art, illustration, Office

Concept art

Concept art

(Not to be confused with conceptual art.) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Concept art is a form of illustration where the main goal is to convey a visual representation of a design, idea, and/or mood for use in films, video games, animation, or comic books before it is put into the final product. Concept art is also referred to as visual development and/or concept design. This term can also be applied to retail design, set design, fashion design and architectural design.


1 History

2 Concept artists

3 Materials

4 Themes

5 Styles 



Who popularized or even invented the term Concept art in reference to preproduction design is ambiguous at best, but it may have come about as part of automotive design for concept cars or as part of the animation industry. Certainly, both industries had need for people who did this job even if the term had not come into use. References to the term Concept Art can be found being used by Disney Animation as early as the 1930’s.

Concept artists A concept artist is an individual who generates a visual design for an item, character, or area that does not yet exist. This includes, but is not limited to, film production, animation production and more recently video game production. A concept artist may be required for nothing more than preliminary artwork, or may be required to be part of a creative team until a project reaches fruition. While it is necessary to have the skills of a fine artist, a concept artist must also be able to work to strict deadlines in the capacity of a graphic designer. Some concept artists may start as fine artists, industrial designers, animators, or even special effects artists. Interpretation of ideas and how they are realized is where the concept artist’s individual creativity is most evident, as subject matter is often beyond their control.


In recent years concept art has embraced the use of digital technology. Software, such as Photoshop and Corel Painter, has become more easily available, as well as hardware such as Graphics tablets, enabling more efficient working methods. Prior to this (and still to this day), any number of traditional mediums such as oil paints, acrylic paints, markers, pencils, etc. were used. Owing to this, many modern paint packages are programmed to simulate the blending of color in the same way paint would blend on a canvas; proficiency with traditional media is often paramount to a concept artist’s ability to use painting software.


The two most widely covered themes in concept art are science fiction and fantasy. Concept art has always had to cover many subjects, being the primary medium in film poster design since the early days of Hollywood, however, since the recent rise of concept art used in video game production concept art has expanded to cover genres from football to the Mafia and beyond.[citation needed]


Concept art ranges from photorealistic to traditional painting techniques. This is facilitated by the use of special software by which an artist is able to fill in even small details pixel by pixel, or utilise the natural paint settings to imitate real paint. When commissioning work, a company will often require a large amount of preliminary work to be produced. Artists working on a project often produce a large turnover in the early stages to provide a broad range of interpretations, most of this being in the form of sketches, speed paints, and 3d overpaints. Later pieces of concept art, like matte paintings, are produced as realistically as required.


Z-Talks: A Brief View on Concept Art

Reported by Alejandra Molano

Hi everyone!

So this is the first to a new series of posts we are going to have about Z-talks.


For those who are not yet familiar with Z-talks: it is an initiative we started in the Creative Department for each member of the team to share a little knowledge with the rest, in just half an hour. The whole idea has been a total success so far, and we’ve had presentations with the most interesting topics ranging from Animation, Illustration, and Typography, to Serendipity. It was an initiative that only included the Creative Department, but now we want to share it with you!

Today’s Z-talk was presented by Wilson Carreño, and his topic was  “A Brief View on Concept Art”.

What is Concept Art?
“It is a form of illustration where the main goal is to convey a visual representation of a design, idea, and/or mood for use in films, video games, animation, or comic books before it is put into the final product.” –  Wikipedia

Concept art is one of the most important tools in entertainment industries, as it helps to generate and define the look and feel for a production involving visuals such as films, animations, video games, and comics. It is the previous process to the whole development, and it sets a reference. Through concept art producers and developers make sure the final result will be cohesive and coherent.

There are lots of very well known concept artists, who include:
Moebius (Jean Giraud), who worked in important productions such as  Alien, Tron, The Fifth Element, and Starwatcher.

Also important, H.R GigerAlan LeeJohn Howe, and Daren R. Dochterman.

Disney is also an important reference in Concept Art, being also where the term was first coined as early as the 1930’s. Lots of the work made for Disney movie’s concept art has been shared with the public, and is well known for its amazing quality, and its attention to every detail.

There are varied styles in Concept Art ranging from photo-realism, to traditional painting techniques.

Concept art is an essential intermediary between art and design, and it is a very valuable tool to communicate and promote a project.

If you wish to know more about this topic, you can check Wilson’s great presentation here:

2D animation, Cartoon - animation films, STUDIO

List of Disney theatrical animated features

Walt Disney Animation Studios

The following is a list of the animated films that were either entirely produced in-house by Walt Disney Productions prior to 1986, or were produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, formerly known as Walt Disney Feature Animation, after 1986.[1]

For advertising purposes, The Walt Disney Company began to affix numbers to each of the films in the late 1980s.[citation needed] Through this method, they could proclaim the film to be “Disney’s X full-length animated film”. When the numbering system was introduced, the group of films included became collectively known as the “Disney Animation Canon.”[citation needed] Many film historians and animation fans refer to them as Disney “classics” or Disney “features”. The numbering system remains today, as recent press releases for such products as the 20th anniversary edition of Oliver & Company,[2] as well as the opening and closing logos and marketing materials for Tangled,[3] still refer to the film’s number.[4] Some foreign numbering systems of Disney Animated Classics exclude Dinosaur and include The Wild.[5] However, The Wild was not produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios.

# Film Date of original release Notes
1 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs December 21, 1937 (premiere)
February 4, 1938
2 Pinocchio February 7, 1940 (premiere)
February 9, 1940
3 Fantasia November 13, 1940 (premiere/roadshow)
January 29, 1941 (RKO roadshow)
January 8, 1942
[note 1][note 2]
4 Dumbo October 23, 1941
5 Bambi August 13, 1942
6 Saludos Amigos August 24, 1942 (premiere)
February 6, 1943
[note 1][note 2]
7 The Three Caballeros December 21, 1944 (premiere)
February 3, 1945
[note 1][note 2]
8 Make Mine Music April 20, 1946 (premiere)
August 15, 1946
[note 1]
9 Fun and Fancy Free September 27, 1947 [note 1][note 2]
10 Melody Time May 27, 1948 [note 1][note 2]
11 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad October 5, 1949 [note 1]
12 Cinderella February 15, 1950 (premiere)
March 4, 1950
13 Alice in Wonderland July 26, 1951
14 Peter Pan February 5, 1953
15 Lady and the Tramp June 16, 1955 (premiere)
June 22, 1955
[note 3]
16 Sleeping Beauty January 29, 1959 [note 4]
17 One Hundred and One Dalmatians January 25, 1961
18 The Sword in the Stone December 25, 1963
19 The Jungle Book October 18, 1967
20 The Aristocats December 24, 1970
21 Robin Hood November 8, 1973
22 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh March 11, 1977 [note 1][note 2]
23 The Rescuers June 22, 1977
24 The Fox and the Hound July 10, 1981
25 The Black Cauldron July 24, 1985 [note 4]
26 The Great Mouse Detective July 2, 1986
27 Oliver & Company November 13, 1988 (premiere)
November 18, 1988
28 The Little Mermaid November 14, 1989 (premiere)
November 17, 1989
29 The Rescuers Down Under November 16, 1990
30 Beauty and the Beast November 13, 1991 [note 5][note 6]
31 Aladdin November 11, 1992
32 The Lion King June 15, 1994 [note 5][note 6]
33 Pocahontas June 16, 1995 (premiere)
June 23, 1995
34 The Hunchback of Notre Dame June 19, 1996 (premiere)
June 21, 1996
35 Hercules June 14, 1997 (premiere)
June 27, 1997
36 Mulan June 5, 1998 (premiere)
June 19, 1998
37 Tarzan June 12, 1999 (premiere)
June 18, 1999
38 Fantasia 2000 December 17, 1999 (premiere)
January 1, 2000
[note 1][note 2][note 5]
39 Dinosaur May 19, 2000 [note 2][note 7]
40 The Emperor’s New Groove December 10, 2000 (premiere)
December 15, 2000
41 Atlantis: The Lost Empire June 3, 2001 (premiere)
June 15, 2001
42 Lilo & Stitch June 16, 2002 (premiere)
June 21, 2002
43 Treasure Planet November 17, 2002 (premiere)
November 27, 2002
[note 5]
44 Brother Bear October 20, 2003 (premiere)
October 24, 2003
45 Home on the Range March 21, 2004 (premiere)
April 2, 2004
46 Chicken Little October 30, 2005 (premiere)
November 4, 2005
[note 6][note 7]
47 Meet the Robinsons March 30, 2007 [note 6][note 7]
48 Bolt November 21, 2008 [note 6][note 7]
49 The Princess and the Frog November 25, 2009 (premiere)
December 11, 2009
50 Tangled November 24, 2010 [note 6][note 7]
51 Winnie the Pooh July 15, 2011 [note 2]
52 Wreck-It Ralph November 2, 2012[6] [note 6][note 7][note 8]
53 Frozen November 27, 2013[7] [note 8]

