Overall, 2021 was a pretty great year for animation. Whether you like stories of Italian adolescence, prequels about monster hunters, or emotional closers to the anime of our childhood, animation fans ate pretty good last year. And with last night’s Annie Awards, the annual celebration of the medium gave some love to two of 2021’s biggest hits.
For best animated feature, Sony Animation and Netflix’s The Mitchells vs. the Machines took home the glory, beating out Disney’s trio of animated films Luca, Raya & the Last Dragon, and Encanto. The comedy about an oddball family being the last hope against a robot apocalypse has been a hit since it released back in April, and cleaned up in the categories it was nominated in. Not only did directors Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe win awards for best director and writing, it also took home best voice acting for Abbi Jacobson as Katie Mitchell, best editing, best FX, and character and production design. On Twitter, Rowe expressed his gratitude, thanking everyone for “voting on something weird and different…So touched to be honoured by our beautiful community of animator artist and peers.”
!!!!!!! This is the most amazing news!!!!! So touched to be honored by our beautiful community of artist and animator peers. I’m overwhelmed! Thanks for voting on something weird and different. And congrats to all of the other winners. You inspire us everyday! pic.twitter.com/78EOkTNDo1— Jeffrey Rowe (@Roweyourboatz) March 13, 2022
Mitchells beat out Disney’s three animated films for last year — Luca, Raya & the Last Dragon, and Encanto — but Disney took home some wins last night. Encanto won awards for David Hardin’s character animation, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Germaine Franco’s music, and Jason Hand’s storyboarding. For Marvel, WETA studios won for character animation in the live action category for their work on Shang-Chi.
In the TV category, Netflix also won big thanks to Arcane. Along with best TV series and Ella Purnell taking best voice actor for her performance as Jinx, the League of Legends series took best FX, writing, character animation and design, production design, storyboarding, and direction for its season finale. Jorge Gutierrez’ Maya & the Three won for best TV for children, and best music.
Best Writing 💫— Riot Games (@riotgames) March 13, 2022
Best Voice Acting 💫
Best Character Design 💫
Best Character Animation 💫
Best TV/Media – General Audience 💫
Best Production Design 💫
Best Storyboarding 💫
Best Direction 💫
Best FX 💫@arcaneshow aced the #AnnieAwards! Thank you for a night of magic 🪄 pic.twitter.com/kNIWabhoEz
You can check the full list of animated winners at the link here. And while you’re here, let us know in the comments below what were some of your favourite animated series and films of 2021, and what you’re looking forward to watching in 2022.