Disney and Pixar ending boycott of Annie Awards

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Dis­ney and Pixar will be among the com­pa­nies sub­mit­ting entries for this year’s Annie Awards, end­ing their with­drawal from the prizes, Hol­ly­wood online news site TheWrap has learned.

The Inter­na­tional Ani­mated Film Soci­ety, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced Thurs­day its “Call for Entries” for the 39th Annual Annie Awards. The Annies are rec­og­nized by the enter­tain­ment indus­try as the high­est and most pres­ti­gious hon­ors given in ani­ma­tion by the ani­ma­tion industry.

This year’s Annie Awards cer­e­mony is sched­uled for next Feb­ru­ary 4 at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles.

Though the stu­dio has made no for­mal announce­ment, a source who knows about the ASIFA process told TheWrap that Disney/Pixar will par­tic­i­pate in the orga­ni­za­tion and its awards show.

Disney/Pixar pulled out last year from sup­port­ing ASIFA-Hollywood because of its objec­tions to Annie rules and judg­ing procedures.

We are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing Dis­ney and Pixar par­tic­i­pate, and look for­ward to a full slate of tal­ent this year,” said an Annies spokesper­son, adding that she under­stands the com­pany will make sub­mis­sions this time around.

This year’s Annies saw Dream­Works Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon win­ning 10 awards. Pixar’s Toy Story 3 received none, even though it sub­se­quently won the Acad­emy Award for Best Ani­mated Feature.

Disney/Pixar did not make any sub­mis­sions for this year’s Annies. How­ever, Toy Story 3 received three nominations.

Since this year’s cer­e­mony, ASIFA replaced long­time pres­i­dent Antran Manoogian with long­time ani­ma­tion exec­u­tive Frank Gladstone.

The new pres­i­dent said that he was plan­ning on “mak­ing some sig­nif­i­cant changes to the sta­tus quo.” Among those changes were chang­ing the vot­ing struc­ture of the Annies, and “estab­lish­ing a rep­re­sen­ta­tive voice for every ani­ma­tion studio.”

Disney/Pixar with­drew from ASIFA after the orga­ni­za­tion refused to set up a multi-studio advi­sory board. How­ever, ASIFA did make changes that nar­rowed vot­ing qualifications.

ASIFA mem­bers include pro­fes­sional ani­ma­tors, employ­ees of ani­ma­tion com­pa­nies, and fans who pay an annual fee. Because Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion buys all its employ­ees mem­ber­ships in ASIFA, it has been accused of con­trol­ling too large a part of the mem­ber­ship and exces­sively influ­enc­ing the Annies.

The 2011 Annie Awards will be pre­sented in 28 cat­e­gories, includ­ing two new cat­e­gories — Out­stand­ing Edi­to­r­ial in an Ani­mated Fea­ture and Out­stand­ing Edi­to­r­ial in an Ani­mated Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­tion — added to the slate this year. A “Member’s Favorite” award has also been added, but will be on a sep­a­rate bal­lot located on the Annies Web site (www.annieawards.org). While Annie vot­ing is lim­ited to pro­fes­sional mem­bers, all mem­bers, both pro­fes­sional and asso­ciate, will be able to vote on this award.

Entries sub­mit­ted for con­sid­er­a­tion will be from pro­duc­tions that were released in the United States dur­ing the 2011 cal­en­dar year. Details on how to enter may be found at www.annieawards.org.

The dead­line to receive sub­mis­sions and mate­ri­als is 5 p.m. Fri­day, Octo­ber 14. The dead­line to join ASIFA-Hollywood, or to renew mem­ber­ship in order to par­tic­i­pate in the Annie Award vot­ing, is Fri­day, Novem­ber 4. Mem­ber­ship infor­ma­tion can be found at www.asifa-hollywood.org.

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