It has been confirmed that Mickey Mouse and King of the Elves are also in the works.[8][9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i These are “package films“, releases made up of two or more short films with bridging sequences. Though some consider the package films to be only the six consecutive package films of the 1940s (numbers 6–11 above), the definition used here also includes both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. Inclusion of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is unique since it contains three previously released featurettes.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i These films contain live-action scenes and/or sequences.
  3. ^ Lady and the Tramp was photographed simultaneously in both the regular Academy format and in CinemaScope. Both versions were released at the same time.
  4. ^ a b These two films were shot in the 70 mm Super Technirama process. Reduced 35 mm CinemaScope-compatible prints were released at the same time as the 70 mm versions.
  5. ^ a b c d These films were released or re-released in IMAX format in addition to their regular theatrical releases.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g These films were also released or re-released in a Disney Digital 3-D limited cinema version.
  7. ^ a b c d e f These films are computer-animation films.
  8. ^ a b Film is not yet released. Release date subject to change.

Films primarily live-action but partially animated

All of the following are live-action films and documentaries films that contain animated scenes or sequences.

# Film Date of original release Notes
1 The Reluctant Dragon June 20, 1941 [note 1]
2 Victory Through Air Power July 17, 1943 [note 1][note 2]
3 Song of the South November 12, 1946
4 So Dear to My Heart November 29, 1948
5 Mary Poppins August 27, 1964
6 Bedknobs and Broomsticks November 11, 1971
7 Pete’s Dragon November 3, 1977
8 Who Framed Roger Rabbit June 21, 1988 (premiere)
June 22, 1988
[note 3]
9 Enchanted November 21, 2007


  1. ^ a b Documentary film
  2. ^ Majority of the film animated, but not for purpose of entertainment
  3. ^ Released through Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label

Other live-action films containing Disney animation

The following are live-action films produced by other studios, that contain animation scenes or sequences produced by Walt Disney.

# Film Date of original release Produced by Notes
1 Around the World with Douglas Fairbanks June 20, 1931 United Artists [note 1]
2 Hollywood Party June 1, 1934[11] Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [note 2]
3 Servants’ Entrance September 26, 1934 20th Century Fox [note 3]
4 Cri Cri el grillito cantor December 12, 1963 (Mexico) Producciones Carlos Amador [note 4][note 5]


  1. ^ Contains a sequence starring Mickey Mouse dancing, also stars Douglas Fairbanks
  2. ^ Contains an animated sequence introduced by Mickey Mouse entitled “The Hot-Chocolate Soldiers”
  3. ^ Contains a nightmare sequence produced by Walt Disney
  4. ^ Contains a sequence starring the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf
  5. ^ Not released theatrically in the United States

DisneyToon Studios

Main article: DisneyToon Studios

This is the complete list of DisneyToon Studios films which have had a theatrical release.

# Film Date of original release Notes
1 DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp August 3, 1990 [note 1]
2 A Goofy Movie April 7, 1995 [note 1]
3 Doug’s 1st Movie March 26, 1999 [note 1][note 2]
4 The Tigger Movie February 11, 2000
5 Recess: School’s Out February 16, 2001 [note 1]
6 Return to Never Land February 15, 2002
7 The Jungle Book 2 February 14, 2003
8 Piglet’s Big Movie March 21, 2003
9 Teacher’s Pet January 16, 2004 [note 1]
10 Pooh’s Heffalump Movie February 11, 2005
11 Bambi II January 26, 2006 (Argentina) [note 3]
12 Tinker Bell September 19, 2008 (Mexico) [note 3]
13 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure September 3, 2009 (Argentina) [note 3]
14 Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue August 13, 2010 (UK) [note 3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Produced under the banner Walt Disney Television Animation until 2003
  2. ^ Produced with Jumbo Pictures
  3. ^ a b c d Not released theatrically in the United States

Pixar Animation Studios

Main article: List of Pixar films

Disney now owns Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar has released or will release the following films:

# Film Date of original release Notes
1 Toy Story November 22, 1995 [note 1]
2 A Bug’s Life November 25, 1998
3 Toy Story 2 November 24, 1999 [note 1]
4 Monsters, Inc. November 2, 2001
5 Finding Nemo May 30, 2003
6 The Incredibles November 5, 2004
7 Cars June 9, 2006
8 Ratatouille June 29, 2007
9 WALL-E June 27, 2008 [note 2]
10 Up May 29, 2009 [note 1]
11 Toy Story 3 June 18, 2010 [note 1][note 3]
12 Cars 2 June 24, 2011 [note 1][note 3]
13 Brave June 22, 2012[12] [note 1][note 4]
14 Monsters University June 21, 2013[13] [note 1][note 4]
15 The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside a Young Girl’s Mind (TBA) [14] May 30, 2014 [note 4]
16 The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs (TBA) [15][16] TBA [note 4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Released or re-released in Disney Digital 3-D
  2. ^ Features live-action sequences
  3. ^ a b Released in IMAX 3-D
  4. ^ a b c d Not yet released, tentative release dates

Stop-motion films

The stop-motion makers Henry Selick and Tim Burton have worked on the following stop-motion films made by Disney.

# Film Date of original release Notes
1 The Nightmare Before Christmas October 9, 1993 (premiere)
October 13, 1993
[note 1][note 2][note 3]
2 James and the Giant Peach April 12, 1996 [note 2][note 4]
3 Frankenweenie October 5, 2012[17]
4 Untitled Henry Selick film October 4, 2013[18]


  1. ^ Originally released by Disney through their Touchstone Pictures label
  2. ^ a b Includes animation by Skellington Productions
  3. ^ Released or re-released in a Disney Digital 3-D limited cinema version
  4. ^ Contains live-action shots

ImageMovers Digital

Main article: ImageMovers

The following films were produced by ImageMovers Digital, a film studio run by Robert ZemeckisImageMovers and Disney. Both of the films below are computer animated, and were also released in Disney Digital 3-D versions. Following the poor box office performance of Mars Needs Moms, Disney closed ImageMovers Digital.

# Film Date of original release Notes
1 A Christmas Carol November 6, 2009
2 Mars Needs Moms March 11, 2011

Other animated films distributed by Disney

Unlike the films above that were made by Disney, the films below were only distributed by Disney.

