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Annie Awards Nominations: ‘Nimona’ Looks Down On ‘Boy And The Heron’ & ‘Across The Spider-Verse’, Leads Film Field

By Erik Pedersen

January 11, 2024

A funny thing happened on the way to the presumed two-horse awards-season race between 2023 toon feature juggernauts. Netflix’s Nimona picked a fight today with Gkids’ Hayao Miyazaki hit The Boy and the Heron and Sony’s global smash Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, scoring a leading nine Annie Awards nominations. The others managed seven noms apiece.

All three are up for the marquee Best Feature prize along with Toho’s anime Suzume, which also landed seven Annie noms, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem from Paramount and Nickelodeon Film, which got six.

Notably missing from the top toon feature race is Disney/Pixar’s Elemental, which also scooped six nominations from ASIFA-Hollywood. Meanwhile, Universal/Illumination The Super Mario Bros. Movie — the No. 2 film of 2023, which plumbed $1.36 billion worldwide — was clogged up with just a single Annie nom for Jack Black’s voice work as the villainous Bowser.

With all the attention The Boy and the Heron and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse got last year — the former broke domestic box office records, and the latter was 2023’s No. 6 pic worldwide with $690 million — it was easy to assume that one would lead the Annie Awards nominations. But not so. Instead, there’s another potential threat for the Animated Feature Oscar in March from Nimona.

The sci-fi dramedy adventure had a brief theatrical run before settling in to stream on Netflix — and had an arduous path in getting there. 20th Century Fox Animation bought Nimona‘s rights in 2015, and the plan was for its subsidiary Blue Sky Studios to produce an animated feature adaptation with Patrick Osborne directing. Production continued for a while after Disney acquired Fox in 2019, but as the pandemic continued to bite, Disney announced it was closing Blue Sky Studios in 2021, effectively shutting Nimona down. But Netflix swooped in to acquire the pic in 2022, and it became the nascent Annapurna Animation’s first release. Nick Bruno and Troy Quane directed.

Since the Academy Awards’ Best Animated Feature category was launched in 2002, 14 of the 21 winners of the Annies’ top feature prize – and seven of the past 11 – went on to claim Oscar gold. Last year followed suit, as Netflix’s Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio triumphed at both trophy shows.

Season 2 of Lucasfilm’s Disney+ series Star Wars: Visions is among the TV leaders, landing a half-dozen nominations today.

Here are the nominees for the 2024 Annie Awards:

BEST FEATURE

Nimona
Annapurna Animation for Netflix

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Sony Pictures Animation

Suzume
CoMix Wave Films Inc. and Story Inc.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies

The Boy and the Heron
Studio Ghibli / Distributed by Gkids

BEST FEATURE-INDEPENDENT

Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia
Folivari, Mélusine Productions, Studio Canal / Distributed by Gkids

Four Souls of Coyote
Cinemon Entertainment

Robot Dreams
Arcadia Motion Pictures

The Inventor
Curiosity Studios

White Plastic Sky
Salto Films & Artichoke

BEST SPECIAL PRODUCTION

Invincible: Atom Eve
Amazon MGM Studios, Skybound Entertainment

Shape Island: The Winter Blues
Bix Pix Entertainment in association with Apple

Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie
WildBrain Studios in association with Apple

The Smeds and The Smoos
Magic Light Pictures

The Velveteen Rabbit
Magic Light Pictures in association with Apple

BEST SHORT SUBJECT

Carne de Dios
Ojo Raro & Fedora Productions

Daffy in Wackyland
Warner Bros. Animation

Humo
Outik Animation, 3rd Street Video, Mindsoup Entertainment, IMCINE

Pina
Punchline Cinema / Next Days Films

War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko
ElectroLeague

BEST SPONSORED

“Video Games” by Tenacious D
Pinreel Inc.

Alzheimer’s Research UK, “Change The Ending”
Passion Pictures

Laugh Track by The National (featuring Phoebe Bridgers)
Bernard Derriman

Up in Smoke
Nomint

BEST TV/MEDIA PRESCHOOL

Batwheels
Episode: To the Batmobile!
Warner Bros. Animation

Ghee Happy
Episode: Navagraha
Ghee Happy Studio

Playdate with Winnie the Pooh
Episode: Piglet, Tigger and the Cardboard Box
Oddbot Inc.

