Friday 15 February 2013

3rd Annual A113Animation Awards Results

So, it's that time of year again, time to present our A113Animation Awards, honouring the best of animation in 2012! 2012 was undoubtedly a very strong year for animated films, it was the first year in recent memory where there was no clear cut winner; rather, a slew of very strong, very exciting and very diverse animated motion pictures. Nonetheless, winners had to be decided, so check out the results below - winners in bold - and a breakdown of what and why afterwards.

Best Animated Feature Film:
  • Brave – Pixar Animation Studios
  • ParaNorman – Laika Entertainment
  • The Pirates! in An Adventure with Scientists – Aardman Animations
  • Rise of the Guardians – DreamWorks Animation
  • Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation Studios

The People’s Favourite Animated Film Award:
  • Wreck-It Ralph  Walt Disney Animation Studios (52/132 votes; 39%)

Second Opinion Award:

The 'Oh So Close' Award:
  • Brave  Pixar Animation Studios

Breakout Film:
  • ParaNorman  Laika Entertainment

Damien's Choice Award:
  • ParaNorman  Laika Entertainment

Munir's Choice Award:
  • Wreck-It Ralph  Walt Disney Animation Studios

Best Director:
  • Chris Butler and Sam Fell – ParaNorman
  • Genndy Tartakovsky – Hotel Transylvania
  • Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman – Brave
  • Peter Lord – The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists
  • Rich Moore - Wreck-It Ralph

Best New Side Character(s):
  • Fix-It Felix, Jr. – Wreck-It Ralph
  • The Forest Animals – The Lorax
  • Mr. Bobo – The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists
  • Sandy – Rise of the Guardians
  • The Triplets – Brave

Best Voice Acting:
  • Alan Tudyk as King Candy – Wreck-It Ralph
  • Hugh Grant as The Pirate Captain – The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists
  • Jude Law as Pitch – Rise of the Guardians
  • Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz – Wreck-It Ralph
  • Tucker Albrizzi as Neil Downe – ParaNorman

Best Villain:
  • Aggie – ParaNorman
  • King Candy – Wreck-It Ralph
  • Mor’du – Brave
  • Pitch – Rise of the Guardians
  • Queen Victoria – The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists

Best Female Character:
  • Courtney Babcock – ParaNorman
  • Merida – Brave
  • Vanellope von Schweetz - Wreck-It Ralph

Best Song:
  • “Into the Open Air” – Brave
  • “Let it Grow” – The Lorax
  • “Thneedville” – The Lorax
  • “Touch the Sky” – Brave
  • “When Can I See You Again?” – Wreck-It Ralph

Best Score:
  • Brave – Patrick Doyle
  • The Lorax – John Powell
  • ParaNorman – Jon Brion
  • Rise of the Guardians – Alexandre Desplat
  • Wreck-It Ralph – Henry Jackman

Best Animation and/or Graphics:
  • Brave - Pixar Animation Studios
  • Hotel Transylvania - Sony Pictures Animation
  • The Lorax - Illumination Entertainment
  • ParaNorman - Laika Entertainment
  • Rise of the Guardians - DreamWorks Animation

The Ben Kerfoot Award for Specific Character Animation or Design in Fur, Hair or Textures:
  • Angus – Brave
  • The Donkey – The Lorax
  • Forest Animals – The Lorax
  • Merida’s Hair – Brave
  • Mini-Bunny – Rise of the Guardians

Best Animated Short Film:
  • Adam and Dog – Minkyu Lee
  • Head Over Heels – Timothy Reckart
  • La Luna – Pixar Animation Studios
  • The Longest Daycare – The Simpsons/20th Century Fox
  • Paperman – Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Toy Story Toons: Partysaurus Rex – Pixar Animation Studios
  • The Snowman and the Snowdog – Channel 4/Lupus Films
  • So You Want to be a Pirate! – Aardman Animations
  • Tangled Ever After – Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Wildebeest – Birdbox Studio

Best Animation Book:
  • The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation – Charles Solomon, Chronicle Books
  • The Art of Brave – Jenny Lerew, Chronicle Books
  • The Art of Rise of the Guardians – Ramin Zahed, Titan Books
  • The Art of Wreck-It Ralph – Jennifer Lee & Maggie Malone, Chronicle Books
  • The Fairest One of All: The Making of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – J.B. Kaufman, Aurum Press