Studio Ghibli

Main article: Studio Ghibli

In 1996, Disney signed a deal with Tokuma Shoten for distribution rights to the theatrical works of Studio Ghibli world-wide (excluding Asia except for Japan and Taiwan and excluding Grave of the Fireflies which was not published by Tokuma), including what then was the most recent film, Princess Mononoke. The deal later grew to include DVD rights and newer Ghibli movies – the English language release of Spirited Away won the 2001, 2002 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Studio Ghibli remains wholly independent of Disney and maintains strict creative control over the handling of the foreign language localization Disney produces.[19] All of the theatrical Ghibli back catalog originally included in the deal have since been released to DVD in North America (except Only Yesterday) and several other countries. The following films were given theatrical releases outside Japan by Disney and subsidiaries:

# Film Date of original release Date of Disney re-release Notes
1 Kiki’s Delivery Service July 29, 1989 May 23, 1998 [note 1]
2 Princess Mononoke July 12, 1997 October 29, 1999 [note 2]
3 Spirited Away July 27, 2001 September 20, 2002
4 The Cat Returns July 19, 2002 May 2, 2003 [note 1]
5 Howl’s Moving Castle November 20, 2004 June 10, 2005
6 Ponyo July 19, 2008 August 14, 2009
7 Tales from Earthsea July 29, 2006 August 13, 2010
8 The Secret World of Arrietty July 17, 2010 February 17, 2012 [note 3]
9 From up on Poppy Hill July 16, 2011 TBA [note 4]


  1. ^ a b Limited premiere and limited distribution
  2. ^ Released by Disney through Miramax Films
  3. ^ Not yet released, tentative release dates
  4. ^ Not yet released, tentative release dates

Animated features produced by outside/third-party studios

This film-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
# Film Date of original release Produced by Notes
1 The Brave Little Toaster July 10, 1987 Hyperion Pictures
The Kushner-Locke Company
[note 1]
2 The Thief and the Cobbler (Arabian Knight) August 25, 1995 Richard Williams Productions [note 1][note 2][note 3]
3 The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars May 18, 1998 Hyperion Pictures
The Kushner-Locke Company
[note 1]
4 Manuelita February 14, 1999 García Ferré Entertainment
Megatrix S.A.U.
[note 1][note 4]
5 The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue May 19, 1999 Hyperion Pictures
The Kushner-Locke Company
[note 1]
6 Pokémon 4Ever October 11, 2002 The Pokémon Company
4Kids Entertainment
[note 1][note 2][note 5]
7 Pokémon Heroes May 16, 2003 The Pokémon Company
4Kids Entertainment
[note 1][note 2][note 5]
8 Valiant August 19, 2005 Vanguard Animation [note 1][note 6]
9 The Wild April 14, 2006 C.O.R.E. Feature Animation [note 6][note 7]
10 Uma Aventura no Tempo February 16, 2007 Miravista
The Walt Disney Company Latin-America Pvt. Ltd.
[note 6][note 7]
11 Roadside Romeo October 24, 2008 Yash Raj Films
The Walt Disney Company India Pvt. Ltd.
[note 6][note 7]
12 Gnomeo & Juliet February 11, 2011 Rocket Pictures
Starz Animation
[note 1][note 6][note 8]


  1. ^ abcdefghi Released by Disney in North America
  2. ^ abc Released by Disney through their Miramax Films company
  3. ^ Released by Disney in Japan
  4. ^ Released by Disney in Argentina
  5. ^ ab Released by Disney in Australia and United Kingdom
  6. ^ abcde Computer animated
  7. ^ abc Released by Disney worldwide
  8. ^ Released through Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label

– From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –

2D animation, art, Cartoon - animation films

PREVIEW: 2012 Animated Features

by brewmasters

January 2, 2012 12:05 am

Let’s ring in the new year with a look ahead at the animated features of 2012. The animated feature glass was half-full last year. Whereas in 2010, five of the top ten highest-grossing features in the US were animated, last year only one animated film ranked in the US top 10—Cars 2. Around the world, however, animation fared better in 2011, earning 3 of the top 10 spots at the global box office (and if you count The Smurfs, four of the top ten).

Our 2011 list focuses primarily on films set for release in the United States, but we’ve also rounded it out with a few foreign films. Of course, we’ll be covering dozens of other foreign and indie feature productions throughout the year, but even with the films below, 2012 is already looking like a decent year. If you know of other must-see animated films this year, please let us know in the comments.


The Secret World of Arriety
The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family’s residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

Release Date: 2/17
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Production Company: Studio Ghibli
Distributor: Walt Disney
Technique: hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler and Will Arnett
Film Website

Plenty more films after the jump

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

Release Date: 3/2
Directors: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda
Production Company: Illumination
Distributor: Universal
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito
Film Website

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

Release Date: 3/30
Directors: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
Production Company: Aardman Animation
Label: Sony Animation
Distributor: Columbia
Technique: clay stop-mo
Voice Cast: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven
Film Website

Le Magasin des Suicides (The Suicide Shop)
Based on a bestselling book by Jean Teulé, it’s a black comedy about a family that runs a suicide supply shop in a dreary town. The family’s business is threatened when a new baby arrives who makes everyone around him happy.

Release Date: 5/16 (France/Belgium), 6/14 (Netherlands)
Directors: Patrice LeConte
Production Company: Diabolo Films (France), La Petite Reine, Entre Chien et Loup (Belgique) and Caramel Films (Canada)
Distributor: ARP Sélection
Technique: hand-drawn, cut-out

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo join a traveling circus in an effort to get back home to New York.

Release Date: 6/8
Director: Eric Darnell
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: Paramount
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, Sascha Baron Cohen
Film Website

Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

Release Date: 6/22
Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Production Company: Pixar
Studio: Pixar
Distributor: Disney
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
Film Website

Ice Age: Continental Drift
Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.

Release Date: 7/13
Directors: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier
Production Company:
Studio: Blue Sky
Distributor: 20th Century-Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo
Film Website

The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki

Okami kodomo no ame to yuki (The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki)
From the director of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, the story of a college student named Hana who marries a “wolf man” and gives birth to two wolf children. When the wolf man dies, Hana and the children move from the city to a quiet rural town.

Release Date: July (Japan)
Directors: Mamoru Hosoda
Production Company: Studio Chizu, Madhouse
Distributor: TOHO
Technique: Hand-drawn
Film Website

A misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead, takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Release Date: 8/17
Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Production Company: Laika
Distributor: Focus Features
Technique: Stop-Motion
Voice Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Film Website

Hotel Transylvania
Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count’s teen-aged daughter.

Release Date: 9/21
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Production Company: Sony Animation
Distributor: Columbia
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg
Film Website

Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.

Release Date: 10/5
Director: Tim Burton
Production Company: Walt Disney
Distributor: Disney
Technique: stop-motion
Voice Cast: Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short
Film Website

Wreck-It Ralph
The bad-guy character in a classic game who longs to be a hero brings trouble to his entire arcade after sneaking into a new first-person shooter game and unleashing a deadly enemy.

Release Date: 11/2
Director: Rich Moore
Production Company: Walt Disney Feature Animation
Distributor: Disney
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch

Rise of the Guardians
Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost and the Sandman band together to form a united front against the Bogeyman.

Release Date: 11/21
Director: Peter Ramsey, William Joyce
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: Paramount
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher
Film Website

These six films have no release date set yet, but will be ready for release in 2012

Dorothy of Oz
Back in Kansas, Dorothy Gale decides to return to Oz in order to help her friends.

