Monday, February 8, 2010


Back in NYC, ASIFA-EAST has it's long-running annual film festival that I've attended almost every year for the past 20 years! It's a who's who of NYC animation and a wonderful night to catch up with old friends. And what's really great is that since most of the films are so short, you get to actually watch all the winners (which can be bad if you're feeling sleepy).

But now that I'm in LA, I get to go to ASIFA-HOLLYWOOD's Annie Awards, a gala black tie event celebrating the best in animated films from the past year. Feature films and TV shows are the stars here, so you don't get to watch any of the winners. But it's still quite the show.

This was my first time going. Perhaps I would have gone sooner if Codename: Kids Next Door had ever been nominated for something, but unfortunately it never was. It's always been a bit of an LA-centric event.

Regardless, it's fun getting dressed up... and not to brag or nothin', but me and the Mrs. looked pretty rockin'. I'd show you pictures to prove it... but the camera I brought was acting all weird.

Good thing I managed to steal some pics from fellow facebook friends, like this one of our host for the evening.

Yeah, I know. You're saying,

"Whoa whoa whoa... William Shatner?!"


Mr. Shatner took over the hosting duties from Mr. Tom Kenny (aka voice of Spongebob) and did a pretty great job. He was a bit mumbly, as Shatners tend to be, but was very personable and quick on his feet with a gag. Good fun, really. Check out the opening film:

Fun, no?

It's a VERY Hollywood night... just like the awards shows you see on TV, with (animation) celebrities presenting each award, video montages, lifetime achievement awards, 'I can't believe I'm up here' speeches and all the trimmings.

And I loved it!
(Especially when the voice actors who play King Julian and Skipper from The Penguins of Madagascar were presenting)

Still, I gotta say that I kinda missed the independent feeling of NYC animation events. It's so BIG out here, and the ASIFA-EAST festival is filled with all these films that come from individuals or small studios, all of whom pretty much know each other. There's something to be said for that. Something LOUD that doesn't get heard out here because everyone's working on a big, awesomely cool project.
(not that I don't loooooove big, awesomely cool projects)

Still... when Tim Burton wins a lifetime achievement award, I'm all ears. He couldn't make it to the event... but he did accept the award via this:

Too cool.

We didn't go for the sooper VIP tickets that included the reception afterwards, so me and my lovely wife adjourned to the nearby W Hotel for some refreshment.

But WHO was there in the lobby but this guy:

Director of Pixar's UP, winner of the Annie for Best Feature Film!

So I tooooooootally had to introduce myself and gush like a nerdy fanboy.

If only had I had my sketchbook so I could have begged him for a drawing!

Anyway... a great night! Thanks ASIFA-HOLLYWOOD!

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