StoryBots: Answer Time
Episode: Fractions
JibJab Bros. Studios for Netflix

The Creature Cases
Episode: The Forest Food Bandit
Silvergate Media/Team TO/Choice/Provisions/Netflix

BEST TV/MEDIA CHILDREN

Curses!
Episode: The Baboon Temple
DreamWorks Animation

Hilda
Episode: Chapter 8: The Fairy Isle
Hilda Productions Limited, a Silvergate Media Company, Netflix Inc. and Mercury Filmworks

Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
Episode: The Beyonder
Flying Bark Productions / Disney Television Animation

My Dad the Bounty Hunter
Episode: Bizarre Ride
A Netflix Series

Shape Island
Episode: 105B Square’s Special Place
Bix Pix Entertainment in association with Apple

BEST TV/MEDIA MATURE

Big Mouth
Episode: The International Show
Netflix

Blue Eye Samurai
Episode: Pilot: Hammerscale
A Netflix Series / 3 Arts Entertainment and Blue Spirit Productions

Bob’s Burgers
Episode: Amelia
20th Television Animation

Scavengers Reign
Episode: The Signal
Max in association with Titmouse Animation and Green Street

Tomato Kitchen
Episode: Special Production
Bilibili / Studio Reflection

BEST TV/MEDIA – LIMITED SERIES

Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire
Episode: Enkai
Triggerfish Animation Studio & Blinkink

Only You: An Animated Shorts Collection
Episode: Yellowbird
Afterman production in association with Max/Warner Bros. Discovery

Pokémon: Path to the Peak
Episode: 1
The Pokémon Company International

10 BEST STUDENT FILM

From The Top
Student Director: Rich Farris
Student Producer: Martina Buendia Silva
School: National Film and Television School

Kolaj
Student Director: Besen Dilek
Student Producer: Besen Dilek
School: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg GmbH

La Quête De L’humain
Student Team: Mélina Ienco, Lucie Juric, Caroline Leibel, Faustine Merle, Claire Pellet
School: Gobelins, l’école de l’image

Quem Salva
Student Team: Laure Devin, Maxime Bourstin, Nathan Medam, Charles
Hechinger, Titouan Jaouen
School: Supinfocom Rubika

The Little Poet
Student Director: Justine King
Student Producer: Justine King
School: California Institute of the Arts

BEST FX TV/MEDIA

Blue Eye Samurai
Episode: All Evil Dreams and Angry Words
Production Company: A Netflix Series / 3 Arts Entertainment and Blue Spirit Productions
FX Production Company: Blue Spirit
Thomas Decaens, Karl Burtin, Laurent Bretonniere

Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire
Episode: Moremi
Production Company: Triggerfish for Disney+
FX Production Company: Lucan
Matthew Dunwoody, Dmitry Sarkisov, Podchasha Yuri Anatolyevich, Richard Bothma, Emile Van Straaten

Star Wars: Visions
Episode: Sith
Production Company: Lucasfilm Ltd.
FX Production Company: El Guiri Studios
Jonatan Catalán, Alberto Sánchez, Phoebe Arjona, Virginia Cantaro, Rubén Hinarejos

The Bad Guys: A Very Bad Holiday
Episode: The Bad Guys: A Very Bad Holiday
Production Company: DreamWorks Animation
FX Production Company: DreamWorks Animation and 88 Pictures
Sateesh Malla, Russell Richardson Jr., Akash Gopal, Basavaraj P, Kevin Rumold

What If…? Episode 206, “What If…Kahhori Reshaped the World?”
Production Company: Marvel Studios
FX Production Company: SDFX Studios
Ryan Barringer, Rajkumar Gurudu, Bipin Kumar Patra, Pranil Ravindra Mahajan

BEST FX FEATURE

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
Production Company: Netflix Presents An Aardman Production
FX Production Company: Aardman Production
Charles Copping, Jon Biggins, Jim Lewis, Rich Spence, Martin Lipmann

Elemental
Production Company: Pixar Animation Studios
FX Production Company: Pixar Animation Studios
Chris Chapman, Tim Speltz, Krzysztof Rost, Amit Baadkar, Ravindra Dwivedi

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Production Company: Sony Pictures Animation
FX Production Company: Sony Pictures Imageworks
Pav Grochola, Filippo Maccari, Naoki Kato, Nicola Finizio, Edmond Boulet-Gilly