Director: Will Finn, Dan St. Pierre
Production Company: Summertime Entertainment
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Lea Michele, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Dancy
Film Website

Escape from Planet Earth
Astronaut Scorch Supernova finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet.

Director: Callan Brunker
Production Company: Blue Yonder Films
Distributor: Weinstein Company
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brendan Fraser
Film Website

Norm of the North
Displaced from their Arctic home, a polar bear named Norm and his three lemming friends wind up in New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of a corporation he soon learns is tied to the fate of his homeland.

Director: Anthony Bell
Production Company: RichCrest Animation
Distributor: Lionsgate
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Ken Jeong, Rob Schneider, Zachary Gordon
Film Press Release

Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie
Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie is a film based on Cheech and Chong’s classic Grammy award winning albums.

Director: Branden Chambers, Eric D. Chambers
Technique: Flash
Voice Cast: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong
Official Facebook Page


“The tale of a frog with an identity crisis..”

Director: Chuck Powers
Technique: CGI
Voice Cast: Sean Astin, Tim Curry
Production company: KRU Studios (Malaysia)
Official Facebook page

A Liar's Autobiography

A Liar’s Autobiography
Based on the memoirs of deceased Monty Python member Graham Chapman. Fifteen different UK animation companies will be contributing animated segments to the film. The film will receive a theatrical release in the UK in Spring 2012, and shown on the EPIX HD channel in the US.

Director: Bill Jones, Ben Timlett, Jeff Simpson
Production Company: Bill and Ben Productions
Voice Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Film Website


2D animation, art, Cartoon - animation films, OSCAR

OSCAR Watch 2011

2011 Award Season Spotlight

Welcome to Animag’s special award season section, where you can read about all the highs and lows of the animated movies and shorts that are in the running for this year’s Oscars, Annies, Golden Globes, PGA, AFI and Visual Effects Society Awards. Here’s to all the talented men and women who are responsible for the dazzling list of 2011’s contenders. In our eyes, they are all winners, whether they take home the big trophies on those special nights or not!

Animated Features

With the potential to nab five nomination spots instead of just three this year, the toon industry is sure to see a wider variety of films vying for the Best Animated Feature award come Oscar time—but which of the 2011 releases will be leading the pack, and which will be left in the dust? Here are our recaps (and pre-caps!) of the possible contenders and their chances of trotting into the winner’s circle:

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

Studio: Paramount
Director: Steven Spielberg
Release Date: December 23
Pros: Spielberg. Jackson. Hergé. What more can you want out of a budget-busting, performance-capture CG 3-D spectacular (which, fingers crossed, will launch a trilogy)? Critics were mighty impressed with what they saw at a European press screening this month, praising the film’s scope, action and realistic-yet-stylized animation. One French writer even said the movie might be Spielberg’s masterpiece!
Cons: Any time a beloved character is dropped into a new medium, there will be grumbling. We heard it with the Smurfs. We heard it with Alvin and the Chipmunks. Don’t even get us started on what we heard about Garfield, OK? Some will be turned off no matter what! Others are still debating over the fact that performance capture technology should not really be judged in the same category as totally animated movies.

Alois Nebel

Studio: Negativ in assoc. with Czech TV, Tobogang, Pallas Film
Director: Tomás Lunák
Release Date: TBA
Pros: Widely hailed as one of the most striking films of the year, this dramatic rotoscoped effort is based on the comic trilogy by Jaroslav Rudiš and Jaromír 99 about a Czech train dispatcher living in a small village in the 1980s who begins to suffer hallucinations linked to the post WWII expulsion of Germans from the country. Czech Rep. has even tossed this hat into the Best Foreign Language Film ring—if nominated, it will be the first toon in that category since 2008’s Waltz with Bashir.
Cons: While the artistry and atmosphere of Alois are not lacking in praise, critics have pointed out that the film may be too particularly Czech—too specific to the country’s history and a central European world view. Academy members might be hard pressed to truly identify with this dramatic work.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Studio: Fox
Director: Mike Mitchell
Release Date: December 16
Pros: The new CG/live-action hybrid adventure finds the Chipmunks (and the Chipettes) stranded on a not-so-deserted isle after a cruise ship mishap. Mitchell, the director of Shrek Forever After, gets to exercise his comedy muscles with Jason Lee as Dave Seville and Arrested Development‘s David Cross in this third installment
Cons: The Chipmunks films have done quite well for themselves at the box office, so rest assured that some of your friends (especially the ones with tots in tow) will be psyched for this holiday release—but so far critics haven’t been too kind to the little rodents. And there is the eternal question of whether hybrid flicks should qualify as animated features.

Arthur Christmas

Studios: Aardman/Sony
Directors: Sarah Smith; co-director Barry Cook
Release Date: November 23
Pros: We don’t know any toon fans who don’t squeal with glee at the announcement of a new Aardman project, and those in the know are curious how to see how their first effort under their new agreement with Sony turns out. The 3-D CG, sci-fi holiday story stars James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Ashley Jensen.
Cons: Please forgive us, O Grand Creators of Wallace & Gromit, but it’s gotta be said: A Christmas flick (or any holiday film) may be a tough sell for the older Academy voters, and truth be told, die-hard Aardman fans seem to be more excited about next spring’s real stop-motion movie, The Pirates! Band of Misits. If memory serves, Aardman’s last CG-animated movie Flushed Away didn’t take the big Oscar home either.

Cars 2

Studio: Disney-Pixar
Director: John Lasseter; co-director Brad Lewis
Release Date: June 24
Box Office to Date: $551 million [$190 million]
Pros: Disney-Pixar has had an unadulterated four-year run of claiming the Best Feature prize, and the second Cars outing hit the right notes at the box office thanks to the popularity of the characters, globe-trotting (driving?) storyline and impeccable as ever animation.
Cons: Critics were somewhat disappointed by the sequel, noting that the heartfelt emotion and animated artistry that’s come to be expected of Pixar flicks was overwhelmed by the go-go action. While it had plenty of enthusiastic fans, it seems doubtful that this will be the Disney-Pixar offering to cross the finish line this year.

A Cat in Paris

Studios: Folimage/France 3/Rhône-Alpes/GKIDS
Directors: Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli
Release Date: TBA
Box Office to Date: $1.2 million [France]
Pros: This graphically distinct 2D tale of a Parisian cat whose double lives puts his owner in peril when the girl decides to follow him on his night-time adventures has won over critics and festival audiences the world over. Long-time collaborators Gagnol and Felicioli have been honored with nominations at the European Film and César Awards—the Oscar nod can’t be much of a stretch!
Cons: With a release date yet to be set, Cat might get caught up in the clutter of late-season entrants vying for qualifying runs for a shot at Oscar glory. For an indie film from a foreign producer, the frantic pace might keep Academy members from savoring this offering enough to remember it come ballot time. At the least, it will have to out-do Spanish production Chico & Rita for the token foreign nomination slot.

Chico & Rita

Studios: Magic Light Pictures/Luma Films/GKIDS
Directors: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal
Release Date: TBA
Pros: This expertly crafted digital 2D film won over critics with its emotional story line, artisanal attention to detail in the locales and eras it spans and impeccable music laced with the rhythms of Cuba and free-wheeling jazz notes. It even took home the Goya Award for Best Animated Film this year.
Cons: While the cream of the foreign-produced indie crop is usually honored with a nomination come Oscar season, we have yet to see one take home the statuette. Chico may sadly join the ranks of The Illusionist, Persepolis, The Secret of Kells and other beautiful films that went home empty-handed.

