The 44th Annie Awards ceremony took place on Feb. 4 in Los Angeles. The top prize may have gone to Zootopia, but there was a good showing for Japanese animation with the Ghibli-backed The Red Turtle winning best independent feature as well as Kimi no Na wa ( your name. ) and Miss Hokusai receiving nominations.
The Annie Award celebrates achievements in animation and is awarded by the International Animated Film Association. This year marks the 44th holding of the award ceremony.
There were two Japanese movies included in the nominations for best independent feature which were announced on Nov. 28, 2016: Miss Hokusai and Kimi no Na wa. The Studio Ghibli-backed The Red Turtle took the prize, with Disney’s Zootopia coming away with six awards in total including “Best Animated Feature,” “Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated Feature Production,” and “Outstanding Achievement, Writing in an Animated Feature Production.”
Other big winners included the Adventure Time episode “Bad Jubies” which picked up the award for “Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children’s Audience” - the 41st award for the show.
The lifetime achievement award went to Japan’s own Oshii Mamoru - best known for such landmark franchises as Ghost in the Shell and Urusei Yatsura.
With the 89th Academy Awards just around the corner, will the big winners at the Annies also take an Oscar? Only time will tell!