The nominees for the 45th Annie Awards were announced on 5 December 2017. From Japan, the two works In This Corner of the World (Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni) and Napping Princess (Hirune-hime ~Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari~) are nominated for Best Animated Feature – Independent. Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Mary to Majo no Hana) was also announced as a nominee for ‘Outstanding Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production’ and Best Screenplay.
The Annie Awards are presented by the International Animated Film Association ASIFA-Hollywood and award the best animations that were released in America. They started in 1972 and are also called the ‘Academy Awards of the Animation World’. In 2002, director Hayao Miyazaki was awarded Best Animated Feature for Spirited Away.
Last year, Zootopia was awarded the Best Animated Feature and the Best Animated Feature – Independent was awarded to The Red Turtle, which was a production from Studio Ghibli in cooperation with overseas studios. Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) and Miss Hokusai were other nominees.
This year, director Sunao Katabuchi’s In This Corner of the World and director Kenji Kamiyama’s Napping Princess qualified to be nominated for the Best Animated Feature – Independent, as they were screened in less than 1,000 cinemas.
In This Corner of the World is a historical story set in World War II in the city of Kure in Hiroshima. We follow the life and struggles of a woman called Suzu. The movie was awarded first place in the Kinema Junpo Best Ten Nihon Eiga awards and was also awarded the Jury Award at the 41st Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
Napping Princess, also known as Ancien and the Magic Tablet or Hirune Hime, is set in the year 2020 and tells the story of Kokone Morikawa, who goes back and forth between reality and dreams to find the secret of her family. As it was the newest work of Kenji Kamiyama, who also worked on Ghost in the Shell – Stand Alone Complex, it gained a lot of attention.
Lastly, director Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower was also nominated for screenplay and production design. The movie was released as the first feature-length movie from Studio Ponoc, which was opened by a former employee of Studio Ghibli.
The results will be announced on 3 February 2018 in Los Angeles.
45th Annie Awards – Nominees
Best Animated Feature – Independent
In This Corner of the World
The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales
Best Animated Feature
Captain Underpants: The First Epic movie
Despicable Me 3
The Boss Baby
Official Website: http://www.annieawards.org/