Gnomeo & Juliet

Director: Kelly Asbury
Release Date: February 11
Box Office to Date: $190 million [$100 million domestic]
Pros: Disney’s “sleeper hit” of the year shows its toon pedigree, with Starz animation deftly sculpting the film under Asbury (Shrek 2). The film ranked well its opening weekend, and you can’t beat a soundtrack featuring an Elton John (who served as producer) and Lady Gaga duet.
Cons: While a fun romp and good family fare, critics found the film a bit too reliant on its gimmick. However, many found the central romance quite charming in a “You can tell everybody this is your song” kind of a way.

Happy Feet Two

Studios: Dr. D/Warner Bros.
Director: George Miller
Release Date: November 18
Pros: Who doesn’t love penguins? Especially plucky, adorable little ones that find a way to solve their problems through the magic of dance? Miller (who directed Oscar-winning Happy Feet as well) has a great cast lined up for this 3-D adventure—returning stars Elijah Wood and Robin Williams, plus Carlos Alazraqui, Jeffrey Garcia, Hugo Weaving, Sofia Vergara, Pink, even Brad Pitt and Matt Damon as (doubtlessly dreamy) krill.
Cons: Lightning rarely strikes twice at the Best Animated Feature racetrack. Perhaps the penguin crew will give Rio‘s parrots something to squawk about—or this encore performance might leave audiences disenchanted like most of the year’s sequel offerings. We’ll have to wait for the Holiday Season box office buzz to know!

Hoodwinked Too!: Hood Vs. Evil

Studio: Weinstein Co.
Director: Mike Disa
Release Date: April 29
Box Office to Date: $16.9 million [$10.1 million]
Pros: The sequel to 2005’s CG fairy tale spoof upped the animation ante with a broader world and more awesome action (in 3-D!) that paid tribute to top blockbusters from the live-action world. Hayden Panettiere lead a top notch cast—Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, Joan Cusack, Martin Short, Brad Garrett, Cheech & Chong…the list goes on.
Cons: Despite pushing the action/animation envelope, most critics felt the sequel sacrificed the charm of the original outing. In the crowded nominations race, Red and her crew will probably sit this one out on the indie toon bench.

Kung Fu Panda 2

Studio: DreamWorks/Paramount
Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Release Date: May 26
Box Office to Date: $663 million [$165 million]
Pros: Technology advances (and stereo 3-D) helped expand the magical ancient Chinese world of Po the panda and his Furious Five cohorts, and the film’s sweeping animated scale won nods of approval as did the star-powered voice cast (lead by Jack Black) and slightly dark tones attributed to exec producer Guillermo del Toro’s influence. Oh, and it’s the 49th highest grossing film of all time and top grossing woman-directed film!
Cons: While Po and his kung fu crew have a loyal fan base, the Academy is notoriously averse to giving the top honor to a sequel, tending to favor break-out original stories. Panda might have to wait for fond farewell Award a la Toy Story 3.

Mars Needs Moms

Studios: ImageMovers/Disney
Director: Simon Wells
Release Date: March 11
Box Office to Date: $38.9 million [$21.4 million]
Pros: Wells (The Time Machine, The Prince of Egypt) had a well honed cast to work with—Seth Green, Joan Cusack, Dee Bradley Baker, etc.—and used them well along with the digital might of producer Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers studio to bring Berkeley Breathed’s popular book to life. Not to mention a $150 million budget.
Cons: While many praised the cast performances, the film’s critical reception was largely, well, critical. Most felt the story had been neglected in favor of the 3-D performance-capture spectacle—which tipped too closely to the “uncanny valley” for some tastes. The disappointing BO performance sounded the death knell for ImageMovers, so don’t hold your breath for Polar Express 2 either.

Puss in Boots

Studios: DreamWorks/Paramount
Director: Chris Miller
Release Date: October 28
Pros: Antonio Banderas returns as the swashbuckling feline who, quite frankly, stole the show in Shrek 2. Giving the character his own vehicle to explore his roguish back story with a fresh look (in 3-D), new friends and foes and some sizzling Latin flair may be enough to perk up the Academy’s whiskers.
Cons: The franchise has been well represented at the Oscars, with Shrek winning in 2001 and its sequel nominated in 2004. Puss will have to really stand out from its mother-films for the Academy to grant one of its coveted nomination spots—especially with yet more Shrek films in the works.


Studios: ILM/Paramount
Director: Gore Verbinski
Release Date: March 4
Box Office to Date: $243 million [$123 million]
Pros: ILM’s first feature animation outing rightly wowed critics and audiences with its rich (if gritty) look, A-list cast and sly nods to classic Westerns. Johnny Depp proved his chops playing the titular lizard and earned a Teen Choice Award for his efforts—and teenagers know everything.
Cons: Some audiences (and critics) didn’t know what to make of a cartoon animal film in which few characters are fluffy and almost none are adorable. While a strong premiere effort, Verbinski’s cowboy homage might be swept aside in favor of franchise flicks.


Studios: Blue Sky/Fox
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Release Date: April 15
Box Office to Date: $484 million [$144 million]
Pros: The bright colors, festive sounds and sights of Carnival dazzled audiences and critics, who praised the animation and catchy music influenced by the film’s South American setting. The Blue Sky crew is old hat at creating visually enchanting family adventures, and this latest effort places another feather firmly in that cap.
Cons: As so often befalls those contenders not produced by Pixar, it seems the loudest complaint about the Fox flick is that it … isn’t from Pixar. Like a fussy child tasting an exotic dish, will the Academy spit this one out and demand a familiar flavor?

The Smurfs

Studio: Sony
Director: Raja Gosnell
Release Date: July 29
Box Office to Date: $533 million [$139 million]
Pros: Comedy vets Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria lead a celeb-packed cast which includes Jonathan Winters, Fred Armisen, Alan Cumming, George Lopez, Jeff Foxworthy, Kenan Thompson, Paul Reubens—and even pop star Katy Perry and Wolfgang Puck lend their voices to spunky Smurfs. The magic-meets-Manhattan story offered something for everyone, and won big at the box office.
Cons: Is it really an animated film? Did we love the film, or just seeing those cute little blue dudes on the big screen? Can a film starring Katy Perry ever truly deserve an Oscar? The debate rages on. While the bouncing baby crowd came out in droves to see it, a film that garners reviews like “not torturous” and “surprisingly tolerable” isn’t exactly a strong bet.

Winnie the Pooh

Studio: Disney
Directors: Stephen J. Anderson, Don Hall
Release Date: July 15
Box Office to Date: $33.2 million [$26.7 million]
Pros: Viewers raved about the gentle, nostalgic charm of this film, and applauded Disney’s return to hand-drawn animation lovingly crafted by Disney vet Burny Mattinson, who lead a team of top artists as key animator. The sweet family fare was well received and made for a very refreshing summer treat.

While Pooh was a calm stroll down memory lane for so many, the soft story that so perfectly matched the soft animators’ touch might lack the necessary “edge” that separates a good film from an Oscar-worthy film—but a nomination nod would still be fitting.

Wrinkles (Arrugas)

Studio: Perro Verde Films
Director: Ignacio Ferreras
Release Date: TBA
Pros: Another brilliant animated take on a gripping graphic novel! This one is based on the tale by Paco Roca about the friendship between two elderly men living in a retirement home, one of whom is suffering the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Perro Verde has delivered a moving, poignant exploration of a very difficult topic and the film has been well received by festival audiences around the world.
Cons: Wrinkles faces stiff competition from another Spanish production, Chico & Rita, to nab a coveted nomination spot. One can never say how far the Academy will go in wanting to acknowledge more serious animated stories. It could be the difficult subject matter pushes this film to the finish line, or Oscar might prefer to go home with a pair of doomed jazz-loving lovers.

