah-Jane Red­mond and Sonja Ben­nett. Where a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee was also sub­mit­ted for a nom­i­na­tion, they recused them­selves from the voting.

The Union of British Colum­bia Per­form­ers (UBCP/ACTRA) is an autonomous branch of ACTRA (Alliance of Cana­dian Cin­ema, Tele­vi­sion and Radio Artists), the national orga­ni­za­tion of pro­fes­sional per­form­ers work­ing in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA rep­re­sents the inter­ests of 22,000 mem­bers across Canada.

Guardians Slow to Rise, Opens in Fourth Place

Rise Of The Guardians

Rise Of The Guardians

Such child­hood heroes as the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus save the world in Rise of the Guardians, but they didn’t stop the movie from open­ing in fourth place over the five-day Thanks­giv­ing weekend.

Fea­tur­ing the voices of Chris Pine and Alec Bald­win, the Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion movie made $32.6 mil­lion since open­ing Wednes­day, includ­ing $24 mil­lion over the week­end itself.

That’s a far cry from the $64 mil­lion made by teen vam­pire sequel The Twi­light Saga: Break­ing Yawn — Part 2 in its sec­ond weekend.

Rise of the Guardians was pro­duced by DWA for about $145 mil­lion. Dis­trib­u­tor Para­mount Pic­tures had expected it to gross $35 mil­lion in its first five days, accord­ing to Box Office Mojo.

Based on children’s author William Joyce’s book series The Guardians of Child­hood, the film is the last being dis­trib­uted by Para­mount will release for DWA. Next year, Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion movies will be dis­trib­uted by Fox.

Observ­ing “the great par­ent reac­tions we’ve seen” to the film, Anne Globe, Dream­works’ chief mar­ket­ing offi­cer, said it was one of the few choices for fam­i­lies through the end of the year. The stu­dio is “hop­ing for very long legs through the hol­i­days,” she added.

In sixth place was Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, which brought in $23 mil­lion. It was in fourth place the pre­vi­ous week­end. So far, Wreck-It Ralph has made $149.5 mil­lion domestically.

The North Amer­i­can box office for the Thanks­giv­ing week­end (Wednes­day to Sun­day) reached $290 mil­lion, beat­ing the pre­vi­ous hol­i­day week­end record of $273 mil­lion set in 2009, when The Twi­light Saga: New Moon was the leader.

Week­end ticket sales in the United States and Canada were com­piled by the box office divi­sion of

Boy With Autism Wins Animation Award For 2nd Time

Young PK Keith of Val­ley Vil­lage, Cal­i­for­nia, who was diag­nosed with autism spec­trum dis­or­der at age two, and whose bud­ding inter­est in ani­ma­tion and film was evi­dent at an early age, received a Best Ele­men­tary School Ani­ma­tion award Sun­day from Inter­na­tional Stu­dent Film Fes­ti­val Hol­ly­wood in recog­ni­tion of his ani­mated short Ani­mal Birth­day Party.

Ten-year-old PK, who attends tutor­ing at Excep­tional Minds voca­tional school for youth with autism, won in the same cat­e­gory in last year’s ISFFH fes­ti­val, an annual event open to all ele­men­tary, junior high and high school stu­dents that rec­og­nizes young film­mak­ers from around the world. The short was selected along with more than 65 oth­ers for screen­ing at the ISFFH film fes­ti­val, which took place Sat­ur­day and Sun­day at Bev­erly Garland’s The­ater in North Hol­ly­wood, California.

Some peo­ple don’t know until after grad­u­at­ing from col­lege what they want to do. PK has always wanted to be an ani­ma­tor. Even before he could talk, he’d go through reams and reams of paper, draw­ing and lay­ing out his sto­ry­boards on the floor. This is his thing,” says mom Mol­lie Burns Keith, who enrolled PK in pri­vate tutor­ing ses­sions at Excep­tional Minds over the sum­mer to develop her son’s skills and pre­pare him for even­tual employ­ment as an animator.