Suzume
Production Company: CoMix Wave Films Inc. and Story Inc.
FX Production Company: CoMix Wave Films Inc. and Story Inc.
Yoshitaka Takeuchi, Hiroyuki Seshita

The Peasants
Production Company: Breakthru Films
FX Production Company: Breakthru Productions
Lukasz Mackiewicz, Kamil Polak

BEST CHARACTER ANIMATION TV/MEDIA

Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake
Episode: The Winter King
Cartoon Network Studios
Alex Small-Butera

Blue Eye Samurai
Episode: Episodes 101, 104 and 106
A Netflix Series / 3 Arts Entertainment and Blue Spirit Productions
Alex Bard

Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire
Episode: Moremi, Surf Sangoma, Stardust
Triggerfish Animation for Disney+
Andre DeVilliers

Star Wars: Visions
Episode: I Am Your Mother
Lucasfilm Ltd.
Laurie Sitzia

The Amazing Digital Circus: Pilot
Episode: 1
Glitch Productions
Kevin Temmer

BEST CHARACTER ANIMATION FEATURE

Elemental
Pixar Animation Studios
Jessica Torres

Nimona
Annapurna Animation for Netflix
Toby Seale

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken
DreamWorks Animation
Prashanth Cavale

Suzume
CoMix Wave Films Inc. and Story Inc.
Kenichi Tsuchiya

The Boy and the Heron
Studio Ghibli / Distributed by Gkids
Takeshi Honda

BEST CHARACTER ANIMATION LIVE ACTION

Ahsoka
Production Company: Lucasfilm
FX Production Company: Industrial Light & Magic
Rick O’Connor, Mike Beaulieu, Stewart Alves, Kevin Reuter, Wai Kit Wan

Cocaine Bear
Production Company: Wētā FX
FX Production Company: Wētā FX
Carmelo Leggiero, Steve Braggs, Kevin Kelm, Cedric Enriquez Canlas, Kane Elferink

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Production Company: Marvel Studios
FX Production Company: Framestore
Fernando Herrera, Chris Hurtt, Nathan McConnel, Daniel Cabral, Chris McGaw

The Little Mermaid
Production Company: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
FX Production Company: Framestore
Pablo Grillo, Kayn Garcia, Ferran Casas, Stuart Ellis, Joseph Lewis

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
Production Company: Wētā FX
FX Production Company: Wētā FX
Kevin Estey, Kai-Hua Lan, Blaine Toderian Toderian, Richard John Moore,
Joseph C.K Leong

BEST CHARACTER ANIMATION VIDEO GAME

Atomic Heart
Mundfish
Mundfish Animation Team

Hogwarts Legacy
Avalanche Software
Tara Edwards

Let’s! Revolution!
Buck
Buck Animation Team

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Insomniac Games
Insomniac Games Animation Team

Teslagrad 2
Rain Games
Aslak Helgesen

BEST CHARACTER DESIGN TV/MEDIA

Clone High
Episode: Let’s Try This Again
Max in association with Lord Miller, Doozer, ShadowMachine, and MTV Entertainment
Tara Billinger

Jessica’s Big Little World
Episode: Bedtime Routine
Cartoon Network Studios
Nick Winn

Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire
Episode: You Give Me Heart
Triggerfish for Disney+
Lesego Vorester

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
Episode: 515M-106 (The Beyonder)
Disney Television Animation / Cinema Gypsy Productions
Jose Lopez

Spirit Rangers
Episode: Water Protectors
Laughing Wild / Netflix
Marie Delmas

BEST CHARACTER DESIGN FEATURE

Elemental
Pixar Animation Studios
Maria Yi

Merry Little Batman
Amazon MGM Studios, Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment
Nikolas Ilic

Nimona
Annapurna Animation for Netflix
Aidan Sugano

Robot Dreams
Arcadia Motion Pictures
Daniel Fernandez Casas

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Sony Pictures Animation
Jesús Alonso Iglesias

BEST DIRECTION TV/MEDIA

Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire
Episode: Moremi
Triggerfish Animation Studio & Lucan Studio
Shofela Coker, Andrew McNally

My Dad the Bounty Hunter
Episode: Bizarre Ride
A Netflix Series
Kenji Ono, Kai Akira, Patrick Harpin

Pokémon Concierge
Episode: #2 What’s on Your Mind, Psyduck?
Dwarf studios for Netflix
Iku Ogawa