Animated Shorts

December 1, 2011 by Ramin Zahed

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 animated short films will advance in the voting process for the 84th Academy Awards. Forty-four projects had originally qualified in the category.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company:

Dimanche/Sunday Dimanche/SundayPatrick Doyon, director (National Film Board of Canada)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris LessmoreWilliam Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, directors (Moonbot Studios LA, LLC)
I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat I Tawt I Taw a Puddy TatMatthew O’Callaghan, director and Sam Register, executive producer (Warner Bros. Animation Inc.)
La Luna La LunaEnrico Casarosa, director (Pixar Animation Studios)
Luminaris LuminarisJuan Pablo Zaramella, director (JPZtudio)
Magic Piano Magic PianoMartin Clapp, director and Hugh Welchman, producer (BreakThru Films)
A Morning Stroll A Morning StrollGrant Orchard, director and Sue Goffe, producer (Studio AKA)
Paths of Hate Paths of HateDamian Nenow, director (Platige Image
Specky Four-Eyes Specky Four-EyesJean-Claude Rozec, director and Mathieu Courtois, producer (Vivement Lundi!)
Wild Life Wild LifeAmanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, directors (National Film Board of Canada)

The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting in screenings held in New York and Los Angeles. Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in January 2012.

The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 5:30 a.m. in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The Awards will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network.

November 15, 2011 by Ramin Zahed

Last weekend, the Academy screened the 45 projects that were submitted for Best Animated Shorts consideration. Members of the Shorts and Animation branch of the Academy will vote for the 10 titles to be included on the short list and we will finally learn about the final five nominees with the rest of the contenders on Jan. 24.

Here is the list of the submitted shorts, which is a healthy mix of shorts produced by studios such as Disney, Pixar, Sony Pictures Animation and Warner Bros., international entries from Studio AKA, Platige Image, BreakThru Films, Human Ark, Axis Animation, National Film Board of Canada and submissions from indie animators such as David Levy, David Chai and Koji Yamamura:

  • A Morning Stroll by Grant Orchard (Studio AKA)
  • A Shadow of Blue by Carlos Lascano
  • Birdboy by Alberto Vasquez (Abrikim Studio)
  • Chopin’s Drawings by Dorota Kobiela (BreakThru Films) Poland
  • Correspondence by Zach Hyer (Pratt)
  • Daisy Cutter by Enrique Garcia and Rubin Salazar (Silverspace)
  • Dimanche / Sunday by Patrick Doyon (NFB)
  • El Salon Mexico by Paul Glickman and Tamarind King
  • Enrique Wrecks the World by David Chai
  • Ente Tod Und Tulipe (Duck Death and the Tulip) by Matthias Bruhn (Richard Lutterbeck – Trickstudio)
  • Fat Hamster by Adam Wyrwas (BreakThru Films) Poland
  • Grandpa Looked Like William Powell by David Levy
  • Hamster Heaven by Paul Bolger (BreakThru Films) Poland
  • I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat by Matt O’Callaghan (Warner Bros.)
  • I Was the Child of Holocaust Survivors by Anne Marie Fleming (NFB)
  • Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest by Kevin Sean Michaels USA
  • Kahanikar by Nandita Jain (National Film and Television School) England
  • La Luna by Enrico Casarosa (Pixar)
  • Little Postman by Dorota Kobiela (BreakThru Films) Poland
  • Luminaris by Juan Pablo Zaramella (JPZaramella Studios)
  • Luna by Donna Brockopp (Rainmaker) Canada
  • Maska by Timothy and Stephen Quay (Sem-ma-for) Poland
  • Muybridge’s Strings by Koji Yamamura
  • My Hometown by Jerry Levitan, Written and Narrated by Yoko Ono (Eggplant)
  • Night Island by Salvador Maldonado (BreakThru Films) Poland
  • Nullarbor by Alister Lockhart
  • Papa’s Boy by Leevi Lemmetty (BreakThru Films) Poland
  • Paths of Hate by Damien Nenow (Platige Image) Poland
  • Romance by George Schwizgebel (NFB & Studio GDS)
  • Specky Four-Eyes by Jean Claude Rozec (Vivement Lundi)
  • Spirits of the Piano by Magdalena Osinska (BreakThru Films) Poland
  • Thank You by Pendleton Ward and Thomas Herpich (Produced by Cartoon Network Studios in partnership with Frederator)
  • The Ballad of Nessie by Stevie Wermers (Walt Disney Studios)
  • The External World by David O’ Reilly
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg (Moonbot Studios)
  • The Gloaming by Nobrain (Autour De Minuit) France
  • The Lost Town of Switez by Kamil Polak (Human Ark) Poland
  • The Magic Piano by Martin Clapp (BreakThru Films) Poland
  • The Monster of Nix by Rosto
  • The Renter by Jason Carpenter (CalArts)
  • The Smurf’s A Christmas Carol by Troy Quane (Sony Pictures Animation)
  • The Tannery by Iain Gardner (Axis Animation)
  • The Vermeers by Tal S. Shamir
  • Vincenta by Samuel Orti Marti
  • Wild Life by Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby (NFB)

Although the 45 shorts which have been qualified for this year’s Academy Awards have been announced already, this is a list we compiled from all the projects that have won awards at festivals around the world this year.

Big Bang Big Boom

Director: Blu [Italy]
Synopsis: Argentine artist Blu’s trademark stop-motion graffiti technique depicts an “unscientific” perspective on the beginning, evolution and probable end of life.
Qualifying Win: Special Jury Award (Annecy Festival Int’l du Cinéma d’Animation)


Director: Kirsten Lepore (U.S.)
Synopsis: Shot on location, Lepore’s latest stop-motion effort tells the bittersweet story of two characters—a lump of sand and a pile of snow—who form a transoceanic friendship trading objects in a bottle.
Qualifying Wins: Best Animated Short (Florida Film Festival); Sparky Award for Best Animated Short (Slamdance Film Festival)

Brick Novax’s Diary, Pt. 1 & 2

Director: Matt Piedmont [U.S.]
Synopsis: The first two parts of Piedmont’s four-parter puppet miniseries for HBO’s Funny or Die Presents find Brick Novax preserving his tales of adventure to secure his reputation as the coolest guy in the world.
Qualifying Win: Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking (Sundance Film Festival)

La Bruxa

Director: Pedro Solís García [Spain]
Synopsis: In 3D artist García’s directorial debut, an old witch searches for love at any cost.
Qualifying Win: Goya Award for Best Short Animation (Academia de las Artes y Ciencias Cinematograficas de España)


Director: Zach Hyer [Pratt Inst., NY]
Synopsis: A CG-animated tale set in an undefined war, the film explores issues of power abuse and control as the main character risks his life for a frivolous cause.
Qualifying Win: Student Academy Award – Gold Medal (Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences)


Directors: Bernardo Warman, Shaofu Zhang, Lisa Allen [Academy of Art Univ., CA]
Synopsis: An epic battle for love and honor unfolds as three children become a princess, knight and dragon in their school play.
Qualifying Win: Student Academy Award – Gold Medal (Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences)

The Eagleman Stag

Director: Michael Please (U.K.)
Synopsis: This darkly comic stop-motion piece explores a man’s obsession with the quickening of time that faces us as we age, and his attempts to counter this effect.
Qualifying Wins: Best Short Animation (British Academy of Film and Television Arts); Best Animated Short Film (Los Angeles Film Festival); Grand Jury Prize – Animation (Seattle Int’l Film Festival)