PK orig­i­nated the Flash ani­ma­tion with tutor­ing and instruc­tion from Laura Robin­son and other instruc­tors at Excep­tional Minds, a Sher­man Oaks, Cal­i­for­nia voca­tional school for young adults on the autism spec­trum who aspire to become ani­ma­tors and com­puter artists. Started last year by pro­fes­sion­als in the post-production and film indus­try, and instructed by work­ing ani­ma­tors with the help of experts expe­ri­enced in autism devel­op­men­tal issues, Excep­tional Minds is being lauded as the poster child for what’s next for young adults with ASD, many of whom are under­em­ployed or unem­ployed, yet who demon­strate an apti­tude for com­puter ani­ma­tion and tech­nol­ogy in general.

PK is one more exam­ple of what these young and tal­ented indi­vid­u­als can do given the right tools, the right instruc­tion and the space to do it,” says Yudi Ben­nett, the direc­tor of oper­a­tions for Excep­tional Minds, and the par­ent of a young adult on the autism spectrum.

The Inter­na­tional Stu­dent Film Fes­ti­val Hol­ly­wood is in its 10th year as a venue “where the next gen­er­a­tion of film­mak­ers show­case their work,” plac­ing PK among an elite and esteemed group of young aspir­ing talent.

At the fes­ti­val, the Grand Jury Award went to Shaun Seong-young Kim of USC for the ani­mated Hu’s Game. The award for Best Ani­ma­tion was given to fel­low USC stu­dent Wen Huang for The Sev­enth Star.

Named Best High School Ani­ma­tion was Snub-nosed Elf, directed by Chi Keung Wong of Hong Kong’s Yung Yau Col­lege. It was writ­ten by Ngo Yin Ip and Man Ho Wan. Chak Fung Ip, also of Yung Yau Col­lege, won Best Junior High School Ani­ma­tion for Make a Dif­fer­ence, writ­ten by Ka Yung Che­ung and Wing Hang Chan.

Turkeys Ready To Be Served in November 2014



The ani­mated com­edy “Turkeys” will be released Novem­ber 14, 2014, Rel­a­tiv­ity Media and Reel FX announced Thursday.

Turkeys is helmed by Jimmy Hay­ward, direc­tor of box office hit Hor­ton Hears A Who! and ani­ma­tor on such films as Disney/Pixar’s Find­ing Nemo and Mon­sters Inc. The film is jointly pro­duced and financed by Rel­a­tiv­ity and Reel FX, and is now set for the­atri­cal release.

The film stars the voice tal­ent of Owen Wil­son, who pre­vi­ously voiced Light­ning McQueen in Disney-Pixar’s Cars; Woody Har­rel­son from The Hunger Games; and Dan Fogler, who pre­vi­ously voiced Zeng in Dream­works Animation’s Kung Fu Panda. Pro­duc­ing are Scott Mosier (Clerks), Craig Mazin (The Hang­over Part II), John Strauss (The Santa Claus 2) and David l. Stern (Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia). The screen­play was writ­ten by Stern and Strauss, with a rewrite by Mazin. The film will be dis­trib­uted world­wide by Relativity.

Turkeys is an irrev­er­ent, hilar­i­ous, adven­tur­ous buddy com­edy where two turkeys from oppo­site sides of the tracks must put aside their dif­fer­ences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of his­tory — and get turkey off the menu for good.

Reel FX is a fully-integrated movie stu­dio that devel­ops and pro­duces both ani­mated films and live-action movies. In addi­tion to Turkeys, Reel FX’s grow­ing ani­ma­tion slate includes Day of the Dead (Guillermo del Toro pro­duc­ing) and Beasts of Bur­den (Aron Warner and Andrew Adam­son pro­duc­ing). Reel FX’s own film slate fol­lows almost 20 years of expe­ri­ence as an award-winning one-stop stu­dio for ani­mated con­tent, includ­ing films, spe­cial attraction/live venue projects and inter­ac­tive projects, for com­pa­nies like Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion, Fox, Warner Bros. and Uni­ver­sal Studios.

