The International Animated Film Society on Monday unveiled the nominations for its annual Annie Awards — with numerous features earning six or more mentions, along with some shocking omissions in some key feature categories, seeming to indicate that there’s no clear frontrunner.
Disney’s juggernaut Frozen 2 and Laika’s hybrid stop-motion/CG Yeti tale Missing Link tied for the most noms in the feature categories with eight apiece. Netflix’s Santa Claus origin story Klaus, a 2D movie from Despicable Me co-creator Sergio Pablos, followed close behind with seven noms. And critical and box office hits Toy Story 4 from Disney/Pixar and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World from DreamWorks Animation collected six noms each, as did I Lost My Body, the French indie acquired by Netflix after it became the first animated movie to win the Nespresso Grand Prize at Cannes.
The nominations for best animated feature went to Frozen 2, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Klaus, Missing Link and Toy Story 4. I Lost My Body was nominated for best independent animated feature, alongside four pics from indie distributor GKIDS: Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles, Okko’s Inn, Promare and Weathering With You.
There were some surprising omissions in various individual categories; notably, Toy Story 4 and How to Train Your Dragon were both snubbed in the feature directing category. Those nominations went to Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck for Frozen 2, Jeremy Clapin for I Lost My Body, Sergio Pablos for Klaus, Chris Butler for Missing Link and writer-director Makoto Shinkai for Weathering With You. (Shinkai helmed the 2016 anime hit Your Name, and his follow-up, Weathering With You, scored a total of four Annie noms, the most for a GKIDS title this year.)
For best writing in a feature, ASIFA nominated Lee for Frozen 2, How to Train Your Dragon writer-director Dean DeBlois and the writers of Toy Story 4, I Lost My Body and Weathering With You — while omitting Missing Link.
Frozen 2 was snubbed in the editing category, where the nominees are How to Train Your Dragon, Klaus, Missing Link, The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Toy Story 4. And both Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4 were glossed over in the production design category, where the nominees are How to Train Your Dragon, Klaus, Missing Link, Abominable and The Addams Family.
The strong showing by Netflix for Klaus and I Lost My Body is notable, as this is the first year that the streaming service is competing in the animated feature race.
A question on some people's minds going into this year’s Annie Awards race was how Disney’s photo-real CG retelling of The Lion King might factor in the nominations. While it wasn’t immediately known if the studio entered the movie, it didn’t earn a mention in either the animation or live-action categories.
In all, the Annie Awards announced nominations in 32 categories spanning features, TV/shortform media and VR. The winners will be revealed Jan. 25 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.
See the full list of nominees below.