Controversy is certain to surround the 2011 Annie Awards and it may well be a year that lives in infamy, mere months after Disney and Pixar publicly withdrew support for the Annie Awards and for ASIFA, due to allegedly unfair voting process, - and the fact that DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, buys each new DreamWorks member of staff an ASIFA Hollywood membership, automatically giving any decent DreamWorks film an edge - and in a similar vein to 2008 (when WALL E was shut out in favour of Kung Fu Panda), Toy Story 3 was COMPLETELY shut out.
While this was to be expected as Toy Story 3 was not officially submitted and only received 3 nominations, it's still disappointing. On the other hand, DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon swept the awards and won a gigantic 10, including all of the individual achievement awards that Toy Story 3 wasn't even nominated for!
Perhaps most importantly, How to Train Your Dragon won the Best Animated Feature Award, beating out Despicable Me, Tangled, The Illusionist and, of course, Toy Story 3. Congratulations to How to Train Your Dragon, it's certainly a fantastic film and one of my favourite animated films of all time and, as previously stated, at this point it seems pretty certain that Toy Story 3 is going to win the Best Animated Film Oscar, so it's nice to see HTTYD get some recognition. However, the fact that it won 10 awards and (the Best Picture nominated) Toy Story 3 won none, is only going to raise questions and controversy. As we saw in 2008 with Kung Fu Panda, I feel that the controversy is going to overshadow the achievements of How to Train Your Dragon.
Congrats to DreamWorks and consolidation to Pixar (who did manage to scoop the Best Animated Short Subject award for Day & Night, along with Brad Bird, Eric Goldberg, Matt Groening winning the Winsor McCay Award), but it's certain that ASIFA needs to have a close look at their process in the near future.
I'm not shocked at this, just disappointed.
Full list of awards and recipients here.