Michael Hefferon Appointed President of Rainmaker Animation

Rainmaker Entertainment

Rain­maker Entertainment

Rain­maker Enter­tain­ment Inc. has appointed fea­ture film and TV exec­u­tive Michael Hef­feron as pres­i­dent and exec­u­tive pro­ducer, Craig Gra­ham, newly appointed chair­man and CEO of the Vancouver-based CGI ani­ma­tion pro­duc­tion stu­dio, announced.

The appoint­ment of Hef­feron reflects Rainmaker’s con­tin­u­ing expan­sion into both areas of client CGI ani­ma­tion ser­vices, as well as orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion with enter­tain­ment part­ners world­wide, such as the studio’s part­ner­ship with the Wein­stein Com­pany on the upcom­ing fea­ture film Escape From Planet Earth.

Hef­feron joins a team of pro­fes­sional ani­ma­tion and cre­ative tal­ent at Rain­maker led by Kim Dent Wilder, senior vice-president of pro­duc­tion and operations.

Hef­feron brings to his lead­er­ship role at Rain­maker an exten­sive career in the TV and fea­ture film indus­try, hav­ing pro­duced more than 500 half-hours of pro­gram­ming for tele­vi­sion and numer­ous the­atri­cal motion pic­tures. Hef­feron joins Rain­maker Enter­tain­ment from Bardel Enter­tain­ment, where he served as vice-president of busi­ness devel­op­ment and exec­u­tive pro­ducer, and over­saw the Van­cou­ver ani­ma­tion company’s numer­ous high-profile pro­duc­tions and asso­ci­a­tions with broad­cast­ers worldwide.

He pre­vi­ously served as man­ag­ing direc­tor of Aus­tralian CGI ani­ma­tion com­pany Fly­ing Bark Pro­duc­tions PTY Ltd, and as senior vice-president of pro­duc­tion and devel­op­ment for Ger­man ani­ma­tion stu­dio BFC Berliner Film Com­panie Pro­duc­tions GmbH, where he also was co-producer on the ani­mated fea­ture film Hap­pily N’ever After.

Ear­lier in his career, Hef­feron headed up ani­ma­tion co-productions for Gul­lane Entertainment/HIT Enter­tain­ment and served as vice-president of pro­duc­tion and devel­op­ment for Toronto-based ani­ma­tion com­pany Cat­a­lyst Enter­tain­ment. Hef­feron also was founder and Pres­i­dent of Phoenix Ani­ma­tion, his own stu­dio, which quickly gained a rep­u­ta­tion as a high-quality pro­duc­tion stu­dio with such cred­its as Fer­n­Gully: The Last Rain­for­est, Thum­be­lina, A Goofy Movie and All Dogs Go To Heaven 2.

Hef­feron will con­tinue to serve as exec­u­tive pro­ducer on his cur­rent series projects with Bardel Enter­tain­ment.

In addi­tion to Hefferon’s appoint­ment, Bardel Enter­tain­ment CEO Delna Bhe­sa­nia was appointed to Rainmaker’s board of directors.

We are extremely pleased to announce Michael Hefferon’s appoint­ment to Rain­maker Enter­tain­ment. Michael ranks among the top ech­e­lon on tele­vi­sion and film pro­duc­tion and busi­ness exec­u­tives whose exten­sive expe­ri­ence and impres­sive track record of suc­cess will prove to be of great ben­e­fit to our com­pany as we con­tinue our growth as a co-production part­ner and ani­ma­tion ser­vice provider,” said Graham.

At the same time, we are delighted to wel­come Delna Bhe­sa­nia to Rainmaker’s board. A glob­ally rec­og­nized ani­ma­tion exec­u­tive, we look for­ward to Delna bring­ing her wealth of ani­ma­tion expe­ri­ence to our group.”