Saturday, January 31, 2009

KFP Wallops Competition

So whattayaknow? Kung Fu Panda beats the little robot at the box office, and also at the Annies:

The DreamWorks Animation feature dominated the awards ceremony, held at UCLA's Royce Hall in Westwood and presented by ASIFA-Hollywood, the Los Angeles chapter of the International Animated Film Society.

Winning the top prize over such other nominees as the critical favorites "WALL-E" and "Waltz With Bashir," "Panda" swept the feature film categories as it picked up 10 trophies, bettering Pixar's "Ratatouille" run last year when it earned nine Annies, including best feature.

Additionally, DWA's "Secrets of the Furious Five," a 24-minute short that appears on the "Panda" DVD -- took four awards in the TV production/shortform categories, and Activision's "Kung Fu Panda" game won the award for best video game.

Whether this is an indicator for the Oscars remains to be seen. I think the wider world sees Wall-E as the odds-on favorite. But I'll be crass and self-serving here. It's nice to see the contract studio -- where the wages are better --walk away with the golden trophies.

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it really fair that "Secrets of the Furious Five" went up against one-episode television productions? I mean it was beautiful and all, but come on, artists have only two weeks to design for a 11 minute TV episode.

Anonymous said...

ASIFA should to reconsider their voting procedures for the Annie awards. I think that the heavy favoritism for Kung Fu Panda last night was a result of the 450+ team players at Dreamworks stacking the votes in their favor.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, kind of like how hard it is for non-Pixar artists to get into the Feature Animation branch of AMPAS these days (since JL became the big guy on the board). It's almost impossible for a Dreamworks artist to get in no matter what his/her resume is.

Stephen Worth said...

ASIFA-Hollywood's membership currently numbers 4,000, and all of the major studios provide memberships for their staff. There's no imbalance involved here. Besides, most people in the animation business have worked for several of the studios at one time or another. They vote their conscience for the film or individual that they consider to be the best choice, not party line.

ASIFA-Hollywood is a neutral ground between studios. Membership is open to anyone who would like to get involved. It isn't fair to ASIFA to suggest that the results are "stacked" in anyone's favor, and it isn't fair to the honorees, many of whom are Individual Achievement winners, to suggest that they don't deserve to be recognized for their work.

Stephen Worth
Director
ASIFA-Hollywood

Anonymous said...

Is it really fair that "Secrets of the Furious Five" went up against one-episode television productions? I mean it was beautiful and all, but come on, artists have only two weeks to design for a 11 minute TV episode.


ASIFA should to reconsider their voting procedures for the Annie awards. I think that the heavy favoritism for Kung Fu Panda last night was a result of the 450+ team players at Dreamworks stacking the votes in their favor.

WOW! Such poor LOSER! Congrats to Panda!

What about the past years when Pixar film swept all the Annies? I bet that was Dreamworks doing too. You're right, unless it has a Pixar movie, there has to be a mistake or some shady activity going on.

Jimmy said...

"What about the past years when Pixar film swept all the Annies? I bet that was Dreamworks doing too. You're right, unless it has a Pixar movie, there has to be a mistake or some shady activity going on."

No one questioned the Annies when The Iron Giant won over A Bug's Live or Spirited Away won over Monsters, Inc., because they were worthy of praise, align with the general consensus and the awards given out those years. Likewise, no one questioned Shrek's win.

But when your group is different than the general consensus and the fact that KFP hasn't won a single thing until now, you are bound to get those questions about credibility. If it is that good then why no one awards it anything or all the people are blinded by the evil Pixar?

If it's a right for your association to award what they think is the best animated feature of the year, Mr. Worth, then it's a right for those nobodies like me to question that choice, while I respect KFP and all those who worked on it, the Annies has lost its credibility this year.

One Movie, Five Views said...

Look at the Individual Achievement Categories. I was guessing that the only one that might go to WALL•E would be maybe Production Design for Ralph Eggelston. It went to Tang Heng for Kung Fu Panda.

In the Character Animation category, It is probably because animating characters like Tai Lung is harder than animating characters like WALL•E. Soft-bodied characters with lots of fur and muscle is more difficult to manipulate than an animated machine, or robot. Animating a character like Tai Lung, would be more like animating a character like Sulley of Monsters, Inc. fame.

…And, if we look, in 2002, Doug Sweetland took home the Annie for character animation for Monsters, Inc., (and took it again for Finding Nemo in 2003), while this year that award went to James Baxter for Kung Fu Panda.

Honestly, characters like Tai Lung, are closer animation-wise to a character like Sulley.

And as for the Annie Awards not liking PIXAR, both Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles each won all nine of their respective awards. Ratatouille also won big, and the year before that, while Happy Feet won at the Oscars, Cars won at the Annie’s.

While I thought Andrew Stanton would win for Feature Directing, and WALL•E would win for Best Feature, the other ones I saw coming when the nominations were announced. They are both good movies, and have their strong, (and weak), points when it comes to awards like this. WALL•E has swept other awards, while Kung Fu Panda swept the Annie’s. Plain and simple.

One Movie, Five Views,
www.onemoviefiveviews.com

Anonymous said...

If it's a right for your association to award what they think is the best animated feature of the year, Mr. Worth, then it's a right for those nobodies like me to question that choice, while I respect KFP and all those who worked on it, the Annies has lost its credibility this year.

Mr. Worth did not give the award idiot. The members voted. Get over your bitterness. Panda is more entertaining and made more money! Which makes it a great film by public opinion and poll.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to all the winners, you deserve it. However, Mr. Worth's arguments don't do ASIFA any favors.

