Art Directors Guild Adds Category for Animated Features

Motion-capture created films, in which at least 75 percent of the film is animated, would qualify under its rule.
'Finding Nemo'

The Art Directors Guild has added a new category, for excellence in production design in an animated feature film, which will debut at the 22nd annual Excellence in Production Design Awards, which are set to take place Jan. 27 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.

In previous years, the guild has allowed animated work to compete in its category for production design in a fantasy feature film. Past animated nominees in that category include Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E and The Adventures of TinTin

Starting this season, to qualify in the new animation category a film must feature 2D (hand-drawn animation), 3D (CG), clay animation/puppets, motion capture (live-action/CG hybrid) or some combination of the above. The movie must have the majority of its sets and locations created using a frame-by-frame technique.

The rules also require that animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture's running time (meaning performance-capture characters in mostly live-action films would not qualify) and a significant number of the top eight major characters must be animated.

Underscoring the continued blurring of the lines between animation and live-action, ADG said that if the film could be mistaken for live-action, producers must submit information supporting how and why the picture is substantially a work of animation.

“It is our intention to honor and celebrate great production design achievements in the remarkable and evolving art form of animation through this new award,” ADG past president Thomas A. Walsh, who is producing the event with ADG board secretary Thomas Wilkins, said in a statement. “By separating feature animation into its own constituent category, we wish to pay tribute to these creative works in a manner equivalent to all our other feature design categories."

Additionally, the theme of this year’s awards ceremony will be "Production Design in Animation: Celebrating 100 Years of Imagination."

ADG begins accepting submissions for this year’s awards Oct. 5. Rules are published on the Guild’s website.