Pixar’s Incredibles 2 and Walt Disney Animation Studios' Ralph Breaks the Internet lead the 46th Annie Awards feature nominations with 11 and 10, respectively, including in the top category of best animated feature. Additionally, ASIFA-Hollywood gave Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns five mentions, including three in animated feature categories, potentially reopening the discussion about what constitutes an animated feature.
Along with Incredibles 2 and Ralph, the nominees for best animated feature are Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse and Aardman Animations’ caveman-themed Early Man, both of which received a total of seven noms, and Fox Searchlight’s Wes Anderson-helmed Isle of Dogs, which earned four.
Anderson was snubbed in the animated feature directing category. The International Animated Film Society nominated Brad Bird for Incredibles 2; Rich Moore and Phil Johnston for Ralph; Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman and Peter Ramsey for Spider-Man; and Genndy Tartakovsky for Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.
In the category for music in an animated feature, ASIFA-nominated Oscar winner Michael Giacchino’s Incredibles 2 score was mentioned, as well as the scores for Ralph, led by Alan Menken; The Grinch, led by Danny Elfman; Early Man, led by Harry Gregson-Williams; and Smallfoot, led by Heitor Pereira. Isle of Dogs’ two-time Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat failed to earn a nom, as did Spider-Man composer Daniel Pembleton.
Mary Poppins Returns — which combines live-action and animation — was nominated in three animated feature categories, for character design, production design and storyboarding, where it will go up against Incredibles 2, Ralph and other fully animated features. It was also nominated for character animation in a live-action production, as well as for best animated special production.
Other categories to watch include the best independent animated feature race, where the contenders are Mirai and MFKZ, both from GKIDS; Ruben Brandt, Collector (Sony Pictures Classics); Tito and the Birds (Shout!); and Ce Magnifique Gâteau! (Beast Animation). The category was introduced in 2015, and each year, its winner has gone on to earn an Oscar nomination for best animated feature.
Other nominees that could factor in this year’s Oscar race include Age of Sail, directed by Academy Award winner John Kahrs (Paperman). Produced by Google Spotlight Stories, this virtual reality narrative (which also had a flat version made for Oscar consideration) earned four Annie nominations.
Several special awards will be presented during the Annie Awards ceremony on Feb. 2 at UCLA's Royce Hall. Winsor McCay Awards for lifetime achievement will go to Ralph Eggleston, Frank Braxton (posthumously) and Andrea Romano; the June Foray Award will be presented to Adam Burke (posthumously); Ton Roosendaal will accept the Ub Iwerks Award for Blender open source animation software; and a certificate of merit will be presented to ASIFA volunteer Jason Jones.
A full list of nominees follows.