... all of the major studios provide memberships for their staff. There's no imbalance involved here.

All the major studios? But not the minor studios? That's imbalance right there.

They vote their conscience for the film or individual that they consider to be the best choice, not party line.

Really? You know what's in the mind of each voter? Good trick. It sure would be a surprise if not one member voted for a nominated film solely because he or a co-worker was involved with the production.

Jimmy said...

Anonymous #8: Wow, I don't know you can call people "idiot" on here, guess anonymity do have a lot of advance on the Internet. lol.

I don't think I'm the idiot here, I didn't say anything about Mr. Worth "give the award". Please read it careful before calling names, and be polite.

Also I'm not the bitter one here. Using the comment section as a place to defend themselves unofficially is bitter. Using anonymity to attack others and calling names is bitter.

Public opinion so far indicates WALL-E as a superior film. How can I be bitter with the fact it has won nearly everything until this bogus? What does "made more money" have anything to do here? This is not BoxOfficeMojo or People's Choice. I don't have any vendetta against KFP, if you think KFP is a better film then so be it.

Jimmy said...

Public opinion indicating Wall-E the better film? How do you come to that notion? Box office can well be considered public opinion. If you use that as the measuring stick, then KFP is indicating public opinion likes the Panda.

Peanut said...

Public opinion so far indicates WALL-E as a superior film.

Wrong. Film critics liked Wall-E better, and that's because they follow a very well-known pattern of responding to intellectual films, but not to emotional ones. The general public is just the opposite.

Face facts. Kung Fu Panda is a better film overall. Yes, it follows a very well-known formula, and is not incredibly original, but it is an extremely solid film that fired on all cylinders, and was ultimately more entertaining. It represents the first time Dreamworks made an artistically pleasing CG film that didn't devolve to the lowest common denominator.

Most people did not enjoy Wall-E more. It is a strange, odd film--certainly original, but highly flawed. After the first brilliant 30 minutes, it decides to focus more on its "message" than on being entertaining, or on following its main characters.

mawnck said...

"In the Character Animation category, It is probably because animating characters like Tai Lung is harder than animating characters like WALL•E. Soft-bodied characters with lots of fur and muscle is more difficult to manipulate than an animated machine, or robot."

Actually, the "Character Animation in a Feature" award went to James Baxter, who did the 2D stuff during the credits.

It's nice to hear that you, Jimmy, have no vendetta against KFP. What makes you think that ASIFA has a vendetta against WALL-E? All these other awards you speak of were voted on by critics associations and general audiences. The ANNIEs are voted on by actual animation people. It does make a difference.

Anyone at any studio is welcome to join ASIFA. So are you, in fact. You should check it out sometime.

Anonymous said...

How can I be bitter with the fact it has won nearly everything until this bogus? What does "made more money" have anything to do here?

Awards does not pay the rent or employees salary. Movies that do financially well, means a bigger bonus.

-Money Hungry

One Movie, Five Views said...

James Baxter - of course. The animation during the credits was quite cool, and one of the elements of the film that I found quite appealing. It is nice to see 2-D recognized like this.

Still, I was trying to make the point that it's a very different type of animation from WALL•E, and I can see where there would be respect for what both studios have done - even from each other, and also how Kung Fu Panda would have had some harder elements to animate.

One Movie, Five Views said...

I just realized... James Baxter did part of the Dream Sequence as well, right?

Anonymous said...

Apparently people actually want to be *entertained* than preached to.

Anonymous said...

Could be wrong, but I believe he animated all the hand-drawn parts.

Stephen Worth said...

If it's a right for your association to award what they think is the best animated feature of the year, Mr. Worth, then it's a right for those nobodies like me to question that choice, while I respect KFP and all those who worked on it, the Annies has lost its credibility this year.

You aren't questioning a choice. You're questioning the integrity of the Board of Directors of ASIFA-Hollywood who oversee the fairness of the Annie selection process, and the dozens and dozens of nominating judges from all studios who volunteered their time to review the submissions.

ASIFA-Hollywood isn't an entity with an individual point of view. It's a group of people of all affiliations and disciplines whose only common denominator is a passion for animation. Anyone who would like to be a member can join. Those who choose to participate are the ones who define what the organization will be. Are you a member?

In this case, the membership selected some very talented individuals to honor. You may have chosen differently. That's fine. But don't disrespect the people who received the awards, and don't disrespect the folks who contributed their valuable time and efforts to organizing the event. If you think something could be improved with the Annie selection process, roll up your sleeves and help.

Jimmy said...

"How do you come to that notion? Box office can well be considered public opinion."

If you use that and only that, it would mean the US audience like WALL-E more than KFP, right? The difference between the two film's BO worldwide number lies at China and the Asian countries, where KFP is obviously a bigger draw. No, it's not the only indicator, there's also the People's Choice, the DVD numbers, the Cinemascore...

And since when enjoyability skew these kinds of awards? I'm sorry but Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-rabbit wasn't enjoyed much here at the US. Still it won and rightly so.

"You aren't questioning a choice."

I was questioning the choice of Best Animated Feature. I said it as much, "If it is that good then why no one awards it anything or all the people are blinded by the evil Pixar?" However that choice was made, it was very flawed IMO and I have my right to voice my opinion, like when Crash won over Brokeback Mountain out of nowhere. It's bogus.

"But don't disrespect the people who received the awards, and don't disrespect the folks who contributed their valuable time and efforts to organizing the event."