Enrique Wrecks the World

Director: David Chai [U.S.]
Synopsis: Chai, an assistant professor at San Jose State University, lends a refreshingly hand-crafted feel to his 2D short in which Enrique learns that “actions speak louder than birds.”
Qualifying Win: First Place – Animation (USA Film Festival)

The External World

Director: David O’Reilly [Ireland/Germany/U.S.]
Synopsis: A menagerie of characters in a series of bizarre vignettes are woven together in this trippy CG critique of life and its inherent futility. At least, that’s our best guess.
Qualifying Wins: Yoram Gross Award for Best Animation (FlickerFest); Best Short Animation (Guanajuato Int’l Film Festival); Golden Gate Award – Animated Short (San Francisco Int’l Film Festival); Grand Prix – Int’l Competition (Stuttgart Int’l Animation Festival)

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Directors: William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg (U.S.)
Synopsis: After a violent storm carries off his home, Mr. Morris Lessmore discovers a magical library full of very animated volumes in this CG charmer.
Qualifying Wins: Best Animated Short (Cinequest Film Festival); Best Animated Short Film (Cleveland Int’l Film Festival); Best of Show (SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival)

Hand Soap

Director: Kei Oyama [Japan]
Synopsis: An adolescent boy’s insecurity, body obsession and ill-at-ease family are reflected in details and objects that occasionally take on a life of their own.
Qualifying Win: Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film (Ann Arbor Film Festival)

Kahānikār (The Storyteller)

Director: Nandita Jain [U.K.]
Synopsis: Based on a myth from Southern India, the film explores Nirmala’s relationship with her grandfather, who struggles to recall the details of her favorite story, leading her to take on the role of storyteller.
Qualifying Win: Best Animation (LA Shorts Fest)

Lipsett Diaries (Les Journaux de Lipsett)

Director: Theodore Ushev [Canada]
Synopsis: The haunting hand-painted film explores the troubled life of Canadian experimental animator Arthur Lipsett, who committed suicide in 1986.
Qualifying Win: Genie Award for Best Animated Short (Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television)

The Little Boy and the Beast

Directors: Johannes Weiland, Uwe Heidschötter
Synopsis: In this sweet CG animated short from Studio Soi, a young boy deals with the tribulations of having one’s mother suddenly transformed into a monster. The project was commissioned by German kids channel KI.KA.
Qualifying Win: Special Jury Award – Animation (New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival)

The Lost Town of Switez

Director: Kamil Polak [Poland/Canada]
Synopsis: Inspired by art of the Middle Ages and 19th century Slavonic paintings, this epic tale of a man’s journey to heroism was crafted with a unique blend of CG techniques and traditional animation in oils.
Qualifying Win: Best Animation (Palm Springs Int’l Shortfest)

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp [U.S.]
Synopsis: Equal parts adorable and semi-tragic, this stop-motion short takes us into the world of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (voiced by co-writer and former SNL member Jenny Slate) as he shares facts about his tiny existence.
Qualifying Win: Grand Prize Short (New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival)


Director: Stephen Irwin [U.K.]
Synopsis: Irwin’s trademark smudgy, Noir-ish digital/traditional 2D technique brings us the tale of a pyromaniac bear who misses his mother.
Qualifying Win: Grand Prize for Best Independent Short Animation (Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival)


Director: Alister Lockhart; co-director Patrick Sarell [Australia]
Synopsis: This CG tale from Aussie outfit The LampShade Collective packs the stresses of road rage, nicotine withdrawal and generational conflict into a journey along Australia’s longest, straightest desert road.
Qualifying Wins: Holmesglen Award for Best Animation Short Film (Melbourne Int’l Film Festival); Yoram Gross Animation Award (Sydney Film Festival)


Director: Patrick Jean [France]
Synopsis: Old-school videogame characters wreak CG havoc on live footage of New York in this techno-retro animation and fx showpiece.
Qualifying Win: Le Cristal d’Annecy (Annecy Festival Int’l du Cinéma d’Animation)

The Renter

Director: Jason Carpenter
Synopsis: Carpenter’s digital 2D tale draws from his childhood daycare experiences, centering on a young boy left at his grandmother’s house where a strange man rents a room.
Qualifying Win: Best Animated Short (Atlanta Film Festival)

Something Left, Something Taken

Directors: Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata [U.S.]
Synopsis: This dark comedy from Porter/Kuwahata’s Tiny Inventions mixed-media animation team documents a vacationing couple’s chance encounter with a man they believe to be the Zodiac Killer.
Qualifying Win: Best Animated Short (Nashville Film Festival)

Specky Four-Eyes

Director: Jean-Claude Rozec [France]
Synopsis: When little Arnaud learns he has to wear a pair of hideous, painful glasses, he find he much prefers the vague world of his nearsightedness, populated with fanciful creatures from his imagination.
Qualifying Win: Best Animation (Aspen Shortsfest)

The Tannery

Director: Iain Gardner (U.K.)
Synopsis: When Fox encounters the ghost of a rabbit, they develop an usual relationship. But when a Hunter prepares a pelt for market, and Fox learns of his connection to The Tannery.
Qualifying Win: Best Animated Short (Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival)

The Wonder Hospital

Director: Beomsik Shimbe Shim [S. Korea/U.S.]
Synopsis: A blend of CG animation and puppetry weave the surreal tale of a mysterious hospital where a girl’s desire for beauty sends her chasing around the hospital only to find an irreversible end.
Qualifying Win: Best Animated Short (South By South West)

Three for the Road

In addition to the qualifying festival winners profiled in this issue, the following three studio heavyweights are also likely to show up on the Oscar short list this year:

La Luna

Director: Enrico Casarosa
Synopsis: A young boy discovers his family’s unusual line of work in this wonderful short directed by Pixar’s gifted head of story.

The Ballad of Nessie

Directors: Stevie Wermers-Skelton, Kevin Deters
Synopsis: The legendary Loch Ness Monster and his best friend McQuack the Duck fight an evil land developer in this 2D Disney short.

I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat

Director: Matthew O’Callaghan
Synopsis: Using recordings by the legendary Mel Blanc, this new Looney Tunes short gives us a 3-D, CG take on the battle between Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat. Granny is voiced by the amazing June Foray.

The Visual Effects Race

Coming Soon!

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Academy Award for Best Animated Feature

The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature is one of the annual awards given by the Los Angeles-based professional organization, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy Awards, or Oscars, which are the oldest awards given to achievements in film, included the Best Animated Feature category for the first time for the 2001 film year.

Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Up (2009) are the only animated films ever to be nominated for Best Picture, while Waltz with Bashir (2008) is the only animated picture ever nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

The award is only given if there are at least eight animated feature films (with a theatrical release in Los Angeles). For the purposes of the award, only films over 70 minutes long are considered to be feature films.

If there are 16 or more films submitted for the category, the winner is voted from a shortlist of five films (which has thus far happened only in 2002 and 2009), otherwise there will only be three films on the shortlist.

People in the animation industry and fans expressed hope that the prestige from this award and the resulting boost to the box office would encourage the increased production of animated features. Some members and fans have criticized the award, however, saying it is only intended to prevent animated films from having a chance of winning Best Picture.

This criticism was particularly prominent at the 81st Academy Awards, in which WALL-E won the award but was not nominated for Best Picture, despite receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and moviegoers and being generally considered one of the best films of 2008. This led to controversy over whether the film was deliberately snubbed of the nomination by the Academy.