The One to Watch Out For:
  • The Croods – DreamWorks Animation
  • Despicable Me 2 – Illumination Entertainment
  • Epic – Blue Sky Studios
  • Frozen – Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Monsters University – Pixar Animation Studios

-- Live-Action Awards --

Best Visual Effects in a Live-Action Feature Film:
  • The Amazing Spider-Man – Sony Pictures Imageworks
  • The Avengers – ILM/Weta Digital
  • The Dark Knight Rises – Double Negative
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Weta Digital
  • Life of Pi – Rhythm & Hues

Best Live-Action Feature Film:
  • The Avengers  Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures, director Joss Whedon
  • Chronicle - Davis Entertainment/20th Century Fox, director Josh Trank
  • The Dark Knight Rises – Legendary Pictures/Syncopy Films/DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Pictures, director Christopher Nolan
  • Django Unchained  A Band Apart/The Weinstein Company, director Quentin Tarantino
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey  New Line Cinema/MGM/Wignut Films/Warner Bros. Pictures, director Peter Jackson
  • Les MisĂ©rables  Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh Ltd./Universal Pictures, director Tom Hooper
  • Life of Pi  Fox 2000 Pictures/20th Century Fox, director Ang Lee
  • Lincoln  DreamWorks Studios/Reliance Entertainment/Participant Media/Amblin Entertainment/The Kennedy-Marshall Company, director Steven Spielberg
  • Looper  Film District/Endgame Entertainment/DMG Entertainment/TriStar Pictures/Alliance Films, director Rian Johnson
  • Skyfall  EON Productions/Danjaq LLC/MGM/Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures, director Sam Mendes

2012 was a very strong year for animation - both feature and short. 2011 had some really good animated films - films like Kung Fu Panda 2, RangoCars 2 and, in the UK, Tangled - but lacked a real standout, a particularly great film; until the very last minute, that is, when Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin waded in. 2012, by comparison, was a year packed with standouts.

To go in the order that I saw them: The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists, the latest from Aardman, the British institution behind Wallace and Gromit, far surpassed my expectations. I'm yet to see an Aardman film I didn't like, but I was a little underwhelmed by last year's Arthur Christmas, so I didn't have sky-high expectation - but I was very happy to be blown away. The film was an absolute hoot and definitely one of the funniest films I saw all year; the characters, too, were great, the voice acting was fun, the animation was brilliant and the music was catchy. It seemed like any following film would have its work cut out to beat it.

Unfortunately for The Pirates!, the following film was Brave. Pixar are nigh-unbeatable - hence why in 2010 DreamWorks' output their best film yet, the fantastic How to Train Your Dragon, yet it still never stood a chance, simply because Pixar were there with Toy Story 3. So, sufficed to say, I adored Brave. I couldn't understand almost all of the criticism that had been aimed at it, as far as I could see, it was business as usual for the best film studio on the planet. The Mor'du reveal completely blew me away, and I was sure there that I'd already seen the best animated film of the year.

Next up, ParaNorman. I only saw Laika's first film, Coraline, a few weeks before I saw their second, and I was very, very impressed with both. Coraline more so, possibly due to its more seasoned director and its more engrossingly creepy tone, but still very much so with ParaNorman. It was spooky, it had absolutely breathtaking animation (it still amazes me that the film was made using stop-motion), great characters, an original story and, surprisingly, was really, really funny. Not, though, better than Brave.

Skip ahead to early December and I saw Rise of the Guardians. Guardians was a film I was majorly excited for, one I thought had the potential to be DreamWorks' best film yet (particularly going off the more serious tone the trailers had). While the film sadly didn't entirely live up to my expectations, it was still a whole lot of fun! It, like ParaNorman, was very funny, it had a magnificent score, some very adult and interesting themes and characters, brilliant animation and one of the year's best villains. However, the script was a little lightweight and it felt like it could've been more, so, alas, still not a Brave-beater.

So, it seemed Brave was going to be another win for Pixar. And then Wreck-It Ralph came along. The latest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios was one I'd been really, really excited for... in November. That enthusiasm, however, somewhat waned during the three month wait for the UK release; I just couldn't see it living up to the sky-high expectations. But it did. Ralph is Disney's Toy Story, their best film in decades and one of their best films ever; fun, heart-warming, tear-jerking, nostalgic and, my oh my, that Turbo twist towards the end completely blew me away. This is the first time I've ever ranked a year's Disney film above the Pixar one, but I do this year, and I do so confidently; Wreck-It Ralph is a classic in the making.