I don't. And I'm sorry if you get worked up so easily by my small comments. I've been following the Annies since forever. I was happy when Iron Giant and Spirited Away won. I'm happy that this year KFP's score and Tang Heng and James Baxter won. But ASIFA failed to recognize 2 of the best films this year, WALL-E and Waltz with Bashir. That, coming from an association of animation field, is just sad.

Millions of people don't care about the Annies, and from now on I'm one of them.

Anonymous said...

The Annies are THE awards that matter because it's the people who know the industry rating the offerings of the year. They are the most important awards for animation. They are considered the final word in American animation.

I agree that I think this was more of "sympathy" situation than a true judge of the better film. Everyone in the industry feels sorry for poor DreamWorks and one of the best films they've ever done being overshadowed by the vastly superior film from Pixar. But I'm sorry -- but that's not how awards should work. I'm sorry if you did your best and someone better beat you. But that's how life is. You shouldn't be given the awards due the other person just because people feel sorry for you.

My opinion is that anyone in the animation industry who says WALL-E isn't ground-breaking, history-making and has set a new gold standard in animation is either stuck in the past or has an ulterior motive. Or, even worse, has the reverse prejudice that haunts the Oscars -- any animation that so extensively uses live-action filming techniques isn't true animation.

I'm nervous to go so far as to say that Mr. K bought these honors, but all I can say is that I have just lost a whole lot of respect for the officials who run the Annies. And I feel very bad for Stanton because this is even more of a slap in the face than the Oscar snubbing since this is an insult from the people who know better and are supposed to be as passionate and knowledgeable about animation as Pixar.

I really don't know how these people can sleep at night. I really don't.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who would like to be a member can join."

I'm beating the dead horse here but that is exactly the problem. Remember the Everything will be OK fiasco? The whole voting system is very flawed and while open membership is a good thing, it diminishes the Annie awards as a credible "guild award" I may say, unlike the DGA, PGA or WGA.

kaikaun said...

Annies allow anyone to vote simply by paying an annual membership fee to ASIFA, which is very unusual. Most guild/critic awards allow either only a selected group to vote, or allow the public to vote for free like the MTV Movies or People's Choice.

This result is so unexpected that it seriously damages the credibility of the awards. The voting structure of the awards is very vulnerable to vote-stuffing and naturally invites suspicion. While it is most likely nothing inappropriate happened, there will always be doubts.

I expected Kung-Fu Panda to do better than WALL-E at the Annies after I heard that it received 16 nominations. It obviously fits their criteria better. However a clean sweep like this beggars belief.

Shroeder said...

This has to be the dumbest thread I've ever seen in my life.

Rather than congratulating the winners, we have yet another pissing contest, and the whining from the Pixar fanboys is really grating this time.

You lost. Get over it. Wall-E isn't the be-all, end-all of animation. In fact, it was Pixar's worst effort to date. Big deal, get over it. They'll rebound, and do better in the future.

If there are any legitimate complaints to be made about the Annies this year, and the actions of its members/committee, it would be how few nominations were granted to Bolt. Not even nominated for Best Directing in an Animated Feature, and yet "Tale of Despereaux" was? Seriously?

But at the end of the day, these were the choices that were made, mostly they were fine, and everyone should just pop a vicodon and chill.

Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me how much vehemence is leveled at Dreamworks.

What did they do wrong to piss so many people off? Now they're beinmg accused of emplying too many artists that could skew the votes for an industry award? As if every employee automatically votes DW for every award! If you think that's likely than you obviously don't know many DW artists.
Could it possibly be that not all the Pixar artists voted for Wall-E? (the way they're paid it wouldn't surprise me).

I'm not sure how ASIFA could make this much fairer. They allow anyone to join and anyone who joins to vote.
As someone mentioned earlier it isn't like the Academy that only allows certain people in each year and has to be ruled by each branch's board if that person can get in or not (and if Lassetter does hold sway on those decisions than what does that say about the fairness of the nominations for Best Animated Film Oscar?)

So, as someone else mentioned, KFP won. Get over it.
As nice as it is to win an award, winning an Annie doesn't get you much accept a few bragging rights. Winning an Oscar can actually alter boxoffice, DVD sales and individual salaries. I wonder which one concerns Pixar more?

Anonymous said...

If life is so miserable at Pixar and John Lasseter is evil and cruel then they don't need to be told to quit.

BS. KFP is load of BS and it doesn't deserve to be called the best animated film of 2008. Many think that too, not just Pixar fanboys. No one cried foul when Spirited Away won.

It's not KFP vs. WALL-E or DWA vs. Pixar. The fact they snubbed Bashir and Bolt at the nomination round speak for itself.

One Movie, Five Views said...

I say congratulations to especially the artists who won the individual awards. Their artistic talents would not be any more, or less, depending on what company they work for.

So, congratulations to them. It is unfair to say that they don't deserve it because they work for the "wrong" company.

I love PIXAR, always have, but I prefer to stay open-minded, and watch each film on it's own, not as the work of one company. I love WALL•E, but I am not mad. I really liked Kung Fu Panda too - and Bolt - but there is not a big thing on several websites about it not getting any recognition.

Steve Hulett said...

Funny. Few people these days slam the Golden Globes, and the top tier talent shows up at the wards show, waving trophies like it really means something.

