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Annie Award Nominees Announced

The nominations for the 45th annual Annie Awards, which honor the best in film and television animation, were announced on Dec. 4. They include the following.

“Napping Princess”

Best Animated Feature-Independent: “In This Corner of the World” (Taro Maki, GENCO Inc. and Masao Maruyama, MAPPA Co. Ltd.) and “Napping Princess” (Nippon TV) were nominated along with “Loving Vincent,” “The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales,” and “The Breadwinner.”

“In This Corner of the World” (Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni), directed by Sunao Katabuchi, is about a newly married woman’s daily struggles in Hiroshima during World War II.

“Napping Princess” (Hirune Hime), directed by Kenji Kamiyama, is about a young girl who dreams of a world called Heartland, where she has magical powers, and finds that events there are beginning to parallel her waking world.

Best Animated Special Production: “Pig: The Dam Keeper Poems” (Tonko House Inc.) was nominated along with “Imaginary Friend Society: Feeling Sad,” “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure,” “Revolting Rhymes,” and “Tangled Before Ever After.”

Robert Kondo and Daisuke “Dice” Tatsumi, who were nominated for an Oscar for their short “The Dam Keeper,” let their former Pixar colleague Erick Oh write and direct Tonko House’s first short-form series. Seen through Pig’s youthful perspective, it shows how he remembers becoming the Dam Keeper.

“Negative Space”

Best Animated Short Subject: “Negative Space” (IKKIFilms/Manuel Cam Studio) was nominated along with “Dear Basketball,” “Hedgehog’s Home,” “Scavengers,” and “Son of Jaguar.”

Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata are a filmmaking duo based in Baltimore. Collaborating for over a decade as Tiny Inventions, they have directed short films, TV commercials, music videos and comics. Produced by Ikki Films and Manuel Cam Studio in France, “Negative Space,” a stop-motion piece about a childhood memory, is their fourth professional film.

“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”

Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Production: “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” (head of effects: Christopher Hendryx; effects animators: Dan Lund, Mike Navarro, Hiroaki Narita, Steven Chitwood) was nominated along with “Despicable Me 3,” “Coco,” “Cars 3,” and “Avatar Flight of Passage.”

Narita’s other credits include “Moana,” “Zootopia,” “Frozen Fever,” and “Big Hero 6.” He has also worked on effects for live-action films, including “Edge of Tomorrow” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

“Tangled: The Series”

Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production: “Tangled: The Series” (Co-executive producer: Shane Prigmore for Rapnzel, Eugene, Maximus, Cassandra; character designers: Bobby Pontillas for King Frederick Queen Arianna, Lady Caine, Fidella; Taylor Krahenbuhl for Pub Thugs; Mayumi Nose for Pascal). Also nominated: “Trollhunters,” “Samurai Jack,” “Danger & Eggs,” “Buddy Thunderstruck.”

Nose’s other TV credits include “Big Hero 6: The Series,” “Dawn of the Croods,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

“Mary and the Witch’s Flower”

Outstanding Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production: “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” (Studio Ponoc; production designers Tomotaka Kubo, Tomoya Imai, Satoko Nakamura). Also nominated: “The Breadwinner,” “Ferdinand,” “Coco,” and “Leap!”

Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production: “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” (Studio Ponoc; writers Riko Sakaguchi, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, David Freedman, Lynda Freedman). Also nominated: “Coco,” “Loving Vincent,” and “The Breadwinner.”

In “May and the Witch’s Flower” (Meari to Majo no Hana), directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a strange flower grants a young girl magical powers, which leads to the adventure of a lifetime.

For a full list of nominees, visit

The awards will be presented on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

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