The 2003 Annie Awards
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The Annie Awards are the Academy Awards of the Animation industry. The Annie Award Trophies are given each year for the best productions as well as individual achievement. Saturday, February 1, 2003, the 30th Annual Annie Awards were held at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California. For this black tie event, there was a champagne reception at 5pm, followed by the Awards Presentation at 7pm and a Post Awards Celebration immediately following.
A fence separates the courtyard of the Alex Theatre from the street and inside the courtyard are palm trees lining the sides of the courtyard and are encircled by twinkling lights with spotlights highlighting the atmosphere. There was a buffet table in the courtyard filled with all types of delicious food both before and after the award ceremony. There was no need for space heaters, though it was a cool night, as the warmth of the excitement of the crowd kept everyone warm, even with some ladies wearing strapless evening gowns. Margaret "Tinker Bell" Kerry was spotted with the well known animator Ruben Apodaca, while June Foray (Rocky from " Rocky and Bullwinkle", among numerous other voices ) was accompanied by her sisters. There were too many luminaries to mention but noteworthy were the presence of Roy Disney and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Host Steve Marmel, a writer, kept the audience laughing and referred to himself as The Stallion of the Cimarron. Guest presenters included Bill Farmer, who voiced "Goofy" for the audience, and young Daveigh Chase (Lilo from "Lilo and Stitch.") The audience was enthused and cheered for their favorites helping to add to an upbeat evening. Daveigh Chase charmed the audience with her acceptance speech for Lilo in "Lilo and Stitch " in the category OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN VOICE ACTING IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE PRODUCTION. But the most unique acceptance speech was given by Rich Moore for the category OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING AN ANIMATED TELEVISION PRODUCTION for "Futurama Roswell That Ends Well."
Instead of a speech, Rich Moore had a storyboard prepared about his acceptance speech and even asked Mr. Katzenberg to hold his comments until he had finished with his presentation, which of course was all pretend. This was truly a brilliant performance and had the audience hysterical with laughter.
Several special awards were given in recognition to the following:
The June Foray Award is given to honor those individuals whose hard work has had a positive impact on the artform of animation. Many June Foray recipients come from ASIFAs membership as well. This year the recipient was Girard R. Miller. Gerry became a recognized expert in color xerography, developing new techniques for color blending and production of oversized cels for every major studio in town. Gerry has been tireless in his contributions to the success of ASIFA achievements.
Lou Scheimer was recognized for Special Achievement. Lou started as a layout artist before founding his own studio, Filmation Studios., which had numerous hits over the decade such as Saturday mornings Superman, as well as Aquaman, Batman, The Archie Show, The Groovie Goolies, The Brady Kids, Mighty Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle, Sabrina, and Star Trek. One of his greatest achievements was Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Filmation led the way into the new market of syndication with He=Man, the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra Princess of Power, Ghostbusters and Bravestarr. His greatest legacy may be the fact that he never failed to place the work and welfare of the industry and its artists above the bottom line.
The Windsor McCay award is given to those individuals for a lifetime of achievement in animation. This years recipients of the award are as follows:
Gene Hazaelton spent a lifetime designing memorable and appealing cartoon characters such as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, the whole cast of Clampetts Cola Black and the de Sebben Dwarfs. He became the creative director of Grantray-Lawrence, a TV commercial studio where he designed TV commercials, such as the award sinning Clap Clap spot for Winston Cigarettes. He designed Pebbles and Bamm Bamm for the Flintstones among many others.
Floyd Norman worked at Disney Studios on "Sleeping Beauty" and created story sketches for "The Jungle Book." He co-founded Vignette Films, Inc., a company that produced educational media and was one of the first companies to produce films on African-American history. He wrote and produced animated segments for "Sesame Street" and "Villa Allegre." He worked at Hanna Barbera where he supervised animation layout and contributed storyboards for "The Smurfs" and "Scooby-Doo" while scripting "The Quicky Koala Show." Floyd did story work for Disney features such as " The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Mulan," "The Tigger Movie," "Dinosaur," and "Toy Story 1" and "Monsters, Inc." Floyd helped to develop computer software for painting and animation, in which he remains a vital force.
Richard M and Robert B Sherman have contributed greatly to the musical legacy of film such as "The Sword in the Stone," "The Jungle Book," "Winnie the Pooh," as well as "The Aristocats." and "Mary Poppins", which gave them an Academy Award, along with other Disney films too numerous to mention. Beyond Disney they have worked with Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendex for Snoopy Come Home as well as Hanna Barberas Charlottes Web, Fritz Freeleng and David DePaties production of Goldilocks featuring Bing Crosby as Papa Bear-itone. Their work includes L.A. Animations=s The Mighty Kong with the voice of Jodi Benson to name only a few of their magical creations. Their award was presented by none other then Roy Disney.