|42nd Annie Awards|
|Awarded for||Excellence in film animation|
The Annie Award is an American award for accomplishments in animation. The Annies have been presented by the Los Angeles branch of the International Animated Film Association, ASIFA-Hollywood since 1972. Originally designed to celebrate lifetime or career contributions to animation, since 1992 it has given awards to individual films.
Memberships in the ASIFA-Hollywood consist of three main categories: General Member, Patron and Student Member. Joining ASIFA-Hollywood is open to professionals, students and fans of animation, for a membership fee. Selected professional members are permitted to vote for the Annie.
- Best Animated Feature
- Best Animated Home Entertainment Production
- Best Animated Short Subject
- Best Animated Television Commercial
- Best Animated Television Production
- Best Animated Video Game
- Animated Effects
- Character Animation in a Feature Production
- Character Animation in a Television Production
- Character Design in a Feature Production
- Character Design in a Television Production
- Directing in a Feature Production
- Directing in a Television Production
- Music in a Feature Production
- Music in a Television Production
- Production Design in a Feature Production
- Production Design in a Television Production
- Storyboarding in a Feature Production
- Storyboarding in a Television Production
- Voice Acting in a Feature Production
- Voice Acting in a Television Production
- Writing in a Feature Production
- Writing in a Television Production
- Editing in a Feature Production
- Editing in a Television/DVD/Internet Production
- June Foray Award
- Ub Iwerks Award
- Winsor McCay Award
- Special Achievement in Animation
- Certificates of Merit
Balloting controversies and criticism
In 2008, the Annie Award nominees for "Best Short Subject" included two Walt Disney cartoons, a Pixar short, and two independent films: Picnic Pictures' The Chestnut Tree, and Don Hertzfeldt's short, Everything Will Be OK. Official rules for the Annie Awards state that voting members must view all nominated achievements in their entirety before casting their ballot for a winner. Members are directed to view the nominated films on a secure website.
When the online ballot launched on January 15, the two independent films were not included for voters to judge. ASIFA acknowledged this error over a week later, at which point all the votes were reportedly thrown out and the balloting system was reset. Voters were instructed to return and re-vote the category. "The Chestnut Tree" was now uploaded properly to the ballot, however Everything Will Be OK was again not included: this time, the online ballot only played a portion of this film's 17-minute running time to voters, abruptly cutting out in the middle of a scene. ASIFA again took several days to repair the ballot, but this time allowed voting to continue.
In 2009, DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda swept the Annie Awards in an overwhelming defeat against the eventual Oscar-winner WALL-E, which was shut out in every category. In an Oscar prediction article, New York Times writer David Carr noted, "Oscar watchers were stunned when Kung Fu Panda took all the awards from the International Animated Film Society. That was an inside job, full of backstage politics you don’t want to know about." Animator Bill Plympton (himself a recipient of ASIFA's lifetime achievement award), also criticized the organization's balloting practices, writing in his blog, "I think that Jeffrey Katzenberg, who knows a good publicity opportunity when he sees it, bought ASIFA-Hollywood memberships for his entire studio, and then told them to vote the party line... The unfortunate reality is that it feels like the elections were rigged - they were bought! What a travesty." 
In 2010, Walt Disney Studios decided to cease submissions and support for ASIFA-Hollywood's Annie Awards. At issue was the fact that anyone could buy a membership (and voting ballot) to ASIFA, whereas members of the Motion Picture Academy and other awards-giving bodies must be voted in only by their peers. Disney also believed the scales are tilted in favor of DreamWorks Animation, who gives each new employee a free membership to ASIFA-Hollywood.
Due to Disney's complaints, ASIFA-Hollywood changed the rules on voting for individual achievement categories, making those categories only available to professionals. ASIFA-Hollywood head Antran Manoogian said that this was just a first step to a future move where Annie voters would have to be approved by a committee and non-professionals would now be ineligible to vote.
That was not enough for Disney president Ed Catmull, who had called for an advisory committee of toon execs representing each studio to recommend rule changes to the ASIFA board. Catmull said, "We believe there is an issue with the way the Annies are judged, and have been seeking a mutually agreeable solution with the board. Although some initial steps have been taken, the board informed us that no further changes would be made to address our concerns." 
- "Why Don Hertzfeldt Probably Won't Win an Annie". Cartoonbrew.com. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- By David Carr (2009-02-19). "The Oscars - The Contenders, the Pools and the Show and the Hopes". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- "Bill Plympton Studio". Plymptoons.com. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- Debruge, Peter (2010-08-25). "Disney withdraws from Annie Awards - Entertainment News, Film News, Media". Variety. Retrieved 2011-06-04.