... The First Golden Awards Banquet ... was put on by the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, IATSE Local 839’s (today’s Animation Guild), at Sorrentino’s Restaurant, in Toluca Lake, California, on January 20, 1984, to honor those who had been in animation for 50 years or more. (They also occasionally honored a comic strip/book artist or two, as some did fall under the union’s jurisdiction.)
The first banquet honored 41 people, though only 36 showed up; it was a huge success and is remembered as one of the largest gathering of Golden Age animation artists since Montreal’s Expo ’67. ...
That first Golden Awards Whoop Dee Doo was a pretty boisterous affair. A lot of cartoon veterans hadn't seen each other in years, and Sorrentino's banquet room was packed (the restaurant is now long gone). Bob Clampett was there ... in one of his last industry appearances (he died abruptly four months later in Detroit Michigan), as was Chuck Jones, Eric Larson, Cal Howard, Bill Hanna and Grim Natwick among numerous others.
Because there were so many honorees, award presentations were brief, but food and drink were abundant and there was lots of lively talk at the long tables. The only comparable gathering of animation talent occurred six-plus years later at Grim Natwick's 100th birthday party at the Sportsmen's Lodge.