Sunday, February 1, 2015
Another Year, Another Annies Ceremony
Well, first things first... The ceremony was, big shock, bearable!
That's right, bearable. They dialed down the amount of unfunny banter, the hosts barely took forever to open the envelopes and announce the winners, and overall it seemed to go by quick. Again, it's probably due to the lack of bad jokes and needless gabbing.
But I guess with the Annies, you always have to pay for something going right. In this case, the stream was absolutely terrible. The live video was laggy as all hell, and it ruined the speeches, montages, and demonstrations of the nominees. Very, very annoying...
So... The winners?
I'm very happy that How To Train Your Dragon 2 won the big prize, but I feel that it took home one too many technical awards when other films deserved a little recognition. It wasn't like the previous years where various competitors won the different awards. The dragons took home Best Directing, Best Music, Best Storyboarding, and Best Editing.
Big Hero 6 got one, and it was for Best Effects in an Animated Feature. Definitely deserved, for the microbots and explosions and spectacle in that film looked great.
The Boxtrolls got one for Best Production Design, but I feel that The Book of Life deserved it more. In fact, Book of Life should've swept a few categories. At least The Book of Life got Best Character Design...
LAIKA's film also got Best Voice Acting, which was given to Sir Ben Kingsley. It feel that one was deserved, for he knocked it out of the park as Archibald Snatcher.
The Lego Movie got Best Writing, and deservedly so.
I also felt that a lot of the nominee choices were questionable. For instance, in the Character Animation category, three different Dragon 2 character animators got nominated alongside three different Penguins of Madagascar character animators, and one Boxtrolls character animator. No room for say, the character animators for Hiro or Baymax from Big Hero 6? Or from anything other than those two DreamWorks films?
This was also a problem in other categories, and sometimes there were very few nominees when they could've squeezed in another one or two. I basically wanted to see a little more variety, that's all.
As much as I admire Paul Rudish's Mickey Mouse series, it didn't deserve every single award it got. It seems like it was simply rigged to win almost everything, and there were many great candidates going against it. It's also a bummer that Toy Story That Time Forgot took home nothing. But that's okay, Pixar is releasing two films this year and they'll probably get gold statues left and right... And then we'll complain about everyone else getting shut out.
On the slightly bright side, Wander Over Yander took home a few awards. I've seen a couple episodes, it's damn good. Gravity Falls won for Best Animated Show that's suitable for children.
I'm also very happy that Edge of Tomorrow got Best Visual Effects in a Live Action Film. That film was truly great and one of the best big budget summer blockbusters I've ever seen. I'm not exaggerating, go blind buy that movie now! You probably won't regret it.
Disney Animation's groundbreaking and innovative Feast won Best Animated Short, but I feel that Glen Keane's Duet should've taken it home, or Dice Tsutsumi's The Dam Keeper.
Also, really? Assassin's Creed Unity for Best Character Animation in a Video Game?
The lifetime achievement awards are always a joy to watch, and they went to such great people: Didier Brunner, Don Lusk, Lee Mendelson (all three got the Windsor McKay Award), and Charles Solomon (The June Foray Award). The Walt Disney Family Museum and DreamWorks' Apollo software got the Special Achievement and Ub Iwerks awards respectively. The laggy video on the other hand made things a chore to watch, especially since they showed a minute of an unearthed Fleischer Koko the Clown cartoon from the early 1920s. The montages of beautiful animation from several different films? Again, ruined by the lag. Always a problem, isn't there?
Anyways, too much Dragon, too much Mickey, laggy video. But the lack of bad jokes and the fact that they didn't take forever to open envelopes was a plus...