Yet the Globes hands out awards on the basis of the likes and dislikes of eighty-five foreign journalists, some of them stringers, for overseas press.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that the character animation in Wall-e was so FAR superior to anything in Kung Fu Panda. I hear people saying "it's easier because it's a robot." Well, this robot carried an entire film, and was in virtually every scene. And you never once forget he was a robot--and a very specific one at that. The limitations of the design were part of the design of the animation, and one of the reasons the film is so believable. I love James Baxter's work, but he did basically a title sequence.

The really sad thing is that Raymond Zibach didn't win for Production Design, because it was his effort during the creation of the film that pushed it to what it became.

Anonymous said...

I can see KFP being credibly better in ways (character design, character animation maybe), but better in EVERY WAY than what is probably Pixars best film? To the extent that Wall-E didn't even deserve a nomination in some categories it actually won elsewhere? That's just weird and smacks of some kind of shenanigans. I actually feel bad for the KFP people, it was a good film but because it swept SO dramatically against SUCH strong competition, no one is going to take these awards seriously.

And clearly they get what they want: attention. The Pixar fanboys are worked up everywhere.

Jimmy said...

Congratulations DreamWorks for the Annies nominations and awards. You deserved it.

Anonymous said...

The real problem with the Annies of late is that they're attempting to be just like every other Awards show. In it's attempt to seem more "legitimate," they've become nothing more than just another boring awards show--just like all the rest. What a shame that an industry that thrives on such creativity can't do something more creative than that.

Anonymous said...

To consider the Annies sweep for Dreamworks as a fluke is one thing.

But when you combine that with the fact that both KFP and Madagascar 2 made more money worldwide, cost less to make, and yet pay their workers more than Pixar, it definitely puts them on notice.

Don't panic, everything will be alright.

Stephen Worth said...

When someone describes the Annies as "just another boring awards show" you can be pretty sure that they weren't at the Annie Awards and they don't know what they're talking about.

Jimmy said...

Mr. Hulett and Mr. Worth, you have way much free time in your hands.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the Pixar fanboys are up in arms! You would think someone stabbed their mother or something.

Tom Sito said...

Well gang, I haven't had much time to write.

I remember when Iron Giant swept the Annies and Dreamworks people called me to complain. PIXAR has won most or all the marbles since Tin Toy, it had to happen some day. Probably the Pro-Disney vote was split between Wall-E and Bolt. No one bitched when the Simpsons won best TV show every year since you were all born.

I have judged Annies, Oscars and Emmys and boys & girls, let me tell you, there is no perfect system.

Kevin Geiger said...

It's unfortunate that this thread has become so negative.

Let me just say, *CONGRATULATIONS* to the KFP crew on a well-deserved set of Annie Awards!

KG

Anonymous said...

PIXAR has won most or all the marbles since Tin Toy, it had to happen some day.

I understand that no one can be at the top forever and every system had its problem. But in the year of WALL-E and Pixar lost so dramatically, no fanboy here but clearly a sabotage. Geez...

Anonymous said...

all the awards are leaned one way or another. Look at the purchased Globes or the heavily wined and dined so called Oscars. Congrats to KFP, its the best Dreamworks 3D film to date and deserves the Annies whether it was heavily supported dreamworks votes or not.

Anonymous said...

Wall-E was 1/3 great, and 2/3 awful.

And the part that was awful was...truly, truly awful. Rank, stinking, smoldering, festering awful. Walk-out-of-theater awful.

I have yet to meet ONE person, in or out of the industry, who liked the second half of that movie.

As is usual, the fanboys whining the loudest here about Wall-E's failure to win, don't sound like they're actually in the industry.

KFP was an absolutely beautiful film, gorgeously art directed, great story, engaging characters, and most importantly, terrific from START TO FINISH.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to meet ONE person, in or out of the industry, who liked the second half of that movie.

Either you don't know a lot of people or you need to meet new people, because that is patently untrue.

I will say this, though. The first half of WALL-E was indeed better than the second half.

Anonymous said...

But when you combine that with the fact that both KFP and Madagascar 2 made more money worldwide, cost less to make, and yet pay their workers more than Pixar, it definitely puts them on notice.

Well, I'd rather work at Pixar than at DreamWorks, even if DreamWorks pays their workers better. It's not about the money, it's about the job. Plus, Pixar makes better movies.

KFP was a big step in the right direction for DreamWorks, though.

Anonymous said...

You lost. Get over it. Wall-E isn't the be-all, end-all of animation. In fact, it was Pixar's worst effort to date. Big deal, get over it. They'll rebound, and do better in the future.

Clearly, you haven't seen Cars. That's Pixar's worst movie to date, so to speak.

It never ceases to amaze me how much vehemence is leveled at Dreamworks.

What did they do wrong to piss so many people off?


Well, I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that most of their movies kind of suck. Especially compared to Pixar's output.

Anonymous said...

>>>It never ceases to amaze me how much vehemence is leveled at Dreamworks.

What did they do wrong to piss so many people off?

Well, I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that most of their movies kind of suck. Especially compared to Pixar's output.<<<

So that's one in the "they're not Pixar and I'm a Pixie" column.

Anonymous said...

In order for somebody to "win", somebody has to "lose". This whole dust-up makes obvious how stupid awards are in the first place. All of the nominees are worthy of note, and are admirable films, but NONE of them are the "best". Such judgments are entirely subjective - almost arbitrary.

If you believe that sheer entertainment value should be the arbiter of quality, one film will "win". If you believe that box-office popularity should determine the winner, another will "win".

These awards are paraded around as if they mean something, when it is literally a fool's errand to try and choose the "best" of anything.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd rather work at Pixar than at DreamWorks, even if DreamWorks pays their workers better. It's not about the money, it's about the job. Plus, Pixar makes better movies.

