11:09am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Annie Awards: THR's Guide to the Animated Film Ceremony
The 45th annual Annie Awards will be presented Saturday by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood. Here's what you need to know about the ceremony, which will be held at UCLA’s Royce Hall.
The top category for best animated feature was divided up with the addition of the best independent animated feature category in 2015.
This year, the nominees for best animated feature are Disney/Pixar's Coco, DreamWorks Animation's Captain Underpants, Disney/Pixar's Cars 3, Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me 3 and DWA's The Boss Baby. Nominees for best independent animated feature are GKIDS' The Breadwinner, Napping Princess and The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales; Shout! Factory's In the Corner of the World; and the hand-painted Loving Vincent.
The Boss Baby, Coco, The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent are also nominated for the Oscar for best animated feature, along with Fox/Blue Sky's Ferdinand. In four of the past six years, the winner in the best animated feature Annie category went on to win the animated feature Oscar.
Coco and The Breadwinner lead the feature nominations.
Coco has 13 Annie nominations, followed by The Breadwinner with 10. The Boss Baby earned a total of six noms, while Captain Underpants, The Big Bad Fox, Despicable Me 3, Warner Animation Group's The Lego Batman Movie and Loving Vincent earned three mentions apiece.
Only three of the Oscar-nominated animated features are also nominated for the Annie in the feature direction category.
The Breadwinner director Nora Twomey, Coco's Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, and Boss Baby's Tom McGrath are nominated for the Annie for best direction, alongside Chris McKay, director of Warner Animation Group's The Lego Batman Movie, and Big Bad Fox's Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert.
Special honorees include SpongeBob Squarepants creator Stephen Hillenburg and Beauty and the Beast character animator James Baxter.
Winsor McCay Awards for career contributions will be presented to James Baxter, Stephen Hillenburg and Canadian animation duo Wendy Tilby & Amanda Forbis. The Ub Iwerks Award for technical advancement will recognize TVPaint. A special achievement award will be presented to Studio MDHR Entertainment for its 1930s-inspired video game Cuphead. The June Foray Award for charitable impact will be awarded to animation historian Didier Ghez. And a certificate of merit will be presented to David Nimitz, friend and caretaker of veteran voice actress June Foray, who died last July at the age of 99.
This year's Annies ceremony will be dedicated to Foray.
Said ASIFA-Hollywood executive director Frank Gladstone: "More than anyone else, June was responsible for founding the Annies 45 years ago. This will be the first year she is not going to be with us, so we will do our best to remember and celebrate June's creativity, generosity and unrelenting advocacy for the animation community."
A full list of nominees can be found here.