Film critic Peter Travers commented that “If there was ever a time where an animated feature deserved to be nominated for Best Picture, it’s WALL-E“. However, official Academy Award regulations state that any movie nominated for this category can still be nominated for Best Picture. [1] In 2009, Up was nominated for both Best Animated Feature and Best Picture at the 82nd Academy Awards, the first film to do so since the creation of the category.

Computer animated films have been the big winner in this category, with seven wins in the nine-year history of the award. The only exceptions were in 2002 and 2005, with winners Spirited Away, a traditionally-animated anime film, and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, a stop-motion animation film. Both non CG films were also non american. Spirited Away came from Japan and Curse of the Were Rabbit came from Britain.

Pixar Animation Studios has been the most successful organization in the history of Best Animated Feature. Out of the seven feature films made by Pixar between 2001 and 2009, all have been nominated for this award, and only two have lost (Monsters Inc. lost to Shrek, and Cars lost to Happy Feet). All five others (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Up) won their respective years.

Since the Academy introduced this award category, the Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards followed the example and present a similar award.


  • 1 Results
  • 2 Computer animated nominees
    • 2.1 Pixar
    • 2.2 Dreamworks
    • 2.3 Other films
  • 3 Stop-motion nominees
  • 4 Traditionally-animated nominees
    • 4.1 American-made
    • 4.2 Foreign animated nominees
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 See also
  • 7 External links

The following table displays the nominees and the winners in bold print with a yellow background.

Year Film




Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius


Monsters, Inc.


Spirited Away


Ice Age


Lilo & Stitch


Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron


Treasure Planet


Finding Nemo


Brother Bear


The Triplets of Belleville


The Incredibles


Shark Tale


Shrek 2


Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit


Corpse Bride


Howl’s Moving Castle


Happy Feet




Monster House






Surf’s Up






Kung Fu Panda






Fantastic Mr. Fox


The Princess and the Frog


The Secret of Kells

Computer animated nominees


  • Monsters, Inc. (2001) – Lost to Shrek
  • Finding Nemo (2003)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • Cars (2006) – Lost to Happy Feet
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • WALL-E (2008)
  • Up (2009) – The second of only two animated films to be nominated for Best Picture


  • Shrek (2001)
  • Shrek 2 (2004) – Lost to The Incredibles
  • Shark Tale (2004) – Also lost to The Incredibles
  • Kung Fu Panda (2008) – Lost to WALL-E

** Other films

  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001) – Lost to Shrek
  • Ice Age (2002) – Lost to Spirited Away
  • Monster House (2006) – Lost to Happy Feet
  • Happy Feet (2006)
  • Surf’s Up (2007) – Lost to Ratatouille
  • Bolt (2008) – Lost to WALL-E

** Stop-motion nominees

  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
  • Corpse Bride (2005) – Lost to Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  • Coraline (2009) – Lost to Up
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) – Also lost to Up

** Traditionally-animated nominees

** American-made

  • Lilo & Stitch (2002) – Lost to Spirited Away
  • Treasure Planet (2002) – Also lost to Spirited Away
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) – The only one not made by Disney; also lost to Spirited Away
  • Brother Bear (2003) – Lost to Finding Nemo
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009) – Lost to Up

** Foreign animated nominees

  • Spirited Away (2002) – Made in Japan
  • Triplets of Belleville (2003) – Made in France; lost to Finding Nemo
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2005) – Made in Japan; lost to Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  • Persepolis (2007) – Made in France; lost to Ratatouille
  • The Secret of Kells (2009) – Made in Ireland; lost to Up

** See also

  • List of animated feature-length films
  • Annie Award for Best Animated Feature
  • BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film
  • Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year

Nominees & Winners for the 82nd Academy Awards

Animated Feature Film,-dao-dien-Up.jpg “Up” Pete Docter” Henry Selick
Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore

Rule Seven: Special Rules for the Best Animated Feature Film Award

  1. DEFINITIONAn animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of at least 70 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.
    1. Except as indicated above, motion pictures in this category must meet all the requirements in Academy Awards Rules Two, Three, and Four.
    2. The Executive Committee of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch shall meet prior to the last Board of Governors meeting of this calendar year. At this meeting, a Reminder List of the animated feature films released during the current Awards year shall be reviewed. If the committee finds that there are eight or more eligible animated feature films that warrant a category, it may choose to recommend to the Board of Governors that there be an Animated Feature Film award given in the current Awards year. If the governors accept this recommendation, the following nomination process shall be set in motion.
    1. An entry form naming the intended award recipient(s) and including the signatures of all the credited producer(s) and director(s) is required. This is to insure that all parties are properly informed, and that agreement on the designated award recipient(s) is settled prior to submission.
    2. The award recipient(s) shall be designated by those responsible for the production of the film. The designated recipient(s) must be the KEY CREATIVE INDIVIDUAL most clearly responsible for the overall achievement OR a TWO-PERSON TEAM with shared and equal director credit. (The shared director credit must be approved by the Branch Executive Committee.)  A maximum of two statuettes will be awarded.
    3. The print or copy submitted for Academy Awards consideration must be identical in content and length to the print or copy used for the qualifying exhibition. All entries submitted must include an English-language synopsis of the film.
    4. Prints should be marked ANIMATED FEATURE FILM ENTRY and shipped PREPAID to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Those entries not chosen as nominations for final balloting will be returned to the sender at Academy expense. Prints submitted will be retained by the Academy until the voting process is completed and will not be loaned for use by others during the period of the voting process.
    5. The deadline for receiving the entry form, synopsis, cast and credits list, filmographies of the key creative individual(s) named for award purposes and stills is Monday, November 2, 2009. The deadline for receiving the film print is Friday, November 13, 2009. Foreign entries must also comply with this rule.
    6. Films submitted in the Animated Feature Film category may qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they comply with the rules governing those categories.
    7. An animated feature film may be submitted in only one Awards year for Academy Awards consideration.
    1. A Chairperson, appointed by the Academy President, shall head one or more Animated Feature Film Award Screening Committee(s). An invitational letter will be sent from the Chairperson to a list of active and life Academy members requesting their participation. Those serving on the committee(s) will be required to see 80 percent of the submitted eligible films at meetings of the committee(s) or in a theatrical setting. Viewing Animated Feature Film entries on videocassette or DVD will NOT qualify a member for voting purposes in this category.
    2. All submissions sent to the Academy will be screened by the Animated Feature Film Award Screening Committee(s). After the screenings, the committee(s) will vote by secret ballot to nominate from 3 to 5 motion pictures for this award. In any year in which 8 to 15 animated features are released in Los Angeles County, a maximum of 3 motion pictures may be nominated. In any year in which 16 or more animated features are submitted and accepted in the category, a maximum of 5 motion pictures may be nominated.
      1. The committee(s) will view all motion pictures entered and mark all entries 10, 9, 8, 7 or 6 with the guidelines of 10 (excellent), 8 (good), 7 (fair) or 6 (poor). Those productions receiving an average score of 7.5 or more shall be eligible for nomination.
      2. If only one production receives an average score of 7.5 or more, the committee(s) shall recommend to the Board of Governors that a Special Achievement Award for Animated Feature Film be made to that production.
      3. If no production receives an average score of 7.5 or more, the committee(s) shall recommend to the Board of Governors that no award be made for Animated Feature Film for the current Awards year.
    3. The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Executive Committee shall have the right and responsibility to resolve all questions of eligibility, rules interpretations and the designation of award recipients.
    4. It remains within the sole and confidential discretion of the Board of Governors to determine if any Animated Feature Film award shall be given for a particular year, and to make all final determinations regarding this category.
    5. Final voting for the Animated Feature Film award shall be restricted to active and life Academy members.