Obviously this person has never worked at one of these places to know the differences. Completely clueless and unworthy of commenting further.

Cesar Edouard said...

"As is usual, the fanboys whining the loudest here about Wall-E's failure to win, don't sound like they're actually in the industry."

"Obviously this person has never worked at one of these places to know the differences. Completely clueless and unworthy of commenting further."

Perverse pleasure in watching others fail, and holier-than-thou attitude. You, kind sirs, are more obnoxious and smug and narrow-minded than the poor Pixar fanboys. "They all must be blind to not realize how bad WALL-E is and how evil Pixar is. Please open their eyes by giving all the Annies to KFP!!!"

Not even a fan of neither but this is a joke.

Mike said...

Funny. Few people these days slam the Golden Globes...

Doesn't mean it's not a joke. But it's way better and more credible than the Annies. How pathetic.

I have yet to meet ONE person, in or out of the industry, who liked the second half of that movie.

It's sad that people still slam it like no one in real life ever likes it when in fact it's the movie that makes people actually care and respect for something animated, not just dismiss it as another usual "silly kiddie flick". And it's even sadder that people in its own field, who must've known how hard to break out of the ghetto, didn't even recognize it a teeny tiny bit. The sweep of KFP just show that "industry people" are content of things not much different than ten years ago, with realistic furs and Bruce Lee rehash, don't even bother to try to break any mold.

As is usual, the fanboys whining the loudest here about Wall-E's failure to win, don't sound like they're actually in the industry.

And some act like KFP won over only WALL-E, yet never compare it to Waltz with Bashir or $9.99, both far more superior. At least those films tried to do something more than just a franchise-starter. I guess some "industry people" haven't even seen them. Heh.

Stephen Worth said...

We just posted an article by Danny Young and Michael Woodside that gives a behind-the-scenes peek at the way the Annies are put on... Animation's Big Night: A Backstage Look At The 37th Annual Annie Awards

Anonymous said...

It's sad that people still slam it like no one in real life ever likes it when in fact it's the movie that makes people actually care and respect for something animated, not just dismiss it as another usual "silly kiddie flick".

I saw Panda, I loved it(it was much, much better than I expected it to be). I don't think it was in any way a "silly kiddie flick"(way to be snide and disparaging--not even a "film" but a "flick"? Come on).

I am a pro who didn't work on it. I didn't work on WALL-E either. I have friends who worked on both. I root for both. Both are worthy films. Really. They actually CAN coexist in the same flipping universe as two different, yet very enjoyable films.

I don't mind one bit people who are dismayed that WALL-E didn't win more annies. But the pure hatred and dismissal of Panda as though it's a truly dreadful film with no heart is just plain wrong.
Taste is one thing, but Panda was no "Shark Tale" at all and to hear it dismissed as such tells me the haters here are hopelessly biased and narrow minded.

RayChase said...

Having seen all the nominated movies for best animated feature, with the exception of $9.99, I can say without a doubt that I enjoyed them all on different levels. I consider them all to be good movies..

Why so much importance on the winner?..at the end of the day its just an empty cup..

That said congrats to the nominees and winners! Lots of great work was done last year!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the KFP crew for all the annies, but the acceptance speech by the directors was without any class or humility.

Anonymous said...

2 Things:

1. Disney and Pixar do NOT buy ASIFA memberships for all their employees... we buy them ourselves.

2. I have to admit that right or wrong - I vote for my own studio. Loyalty and friendship win out over my true feelings about any given nomination... I wonder how many other members do the same thing.

KFP was my fave, but did I vote for it? Nope. Did it matter? Nope.

Stephen Worth said...

while open membership is a good thing, it diminishes the Annie awards as a credible "guild award"

The Annies is not a "guild award". ASIFA-Hollywood isn't a guild or professional organization. It's an organization of people whose common denominator is passion for animation. For more info, see... About ASIFA-Hollywood

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd rather work at Pixar than at DreamWorks, even if DreamWorks pays their workers better. It's not about the money, it's about the job. Plus, Pixar makes better movies.

Obviously this person has never worked at one of these places to know the differences. Completely clueless and unworthy of commenting further.


You're right. I haven't worked at either place. So what? I'm not even an animator. I just watch animated features, I don't make them. Does that make you less qualified than you?

Have you worked at both Pixar and DreamWorks? Well, if you did, good for you. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is...

I'm sure it's a pleasure to work at both Pixar and DreamWorks. But, at the end of the day, I'd rather be working on WALL-E and Ratatouille than Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Shrek the Third.

Toodles!

Anonymous said...

>>>It never ceases to amaze me how much vehemence is leveled at Dreamworks.

What did they do wrong to piss so many people off?

Well, I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that most of their movies kind of suck. Especially compared to Pixar's output.<<<

So that's one in the "they're not Pixar and I'm a Pixie" column.


Yeah, so what if I am? You've got a problem with that, huh?

The fact is that, although Kung Fu Panda was a huge step in the right direction for DreamWorks, Pixar's output so far is far more impressive than DreamWorks's output.

Anyway, Kung Fu Panda showed that DreamWorks is finally learning. Make more movies like Kung Fu Panda and they might even start to rival Pixar.

P.S. Yes, I don't think Cars 2 is a good idea either. But, hey, they've got to keep the Mouse House satisfied, don't they?

Anonymous said...

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You're right. I haven't worked at either place. So what? I'm not even an animator. I just watch animated features, I don't make them. Does that make you less qualified than you?
//--------------------------

Yes. Absolutely. :)

Anonymous said...