Scavengers Reign
Episode: The Fall
Max in association with Titmouse Animation and Green Street
Diego Porral

Star Wars: Visions
Episode: Screecher’s Reach
Lucasfilm Ltd.
Paul Young

BEST DIRECTION FEATURE

Nimona
Annapurna Animation for Netflix
Nick Bruno, Troy Quane

Robot Dreams
Arcadia Motion Pictures
Pablo Berger, Benoît Feroumont

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Sony Pictures Animation
Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies
Jeff Rowe, Kyler Spears

The Boy and the Heron
Studio Ghibli / Distributed by Gkids
Hayao Miyazaki

BEST MUSIC TV/MEDIA

Animaniacs
Episode: Talladega Mice
Warner Brothers Animation/Amblin Entertainment/HULU Originals
Steven Bernstein, Julie Bernstein

Babylon 5: The Road Home
Special Production
Warner Bros. Animation
Michael McCuistion, Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis

Pacemaker
Short Film
A Running Commentary
Christopher Lennertz

Star Wars: Visions
Episode: Aau’s Song
Lucasfilm Ltd.
Markus Wormstorm, Nadia Darries, Dineo du Toit

The Smeds and The Smoos
Special Production
Magic Light Pictures
René Aubry

BEST MUSIC FEATURE

Elemental
Pixar Animation Studios
Thomas Newman, Ari “LAUV” Leff

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Sony Pictures Animation
Daniel Pemberton, Metro Boomin

Suzume
CoMix Wave Films Inc. and Story Inc.
Kazuma Jinnouchi, Radwimps

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

The Boy and the Heron
Studio Ghibli / Distributed by Gkids
Joe Hisaishi

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN TV/MEDIA

Blue Eye Samurai
Episode: Hammerscale
Netflix Animation
Jason Scheier

Blue Eye Samurai
Episode: The Great Fire of 1657
A Netflix Series / 3 Arts Entertainment and Blue Spirit Productions
Toby Wilson, James Wilson, Emil Mitev

Scavengers Reign
Episode: The Storm
Max in association with Titmouse Animation and Green Street
Charles Huettner, Jonathan Djob Nkondo, Pauline Mauvière, Hugo Moreno, Jon Juarez

Star Wars: Visions
Episode: Sith
Lucasfilm Ltd.
Carlos Salgado

What If…?
Episode: What if… Nebula Joined the Nova Corps?
Marvel Studios
Paul Lasaine, Kristina Vardazaryan, Cynthia Halley, Ryan Magno, Simon Dunsdon

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN FEATURE

Elemental
Pixar Animation Studios
Don Shank, Maria Yi, Dan Holland, Jennifer Chang, Laura Meyer

Nimona
Annapurna Animation for Netflix
Aidan Sugano, Jeff Turley

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Sony Pictures Animation
Patrick O’Keefe, Dean Gordon

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies
Yashar Kassai, Arthur, Tiffany Lam

The Boy and the Heron
Studio Ghibli / Distributed by Gkids
Yoji Takeshige

BEST STORYBOARDING TV/MEDIA

Craig Before The Creek
Episode: Craig Before The Creek
Cartoon Network Studios
Erik Fountain

Fright Krewe
Episode: The Blood Awakening, Part 1
DreamWorks Animation
Leah Artwick

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai
Episode: Never Give Up
Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Television
Kristine Lee

Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight
Episode: Apok-ta-pokalypse Now, Part II
DreamWorks Animation
Grace Liu

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
Episode: 515M-107 “Run the Rink”
Disney Television Animation / Cinema Gypsy Productions
Ben Juwono

BEST STORYBOARDING FEATURE

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
Netflix Presents An Aardman Production
Richard Phelan

Nimona
Annapurna Animation for Netflix
Esteban Bravo

Robot Dreams
Arcadia Motion Pictures
Maca Gil

Suzume
CoMix Wave Films Inc. and Story Inc.
Makoto Shinkai

The Boy and the Heron
Studio Ghibli / Distributed by Gkids
Hayao Miyazaki

BEST VOICE ACTING TV/MEDIA

Archer
Episode: Keys Open Doors
FX Productions
Aisha Tyler (Character: Lana Kane)

Craig Before The Creek
Episode: Craig Before The Creek
Cartoon Network Studios
Vico Ortiz (Character: Serena)

Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
Episode: Moon Girl Landing
Flying Bark Productions / Disney Television Animation
Diamond White (Character: Lunella Lafayette / Moon Girl)

Solar Opposites
Episode: The Re-Visibility Bouillabaisse
20th Television Animation
Dan Stevens (Character: Korvo)

The Velveteen Rabbit
Episode: The Velveteen Rabbit
Magic Light Pictures in association with Apple
Alex Lawther (Character: Velveteen Rabbit)

BEST VOICE ACTING FEATURE

Merry Little Batman
Amazon MGM Studios, Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment
David Hornsby (Character: Joker)
Migration

Illumination
Tresi Gazal (Character: Gwen)

Nimona
Annapurna Animation for Netflix
Chloë Grace Moretz (Character: Nimona)

Suzume
CoMix Wave Films Inc. and Story Inc.
Hokuto Matsumura (Character: Souta Munakata)

The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Illumination
Jack Black (Character: Bowser)

BEST WRITING TV/MEDIA

Blue Eye Samurai
Episode: Episode 105: The Tale of the Ronin and the Bride
A Netflix Series / 3 Arts Entertainment and Blue Spirit Productions
Amber Noizumi

Only You: An Animated Shorts Collection
Episode: Yellowbird
Afterman production in association with Max/Warner Bros. Discovery
Tsvetelina Zdraveva, Jerred North

Rock Paper Scissors
Episode: Birthday Police
Nickelodeon Animation Studios
Josh Lehrman, Kyle Stegina, Aram Spencer Porter, Julia Prescott, Mike Trapp

Rosie’s Rules
Episode: Time Trouble
9 Story Media Group, Brown Bag Films
Leyani Diaz, Maria Escobedo

Scavengers Reign
Episode: The Reunion
Max in association with Titmouse Animation and Green Street
Sean Buckelew

BEST WRITING FEATURE

Nimona
Annapurna Animation for Netflix
Robert L. Baird, Lloyd Taylor

Robot Dreams
Arcadia Motion Pictures
Pablo Berger

Suzume
CoMix Wave Films Inc. and Story Inc.
Makoto Shinkai

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jeff Rowe, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit

The Boy and the Heron
Studio Ghibli / Distributed by Gkids
Hayao Miyazaki

BEST EDITORIAL TV/MEDIA

Blue Eye Samurai
Episode: Episode 105: The Tale of the Ronin and the Bride
A Netflix Series / 3 Arts Entertainment and Blue Spirit Productions
Yuka Shirasuna

Hilda
Episode: Chapter 6: The Forgotten Lake
Hilda Productions Limited, a Silvergate Media Company, Netflix Inc. and Mercury Filmworks
John Mckinnon, Mike Stefanelli

I Am Groot
Episode: Groot’s Snow Day
Marvel Studios
Dan Urrutia

Star Wars: Visions

Episode: Screecher’s Reach

Lucasfilm Ltd.

Richie Cody, ACE, BFE

 The Legend of Vox Machina

Episode: The Sunken Tomb

Amazon MGM Studios, Critical Role Productions, Titmouse

Todd Raleigh

BEST EDITORIAL FEATURE

Elemental
Pixar Animation Studios
Stephen Schaffer, Amera Rizk, Gregory Snyder, Jen Jew, Kevin Rose-Williams

Leo
Happy Madison for Netflix
Patrick Voetberg, Joseph Titone, Darrian M. James, Danny Miller, Brian Robinson

Nimona
Annapurna Animation for Netflix
Randy Trager, Erin Crackel, Stephen Schwartz, Ashley Calle

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Sony Pictures Animation
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Editorial Team

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies
Greg Levitan, Illya Quinteros, David Croomes, Myra Owyang

JURIED AWARDS

Honoring unparalleled achievement and exceptional
contributions to animation.

The Winsor Mccay Award for Lifetime or Career Contributions
Charlotte “Lotte” Reiniger (posthumous)
Joe Hisaishi
Marcy Page

The June Foray Award (Significant and benevolent or charitable impact)BRIC Foundation (Alison Mann and Nicole Hendrix, co-founders)

The Ub Lwerks Award (Technical advancement affecting the animation industry)John Oxberry (posthumous)

The Special Achievement Award (Unique and outstanding achievement not recognized within the existing award category structure)The Artists of Walt Disney Animation.