It seems most of you agree with me too, because Ralph won our People's Favourite Animated Film Award too, with 39% of the 132 votes, with Pixar's Brave coming in second. The film also won the Second Opinion Award, juried by our competition winner Benjamin Boekelaar. Unsurprisingly to anyone who's seen the film, the film also won the awards for Best Villain for the brilliant King Candy, voiced by Alan Tudyk (who also won for Best Voice Acting).

Brave scooped up a lot of awards too though, winning the 'Oh So Close' Award as the second best animated film of 2012. The film's central character Merida also won the award for Best Female Character, as well as the Best Song award for "Into the Open Air", by Pixarian Alex Mandel and sung by Julie Fowlis. The film's technical brilliance also earned it the awards for Best Animation and/or Graphics and our sepcial achievement award, the Ben Kerfoot award, for the massive strides made in the rendering of Merida's hair.

ParaNorman wasn't awardless either, taking home the Breakout Film award for its studio, helping prove that the studio isn't a one-hit wonder and is capable of multiple brilliant films. Its directors, Chris Butler and Sam Fell, also won Best Directing for their great guidance of the film, particularly how much of a personal passion project it was for Butler.

Our two new writers, Damien and Munir, also got to cast their own votes this year. Munir cast his vote the same as mine, picking Wreck-It Ralph, saying:

Whenever I watched a Disney film (from Meet the Robinsons onward) I've liked it lots, but I've always had another favourite (Pixar most of the time), but this was the first time a Disney film has become my favourite, in a long, long time. This realization makes me very happy for the Disney Studio and very excited for what's to come.

2012 was a very strong year for animated films, with an excellent array of movies, but none was as charming, fun, heartfelt and beautiful as Wreck-It Ralph. My favourite animated film of the year, and one of my favourite films of 2012 in general. I just hope Disney Animation continues this winning streak and that Lasseter and Co. continues their excellent job at both Pixar and Disney. Oh, and bring the sequel please!

Damien, decided against the general consensus though, choosing ParaNorman as his winner, saying:

It was either this or Wreck-It Ralph, and I had the toughest time trying to figure out what my pick for best animated film of 2012 - probably the best year we had in animation in a long time - would be. 
The Disney and Laika films both have great story and animation, are full of laughs... But the thing that makes ParNorman stand alone is the morbid humour; the jokes that you wouldn't expect to see in an animated film. The distinctive look of the characters; the filmmakers didn't hold back, giving this already very solid movie a strong personality. 
That made the difference for me. 
And it doesn't hurt that ParaNorman was in stop-motion, a style of animation I'm particularly fond of.

Rise of the Guardians won one award (Best Score, Alexandre Desplat), as did The Pirates! (Best New Side Character(s), Mr. Bobo). Disney's magnificent short film Paperman unsurprisingly won Best Animated Short Film (although, it had a lot of very tough competition, particularly The Snowman and the Snowdog and Adam and Dog).

The rest, as they say, is history. Let's just hope 2013 is even a fraction as good.


  1. A great year for animation indeed! And I agree with most of the awards (maybe I would've given the directing award to Rich Moore but Butler and Fell deserve it too!). I just hope that this year is as strong or even better than 2012. The Croods is up next month so let's see how the year will begin for animation.

    1. Unfortunately, 2013 doesn't look to have as strong a line-up. But, hey, it does still have some great films coming up!

    2. I agree. Maybe is because there are not too many original films and many are sequels or prequels. Last year we've got lots of original movies and just two sequels (Madagascar 3 and Ice Age 4 ) while this year we've got MU, Despicable Me 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Granted all three of them (particularly MU) can turned to be excellent but I think there's always more level of anticipation when there are original premises. Also, 2012 had quite a number of stop-motion films adding a breath of fresh air to mostly CGI industry. This year on the contrary, everything is CG. And finally, many of the films that are going to be released this year does not sound as appealing as some of last (ParaNorman, Frankenweenie, Wreck-It Ralph all sound intriguing from the very beginning). On the other hand, films like Epic, Turbo and Planes does not sound very interesting. Even The Croods, which I'm having high hopes mainly because Chris Sanders is directing, does not look very appealing to me. The only movies that I'm truly psyched about are MU and Frozen. All the others I'll have to wait and see.