I just watch animated features, I don't make them. Does that make you less qualified than you?

Yeah, it kinda does.

I wonder said...

If people who work at Pixar are "Pixies", are people who work at Dreamworks "D'orks"?

Anonymous said...

It's not the people who work at Pixar that are referred to as Pixies. It's the crazy fanboys that don't have a realistic view of what goes on in the industry (like many of those commenting here) that are referred to as Pixies. Though it is possible that some of the artists might feel the same as a fanboy, but I haven';t met any yet.

There's generally not any need to call workers or fans of Dreamworks films anything because I've yet to see the type of crazy religious fervor shown towards Dreamworks that is shown towards Pixar - for better or worse. Though it doesn't seem to have hurt DW's boxoffice any.
Just musing here, but maybe that's because the core audience for DW films tend to be older and a little hipper than the audience for Pixar films. Continuing to muse, perhaps that's the reason why they can both co-exist so effectively and why Sony and some other studios are having trouble finding an audience of their own.

Mike said...

I saw Panda, I loved it(it was much, much better than I expected it to be). I don't think it was in any way a "silly kiddie flick"(way to be snide and disparaging--not even a "film" but a "flick"? Come on).

I didn't refer to KFP with that phrase, but yeah, many people do. True, it was much, much better than expected, but does that make it the best of the year? Nah, sorry.

Again, people act like it won over only WALL-E, while there are still much better animated films. If KFP is the best "the industry" can come up with, look over to Europe and Japan. It's a shame indeed.

Anonymous said...

Boy, if winning an Annie causes the Pixies to freak out so much I'd love for KFP to win an Oscar. That would be hilarious to see them go balistic after that!

Anonymous said...

This thing lends itself perfectly to conspiracy theories, when DWA becomes gold sponsor from silver and bam! kung fu wins. Over WALLE. Clean sweep. 15-0. In a year it's WALLE vs the world, it's sitting right where No country for old men were last year and kung fu is much lower on the charts even than Waltz with Bashir.

You went for a (questionably) fearless choice and you have to face its consequence. Accuse the fanboys however you want, after all they can't do anything bout it, but WALLE deserves better than that, and you'll see.

Fanboys are annoying. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

That would be hilarious to see them go balistic after that!

Did you miss it? Monsters Inc? Cars? We were already there. Pixar has only won 3 out of 5, is it too much?

Anonymous said...

So, this isn't about Wall-E being a better film than KFP. It's about Pixar not winning? Or should I say: not winning again? and LOSING to DW? (that was for the Pixies)

Anonymous said...

"So, this isn't about Wall-E being a better film than KFP. It's about Pixar not winning?"

No, it's about KFP NOT being a better film than Wall-E, worse than Waltz with Bashir, worse than $9.99 yet still won. Believe me Triplets of Belleville should've won over Finding Nemo (sorry Andrew) and I'm already rooting for Ponyo over Pixar's Up.

KFP is not the best of the 5 noms. Plain and simple. Wall-E or not.

Stephen Worth said...

This thing lends itself perfectly to conspiracy theories, when DWA becomes gold sponsor from silver and bam! kung fu wins.

You don't know what you're talking about. Look at the sponsors of the Annies. Dreamworks has one Gold Sponsorship, but Disney/Pixar has FOUR Silver sponsorships- Disney Feature, Disney TV, DisneyToons and Pixar. There is no imbalance.

But it's irrelevant anyway, because sponsors don't select the "Best Picture" winners. Neither does the management of ASIFA-Hollywood- the MEMBERS do. The winners at the Annies won because that is who the members of ASIFA-Hollywood selected. Feel free to disagree with their choice, but don't try to say that the members of ASIFA-Hollywood didn't pick according to their own individual conscience, because they did. If you want to have a voice in the selection next time, join ASIFA-Hollywood and become active in the organization.

Anonymous said...

"When someone describes the Annies as "just another boring awards show" you can be pretty sure that they weren't at the Annie Awards and they don't know what they're talking about."

It was boring. And I've been going since 1982.

Anyone who votes should be required to attend no less than 75% of all Asifa meetings in their respective cities.

Anonymous said...

Why and how boring?

I didn't hear that from my coworkers who attended.
And why should members be "required to attend 75% of meetings before voting on Annie nominees"? Isn't the point to watch 100% of the categories for films that are nominated? WTF?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if KFP was a Pixar film and if Wall-E was a DWA film, if the fanboys in love with Wall-E now would still be in love with Wall-E then.

My guess is that they'd be gahgah for KFP and be cursing how Wall-E's story was schizophrenic.

Stephen Worth said...

It was boring. And I've been going since 1982. Anyone who votes should be required to attend no less than 75% of all Asifa meetings in their respective cities.

The Annies are only voted on by members of ASIFA-HOLLYWOOD. Other chapters around the world have their own events and don't participate in the Annies. Also, ASIFA-Hollywood doesn't have "meetings" other than the Board of Directors meeting, which I know you haven't attended.

If you don't even know these fundamental things about ASIFA-Hollywood and the Annies, why should I believe anything you say?

Mike said...

It was boring. And I've been going since 1982.

It's not the most boring award show on Earth. Still something can be improved but for an event like this it's very well executed.

Isn't the point to watch 100% of the categories for films that are nominated?

Impossible. Even the AMPAS members can't do it.

I wonder if KFP was a Pixar film and if Wall-E was a DWA film, if the fanboys in love with Wall-E now would still be in love with Wall-E then.

