“Turning Red” (Disney-Pixar)

Rafu Staff Report

Japanese- and Asian-themed productions figured prominently in the nominations for the 50th annual Annie Awards, which were announced Jan. 17 by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood.

After two years of virtual presentations, the Annie Awards will be presented in an in-person ceremony on Feb. 25 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

“Turning Red,” a Disney-Pixar film directed and co-written by Domee Shi, received seven nominations, including Best Feature. The story centers on a 13-year-old Chinese Canadian girl, Meilin, who turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited. The voice cast includes Rosalie Chiang as Meilin and Sandra Oh as her mother.

Tonko House’s “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale,” a Netflix series, received six nominations, including Best Limited Series. Set in a mystical world of Japanese gods and spirits, the story is about a courageous girl who strives to follow in her mysterious father’s footsteps and find her true powers.

“Oni: Thunder God’s Tale” (Netflix)

Other nominees include:

Masaaki Yuasa’s “Inu-Oh,” a film in which the title character, born to an esteemed family, is afflicted with an ancient curse that has left him on the margins of society. When he meets the blind musician Tomona, a young biwa priest haunted by his past, Inu-Oh discovers a captivating ability to dance.

“Inu-Oh” (GKIDS)

Tatsunoko Productions’ “Exception,” a science fiction horror anime series in which humans are searching a new solar system for potential new planets to terraform after being forced to leave Earth.

Studio Trigger’s “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,” a Netflix anime series set in a dystopia riddled with corruption and cybernetic implants. A talented but reckless street kid strives to become a mercenary outlaw.

“Baymax!” from Walt Disney Animation Studios. This Disney+ series returns to the fantastical city of San Fransokyo (“Big Hero 6”), where the affable, inflatable, inimitable healthcare companion Baymax sets out to do what he was programmed to do — help others. The voice cast includes Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Maya Rudolph, Emily Kuroda, Lilimar, Zeno Robinson, and Jaboukie Young-White.

“Baymax!” (Disney)

DreamWorks Animation’s “Abominable and the Invisible City,” a comedy adventure series streaming on Hulu and Peacock. In a continuation of the feature film “Abominable,” Everest the yeti, Yi, Jin, and Peng discover that their surroundings are teeming with magical creatures in need of their help. The voice cast includes Chloe Bennet, Tenzing Trainor, Alan Cumming, Ethan Loh, Michelle Wong, Karen Huie and Darin De Paul.

“Abominable and the Invisible City” (DreamWorks Animation)

“Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight,” in which Po partners up with a no-nonsense English knight to find a collection of four powerful weapons before a mysterious pair of weasels do, and save the world from destruction. The voice cast includes Jack Black, Rita Ora, Della Saba, Rahnuma Panthaky and James Hong.

Following are nominees in selected categories.

Best Feature: “Turning Red,” “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” “The Sea Beast,” “Wendell & Wild”

Best Indie Feature: “Charlotte,” “Inu-Oh,” “Little Nicholas, Happy as Can Be,” “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” “My Father’s Dragon”

Best TV/Media – Children: “Abominable and the Invisible City Episode: Everest Returns,’ “Big Nate Episode: The Legend of the Gunting,” “Moominvalley Episode: Lonely Mountain,” “The Owl House Episode: King’s Tide,” “We Baby Bears Episode: The Real Crayon”

Best TV/Media – Limited Series: “Baymax! Episode: Sofia,” “El Deafo Episode: Everybody Sounds So Weird,” “HouseBroken Episode: Who’s Having A Merry Trashmas?,” “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale Episode: The Demon Moon Rises,” “Undone Episode: Rectify”

Best Character Animation – TV/Media: “Entergalactic Episode: Special Production,” “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale Episode: The Mighty Storm Gods” (Toshihiro Nakamura), “StoryBots: Answer Time Episode: Taste,” “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Episode: Special Production,” “The House Episode: Special Production”

Best Character Animation – Feature: “Turning Red” (Teresa Falcone); “Turning Red” (Eric Anderson); “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “The Bad Guys” (Jorge Capote), “The Bad Guys” (Min Hong)

Best Character Design – TV/Media: “Amphibia Episode: The Hardest Thing,”

“Entergalactic Episode: Special Production,” “Love Death + Robots,” “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale Episode: The Demon Moon Rises” (Rebecca Chan), “Spirit Rangers Episode: Belly of the Beast”

Best Direction – TV/Media: “Baymax! Episode: Sofia” (Lissa Treiman), “Exception Episode: Misprint” (Yuzo Sato), “More Than I Want to Remember Episode: Short Subject,” “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale Episode: The Demon Moon Rises” (Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi), “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Episode: Special Production”

Best Direction – Feature: “Turning Red” (Domee Shi), “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” “My Father’s Dragon,” “Wendell & Wild”

Best Music – TV/Media: “Love Death + Robots, Episode: The Very Pulse of the Machine,” “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale Episode: Onari’s Kushi Power” (Zach Johnston, Matteo Roberts), “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Episode: Special Production,” “The Cuphead Show! Episode: Carn-Evil,” “The House Episode: Special Production

Best Music – Feature: “Turning Red” (Ludwig Goransson, Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell), “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “Mad God,” “The Bad Guys,”  “The Sea Beast”

Best Production Design – TV/Media: “Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal Episode: Echoes of Eternity,” “Mall Stories — Atilla the Grilla Episode: Short Subject” (Jasmin Lai, Lauren Zurcher, Junyi Wu), “Oni: Thunder God’s Tale Episode: The Demon Moon Rises” (Robert Kondo, Rachel Tiep-Daniels, Lia Tin, Yohei Hashizume, Masa Inada), “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Episode: Special Production,” “The House Episode: Special Production”

Best Storyboarding – TV/Media: “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Episode: Let You Down” (Yoshiyuki Kaneko), “Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight Episode: The Knight’s Code” (Grace Liu), “Looney Tunes Cartoons Episode: Hex Appeal,” “Love Death + Robots Episode: The Very Pulse of the Machine,” “The Cuphead Show! Episode: A Very Devil Christmas”

Best Writing – TV/Media: “Baymax! Episode: Sofia”(Cirocco Dunlap), “Big Nate Episode: The Legend of the Gunting,” “Love Death + Robots Episode: Bad Traveling,” “The House Episode: Special Production,” “Tuca & Bertie Episode: The Pain Garden”

Best Writing – Feature: “Turning Red” (Domee Shi, Julia Cho), “Eternal Spring,” “Inu-Oh” (Akiko Nogi), “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”

Best Editorial – Feature: “Lightyear,” “Turning Red” (Nicholas Smith, Steve Bloom, David Suther, Anna Wolitzky, Christopher Zuber), “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” “The Sea Beast”

Nominees for Best Student Film include Michelle Cheng of California Institute of the Arts, director/producer of “Birdsong.”

Nominees for Best TV/Media-Mature include an episode of “The Simpsons,” “Treehouse of Horror XXXIII,” which features a parody of the anime “Death Note” created by South Korean animation studio DR.

For a complete list of nominees, go to: https://annieawards.org/

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *