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Disney/Pixar's Dia de los Muertos-set Coco on Monday led the 45th annual Annie Awards nominations in the animated feature categories with 13 mentions, followed by GKIDS' The Breadwinner with 10. The Breadwinner is the story of a young girl growing up in Afghanistan under the Tailban regime, directed by Nora Twomey of Ireland's Cartoon Saloon (The Secret of Kells) and executive produced by Angelina Jolie.
Those films were also nominated for best animated feature and best animated independent feature, respectively. Nominated for best animated feature alongside Coco were Dreamworks Animation's Captain Underpants, Disney/Pixar's Cars 3, Illumination's Despicable Me 3 and DWA's The Boss Baby. The Breadwinner was nominated in the best animated independent feature category, alongside Shout! Factory's In the Corner of the World, the hand-painted Loving Vincent and two additional GKIDS releases, Napping Princess and The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales.
In four of the past six years, the winner of the best animated feature category went on to win the animated feature Oscar. The main category was divided up with the addition of the best independent animated feature category in 2015.
Warner Animation Group's The Lego Batman Movie was snubbed in the best animated feature category, but its helmer, Chris McKay, picked up a nomination for directing, along with Coco's Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, The Breadwinner's Nora Twomey, Big Bad Fox's Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert and Boss Baby's Tom McGrath.
In addition to the nominations for best animated feature and directing, Coco was nominated for animated effects, character animation (two noms), character design, music, production design, storyboarding (two noms), writing, editing and voice acting for Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel. The Breadwinner was nominated for best animated independent feature, directing, character design, music, production design, storyboarding, writing, editing and voice acting for Saara Chaudry as Parvana and another for Laara Sadiq as Fattema.
Boss Baby earned a total of six noms, for best animated feature, directing, character animation (two noms), character design and storyboarding. Captain Underpants, The Big Bad Fox, Despicable Me 3, Lego Batman and Loving Vincent earned three mentions apiece.
The Annie Awards are presented by The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood. Also during the ceremony, which will be held Feb. 3 at UCLA’s Royce Hall, Winsor McCay Awards for career contributions will be presented to British character animator James Baxter, SpongeBob SquarePants creator 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 in July at the age of 99.
A full list of nominees follows.
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Jon M. Chu