My guess is that they'd be gahgah for KFP and be cursing how Wall-E's story was schizophrenic.


Impossible. DWA wouldn't crank out something like WALL-E. It's just not their style and direction now. The days of Prince of Egypt and El Dorado were long gone. Not that they're terribly missed. The DWA formula works well at the box office, and now works well within "the industry" too.

The closest to something different would be Crood Awakening hopefully by Chris Sanders and it's not in another 5 years.

Many Pixar fans express their admiration for KFP at some pro-Pixar online community, and many flat-out don't like Cars and its sequel plan. WALL-E gets mixed reaction by Pixar's own fans. They're not as blind as their detractors' description.

Anonymous said...

A DWA/Pixie fanboy tag team jello wrestle-off for "Best Picture" would certainly spice up the Annies. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and will say it again now:

This board needs to go to 839membership only.

It's a union blog, and it'd be really, really nice if we(like the other industry boards-i.e. the WGA)had password-accessed, union member-only places to discuss things.

There are lots of fan boards alreday where all the fans and non-pros can go and discuss their likes & dislikes, with no practical, pro knowledge of any of the things they love. That's fine. But really, the membership deserves a board of our peers. We pay our dies both literally and figuratively, Kevin. Personally I think it could still be an option to be anonymous, but this is getting beyond boring to have the fanboys barge in where they are not germane at all. Sorry, but it's true.

As an option, maybe keep this board and ALSO open another private one(if so, wanna bet how dead this thing gets?).

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:00 PM makes an excellent point, and if I may add to it -- it's always struck me as odd that this blog publishes what I would consider "sensitive information" and makes it available to the general public. For instance, inside scoop from studios about morale, the quality of work in production, directors losing their jobs, etc. Don't get me wrong, I value the blog and appreciate the time it takes for Steve to write his posts, and I'm sure many of us who are TAG members find it extremely useful. But I don't see any reason why anyone outside of TAG should have access to it.

Anonymous said...

I AGREE! This blog should me members only! There are too many sensitive informations to widely post here!

Anonymous said...

I doubt KFP will get the Oscar nod from the members, even though it is very deserving of it. The folks at Pixar are not only good at storytelling but they also excel at promoting good buzz about their pictures whether the animation community loves them or not. They have a much better marketing machine than most others.

rufus said...

The Internets should be free!

Making this blog a union member only blog would be lame. Strikes as elitist mentality.

And yes, I do find this Pixar vs Dreamworks thing as pathetic. Boy, we really do act as children sometimes...

rufus.

Anonymous said...

AM NOT!

Steve Hulett said...

Making this blog a union member only blog would be lame. Strikes as elitist mentality.

Won't be happening on Mr. Hulett's watch.

Steve Hulett said...

... it's always struck me as odd that this blog publishes what I would consider "sensitive information" and makes it available to the general public. For instance, inside scoop from studios about morale, the quality of work in production, directors losing their jobs, etc.

Sensitive is in the eyes of the beholder.

What we don't do is publish proprietary information.

But the opinions of members working at studios ain't proprietary. Last time I checked, everybody has the right of free speech. (Just look around you here.)

You should also note that the quotes of member/employees are seldom if ever attributed in blog posts. (Quotes from other sources? That's obviously different).

The reports I put up here are my impressions and views of the biz. Not the views of Kevin Koch, not the official outlook of TAG. (Read the disclaimer box in the corner.)

But if you think the material herein is sensitive, by all means avert your eyes.

Anonymous said...

The thoughts and observations of the leaders of The Animation Guild (TAG), Local 839 IATSE. Steve Hulett is the Business Representative, and Kevin Koch is the President.

This weblog reflects their individual personal opinions and does not necessarily represent the official position of the Animation Guild.

Then remove your title next to your name and change the name of this blog. Why not call it Steve Hulett and Kevin Koch's Blog. With the title of your position and blog name you are representing TAG whether or not you see it as freedom of speech or not. i am a member, perhaps it should be brought up at next meeting.

Anonymous said...

I'm not an "elitist", I'm a union member.

All I'm asking is a private board that's hosted by and pertains to our members only. There are portions of our monthly meetings that ARE CLOSED TO NON-MEMBERS. Elitist? That's absurd.

As for "keeping the internets free"--come on. ANYONE can do a message board about animation that anyone can post to. What the hell, keep this one going in this spot for the convenience of the fans that want to come here to talk the same stuff they talk about on the dozens of other free boards available to everyone.

But again: what exactly is the problem with having one that's limited to union membership? Give me one reason other than that it's something that might take a few minutes to set up.
Let me ask you this, Steve:
If a good number-say. a majority-of the membership expressed the view that they would prefer to have an 839 message board they could post to and read that's password-protected for members only, would you agree or tell them to forget it-you don't want to?

I don't give a damn if a fan thinks that I'm "elitist" because I want to to discuss member matters privately with other members. But remember, it cuts both ways and our union has no draconian hours quotas designed to keep out newbies(which some other craft guilds have): the second you get a union job and are a member spending your dues and fees and paying your artistic dues, you'll be privy to union mattersand you'll be an "elitist" too-a card-carrying pro with a guild. That's not a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Union Member. You can start up a blog and invite only union members to read/participate and you can do it in five minutes.

Anonymous said...

If a good number-say. a majority-of the membership expressed the view that they would prefer to have an 839 message board they could post to and read that's password-protected for members only, would you agree or tell them to forget it-you don't want to?

I agree with this ANON. I think there should be some kind of petition.

