Animators Katsuhiro Otomo and Hayao Miyazaki were among the winners at the 41st Annie Awards ceremony on Feb. 1 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

Katsuhiro Otomo
Katsuhiro Otomo

Presented by the International Animated Film Society, the Annie Awards cover 30 categories. The program was emceed by actor Patrick Warburton (“Family Guy”).

Otomo, best known for the post-apocalyptic manga and anime “Akira,” was on hand to receive the Windsor McCay Award for contributions to the art of animation. The juried award also went to Steven Spielberg, who appeared via video, and Phil Tippett.

According to, a montage of Otomo’s works was shown and the director received a standing ovation when he appeared on stage. Through an interpreter, he said that he gets nervous in front of a crowd and that he rarely watches his own films.

Miyazaki, who did not attend the ceremony, has said that “The Wind Rises,” a Studio Ghibli film distributed in the U.S. by Walt Disney Studios, is his last film. He won in the category of Outstanding Achievement, Writing in an Animated Feature Production. Also nominated were Daniel Pennac for “Ernest & Celestine,” Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird and Dan Scanlon for “Monsters University,” and Jennifer Lee for “Frozen.”

The Best Animated Feature crown went to “Frozen.” Also nominated were “The Wind Rises,” Hiroyuki Okiura’s “A Letter to Momo,” “Despicable Me 2,” “Ernest & Celestine,” “Monsters University,” and “The Croods.” (“Frozen” also won in the Best Directing, Best Music, Production Design, and Voice Acting categories.)

Kitaro Kosaka was nominated in the Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in a Feature Production category for “The Wind Rises.” The award went to Jakob Jensen for “The Croods.” Also nominated were Thom Roberts for “Epic,” Jonathan Del Val for “Despicable Me 2,” John Chun Chiu Lee for “Monsters University,” Tony Smeed for “Frozen,” and Patrick Imbert for “Ernest & Celestine.”

“The Wind Rises” was a Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and is an Academy Award nominee for the Best Animated Feature Film. Miyazaki won an Oscar for “Spirited Away” and was nominated for “Howl’s Moving Castle.”

Kureha Yokoo won the award for Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production for Pixar’s “Toy Story of Terror,” which aired on ABC. Also nominated were Brad Schaffer for “Friendship All-Stars of Friendship: Wrong Number,” Eric Urban for “Ubermansion,” JC Tran Quang Thieu and David DeVan for “Toy Story of Terror,” and Keith Kellogg for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”

Takao Noguchi, Shane Prigmore and Carter Goodrich won in the Outstanding Achievement, Character Design in an Animated Feature Production category for “The Croods.” Also nominated were Chris Sasaki for “Monsters University,” Sylvain Deboissy and Shannon Tindle for “Turbo,” Craig Kellman for “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” Christophe Lourdelet for “A Monster in Paris,” Eric Guillon for “Despicable Me 2,” and ”Bill Schwab for “Frozen.”

For a complete list of nominees and winners, go to

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