For the first time ever, Pixar is getting awards competition from itself. The studio’s inventive summer blockbuster “Inside Out” and its warm-hearted recent release “The Good Dinosaur” lead the nominees for animated feature at the 43rd annual Annie Awards slated for Feb. 6 at UCLA’s Royce Hall, with 14 and 10 bids, respectively.
Rounding out the field are the adult-themed stop-motion film “Anomalisa” from Paramount, Blue Sky’s nostalgic 3D reboot “The Peanuts Movie” and Aardman Animations’ “Shaun the Sheep the Movie,” a film based on the popular British TV series. All have five nominations.
“Inside Out,” which had been an early favorite to sweep several awards this year, may face some serious competition not only from stablemate “Dinosaur,” but also from the edgy “Anomalisa,” which picked up several nominations for the independent Spirit Awards, including feature, director and screenplay.
ASIFA-Hollywood, the organization behind the Annie Awards, split the animated feature category in two this year, creating a category called Animated Feature — Independent, meant to shine a light on feature films with a smaller release strategy. Nominees are “Boy and the World,” “The Boy and the Beast,” “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet” and “When Marnie Was There.”
Overall, Pixar loaded up with 25 nominations, far and away the most among film studios, including a bid for the short film “Sanjay’s Super Team,” which plays ahead of “The Good Dinosaur” in theaters.
Directing in an animated feature nominees Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson for “Anomalisa,” Raul Garcia for “Extraordinary Tales,” Pete Docter for “Inside Out,” Roger Allers for “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet,” Mark Burton and Richard Starzak for “Shaun the Sheep the Movie” and Hiromasa Yonebayashi for “When Marnie Was There.”
Other films picking up nominations in various creative categories include Illumination’s “Minions,” with seven; and DreamWorks Animation’s “Home” and Sony Pictures Animation’s “Hotel Transylvania 2,” with three each.
Disney may not have a horse in the feature awards race this year, but Disney Television Animation rode away with the most Annie TV nominations with 21, followed by Nickelodeon with 16 and DreamWorks TV Animation with 14. The TV noms were spread out pretty evenly among several series, with Warner Bros.’ “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas” scoring the most with seven, followed by DWA TV’s “Dragons: Race to the Edge” and Nickelodeon’s “Pig Goat Banana Cricket,” with five each.
Nominees for animated television/broadcast production for preschool children are Nickelodeon/Nelvana’s “Bubble Guppies,” Spin Master/Nickelodeon’s ” PAW Patrol,” Nickelodeon Productions and Silvergate Media’s “Peter Rabbit,” Wild Canary Productions and Disney Junior’s “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West,” Hasbro Studios’ “Transformers Rescue Bots” and Amazon Studios and Bix Pix Entertainment’s “Tumble Leaf.”
Animated TV/broadcast production for children nominees are Cartoon Networks’ “Clarence” and “Steven Universe”; Nickelodeon’s “Harvey Beaks” and “Sanjay & Craig”; and DVTA’s “Star vs the Forces of Evil,” “Wander Over Yonder” and the soon-to-wrap “Gravity Falls.”
“Bob’s Burgers” from 20th Century Fox Television and Bento Box, the Tornante Co.’s “Bojack Horseman,” Titmouse and Comedy Central’s “Moonbeam City” and “The Simpsons,” from Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television, are the nominees for general audience animated TV/broadcast production.