You can start up a blog and invite only union members to read/participate and you can do it in five minutes.

You totally missed the point. Steve is our REPRESENTATIVE and this is called ANIMATIONGUILDBLOG. It's connected. He gives updates about studios, perhaps it would be best for union member to hear it only to put ourselves in the best position for the next job. Whats the point in sharing info that can help union members when everyone knows about it. Think about the people who are paying dues FIRST.

Sue said...

Steve, with all due respect, I don't think anyone's suggesting that THIS blog be restricted to union members.

But it would be nice to have a discussion board within the Guild's website that would be for the members of the Guild. I believe there are other guilds that have this, and would be a nice addition to TAG. I can't imagine a reason not to do it, as it would be a healthy and interesting way for Guild members to meet/communicate/network/chitchat, or whatever else happens on discussion boards.

Please consider this, outside of any calls of "elitism", etc. Of course, this blog should remain as it is.

Steve Hulett said...

Then remove your title next to your name and change the name of this blog.

I have no interest in doing that, but if the members don't want this blog to continue in its present form, that's fine.

I just won't be participating in some other form. And I've no interest in rebranding it "The Hulett Koch blog."

Why not call it Steve Hulett and Kevin Koch's Blog?

I don't want to. But if there's a quorum at a membership meeting that makes a motion and passes the motion to have Hulett cease and desist, Hulett will stop.

What could be more fair than that?

With the title of your position and blog name you are representing TAG whether or not you see it as freedom of speech or not. i am a member, perhaps it should be brought up at next meeting.

Fine by me. The membership is free to order me to stop doing it in the way that I'm doing it.

I just have no interest in running or participating in a private board. The guild already has a private e-mail system where we post jobs and other private union stuff.

This blog doesn't post specifics. This blog focuses on the industry in general, in what's going on at the studios on a work level. I post here as an adjunct to my regular job, mostly on my own time.

But if a majority of members want the present deal to stop, it will stop. And somebody else is free to start up their own effort, and good luck to them.

Steve Hulett said...

All I'm asking is a private board that's hosted by and pertains to our members only.

Members are free to start one.

TAG already has an e-mail system where job postings and specific union info are regularly forwarded to members. Has a newsletter that goes to members.

This blog was/is a private effort started by Kevin and me four years ago. Artwork gets posted, posts about the work situations in studios get posted. Current events and history gets posted.

Nothing of a proprietary nature from the companies the guild represents gets up here.

There are portions of our monthly meetings that ARE CLOSED TO NON-MEMBERS.

Indeed. And none of that is posted here. It's private.

what exactly is the problem with having one that's limited to union membership?

Nothing. We had one for a couple of years. Nobody posted on it. Nobody read it.

Eventually we shut it down for lack of interest.

We have lots of private areas on the Animation Guild website ... which is minimally read.

This one -- the public blog -- actually has some traffic. Amazing, but true. Which is why we keep it mostly general interest.

rufus said...

Steve and Kevin:

I'd like to thank you for keepimg this blog and informing the rest of us, who were at some point, part of this crazy industry. I was a paying union member, and what happens in this industry in general still of interest to me.

If others want to discuss things in private, they can use their own private e-mails... or a writen letter, etc...

Rufus.

Steve Hulett said...

Because I didn't exactly answer this earlier:

If a good number-say. a majority-of the membership expressed the view that they would prefer to have an 839 message board they could post to and read that's password-protected for members only, would you agree or tell them to forget it-you don't want to?

No, I wouldn't.

But as I said above, I just don't think it would work. We had a private message board through the website that died from lack of interest.

We shut it down after a couple of years.

To the other point: If people vote to stop this blog in its present form, I will bow to their wishes. I am but a servant.

But I doubt I would continue the blog under in another form or under another name.

Kevin Koch said...

Just to add on to Steve's last comment, we did indeed have an official Animation Guild bulletin board for several years. Part of it was open to everyone, part of it was open only to union members. I personally seeded it with some posts and threads, and we advertised it repeatedly at meetings and in the PegBoard.

In the several years we kept it going, I think we got about a dozen postings from non-members, and all of 2 or 3 postings from union members. It was a resounding waste of time.

By the way, the idea that setting up such a board 'takes only a few minutes' is nonsense. It was not a trivial process to set up, though the lack of response kept it from being a significant on-going time waster after the first few months.

The WGA is the one guild that has something like what you're proposing, and their members really use it (hey, they're writers, and they love to type out their thoughts and opinions). From what I can gather, maintaining the site and verifying who's in the WGA (anonymous posts aren't allowed, and you can't even get to the site without constantly updated verification that you're a WGA member), along with monitoring and responding to posts, apparently takes a substantial amount of energy on an ongoing basis by several people.

I personally don't have time to participate in this blog as it is, and I certainly wouldn't put in the time to retry something I already wasted many hours on in the past. Clearly Steve isn't up for additional uncompensated duties either.

That said, if members want to come to a general membership meeting and make a motion that we invest money in setting up a member's-only site, you're more than welcome to. Just realize that such a site, to work, could not allow anonymous comments/participation, and would have to be extremely secure for sensitive Guild and workplace issues to be discussed.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This post strayed far...

Anonymous said...

KFP rocks all the way through. WALLE's act 1 awesome.

Kevin Koch said...

I should clarify my last comment -- the WGA used to have their own members-only comment board, until it generated a nasty lawsuit or three, at which time it was shut down. There's now an unofficial WGA-only site, not run by the WGA, which the WGA cooperates with so that it can remain WGA members only.

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