‘When Marnie Was There’ Among Annie Award Nominees

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A scene from Hiromasa Yonebayashi's "When Marnie Was There."

A scene from Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s “When Marnie Was There.”

The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced nominations Dec. 1 for its 43rd annual Annie Awards, recognizing the year’s best in the field of animation.

The Annie Awards cover 36 categories, including Best Animated Feature, for which the nominees are “Anomalisa,” “Inside Out,” “Shaun the Sheep: The Movie,” “The Good Dinosaur,” and “The Peanuts Movie.” For a complete list of nominations, visit www.annieawards.org. The winners will be announced at a black-tie ceremony on Feb. 6 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

Isao Takahata

Isao Takahata

For the juried awards, three Winsor McCay recipients have been selected by the ASIFA-Hollywood Board of Directors – Joe Ranft, Phil Roman and Isao Takahata for their career contributions to the art of animation; and the June Foray recipient, Don Hahn, for his significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.

A co-founder of Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki, Takahata has directed such films as “Grave of the Fireflies” (1988), “Only Yesterday” (1991), “Pom Poko” (1994), “My Neighbors the Yamadas” (1999), and “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” (2013), which received Academy Award and Annie Award nominations for best animated feature.

“This year we introduced an important new category – Best Feature-Independent,” says ASIFA-Hollywood President Jerry Beck. “We will now 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.”

The inaugural Best Animated Feature-Independent nominations are “Boy and the World” (Filme de Papel), “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet” (Ventanarosa), “The Boy and the Beast” (Studio Chizu, directed by Mamoru Hosoda), and “When Marnie Was There” (Studio Ghibli).

Other nominees include:

Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated Feature Production — Hiromasa Yonebayashi for “When Marnie Was There.” Also nominated: 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”; Steve Martino for “The Peanuts Movie.”

Outstanding Achievement, Writing in an Animated Feature Production — Keiko Niwa, Masashi Ando and Hiromasa Yonebayashi for “When Marnie Was There.” Also nominated: Pete Docter, Meg Lefauve and Josh Cooley for “Inside Out”; Mark Burton and Richard Starzak for “Shaun the Sheep: The Movie.

Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in a Live Action Production — Kaori Ogino, creature supervisor, was part of the team that created Indominus Rex for “Jurassic World” and animator Sachio Nishiyama was part of the team that created Ultron for “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Also nominated: The Hulk in “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron”; Azog in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”; Smaug in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”; The Bear in “The Revenant.”

Outstanding Achievement, Character Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production — Junpei Takayama, character designer, for various characters in the “Breadwinners” episode “Wrath of the Pizza Lord” and Keiko Murayama, character designer, for various characters in the “Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show” episode “New Sponsor/ Cleopatra.” Also nominated: “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas”; “Harvey Beaks: Night Club Night”; “Pickle and Peanut: Swim Lessons”; “Pig Goat Banana Cricket: Pig Goat Banana Cricket High Five!”; “Pig Goat Banana Cricket: Miss Cutesy Meow Meows.”

Outstanding Achievement, Character Design in an Animated Feature Production — Character artist Chris Sasaki for “Inside Out.” Also nominated: “Hotel Transylvania 2,” “Minions,” “The Good Dinosaur.”

Outstanding Achievement, Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production — Jillian Tamaki and other writers for the “Adventure Time” episode “The Diary” and Shion Takeuchi and other writers for the “Gravity Falls” episode “Not What He Seems.” Also nominated: “Bob’s Burgers: The Hauntening,” “The Simpsons: I Won’t Be Home for Christmas.”

Asian Americans were well represented in several categories, especially Best Student Film, where nominees included Yon Hui Lee for “Dodoba,” Xie Chenglin for “Life Smartphone,” Stephanie Chiew for “Mother,” Yizhou Li for “Nice to Meeteor You,” and Melody Wang for “The Casebook of Nips & Porkington.”

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