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With some things making me think about the animation industry in general and awards in particular- Richard Corliss writing in TIME magazine about DreamWorks Animation's influence over animated films as a whole during the past decade, Disney's big push to make Toy Story 3 the very first animated feature to win Best Picture by invoking other famous Oscar upsets in their ad campaign, debate on whether or not Disney is abandoning the traditional Disney fairy tale, given quotes from Ed Catmull in both the Los Angeles Times and Disney sources themselves combined with the success of Tangled- I stumbled across a blog from last year where my buddy the Flash lamented on the broken state of the Annie Awards, in particular the fact that Phineas and Ferb were not nominated even once. Well, as another Annie once said, the sun seems to have come out tomorrow- sort of.
One of the big problems that seems to plague the Annie Awards is that large studios back the awards ceremony, which obviously brings up the question as to whether or not the awards ceremony is biased towards those studios who paid more for top sponsorship. Disney officially withdrew their sponsorship of the Annie Awards this year and refused to nominate their productions due to a number of complaints with the way the awards are set up; for example, the fact that any paying member of ASIFA, the organization who runs the Annie Awards, is allowed to vote for the awards instead of only those who work directly in the animation industry, and a believed bias towards DreamWorks Animation, who is a major sponsor of the ceremony and gives all of its employees automatic membership in ASIFA and thus a free vote. (DWA's Kung Fu Panda famously upset WALL-E for Best Animated Feature at the Annies in 2008, an occurrence which some believe led to Disney's mistrust of the awards, and given the large number of DWA nominations this year- including two categories all to themselves- Disney may have been on to something.) However, even though Disney themselves are not officially involved in the ceremony this year, it did not prevent Disney employees from submitting their work with the company on their own behalf.
The nominations for this year's ceremony have been released, and although many of the nominations are as flawed as the Flash pointed out last year, I am pleased to announce that Phineas and Ferb has garnered a nomination in the category of Writing in a Television Production. Jon Colton Barry and Piero Piluso's "Nerds of a Feather" will be competing against an unusual and somewhat diverse mix of competitors which includes Cartoon Network/Adult Swim's Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Robot Chicken, Fox's The Simpsons, and Comedy Central's Futurama. Of course, the series previously won a writing award earlier this year at the Daytime Emmys, which are segregated from their prime-time (and adult-oriented) counterparts, so it will be interesting to see what happens. Either way, even given all of the chaos behind-the-scenes and more apparent oversights that the Flash is no doubt just as angry about, I congratulate Jon and Piero on their nomination and wish them the best of luck at the Annies- Disney sponsorship or not- this February.