Saturday, February 17, 2024

2024 Annie Award Predictions!


1. Best Feature

The Boy and the Heron

Studio Ghibli / Distributed by GKIDS

2. Best Feature-Independent

Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia

Folivari, Mélusine Productions, Studio Canal / Distributed by GKIDS

3. Best Special Production

Shape Island: The Winter Blues

Bix Pix Entertainment in association with Apple

4. Best Short Subject

Daffy in Wackyland

Warner Bros. Animation

5. Best Sponsored

"Video Games" by Tenacious D

Pinreel Inc.

6. Best TV/Media - Preschool

StoryBots: Answer Time

Episode: Fractions

JibJab Bros. Studios for Netflix

7. Best TV/Media - Children


Episode: Chapter 8: The Fairy Isle

Hilda Productions Limited, a Silvergate Media Company, Netflix Inc. and Mercury Filmworks

8. Best TV/Media - Mature

Blue Eye Samurai

Episode: Pilot: Hammerscale

A Netflix Series / 3 Arts Entertainment and Blue Spirit Productions

9. Best TV/Media – Limited Series

Only You: An Animated Shorts Collection

Episode: Yellowbird

An Afterman production in association with Max/Warner Bros. Discovery

10. Best Student Film

The Little Poet

Student Director: Justine King

Student Producer: Justine King

School: California Institute of the Arts

11. Best FX - TV/Media

Blue Eye Samurai

Episode: All Evil Dreams and Angry Words

Production Company: A Netflix Series / 3 Arts Entertainment and Blue Spirit Productions

FX Production Company: Blue Spirit

Thomas Decaens, Karl Burtin, Laurent Bretonniere

12. Best FX - Feature

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Production Company: Sony Pictures Animation

FX Production Company: Sony Pictures Imageworks

Pav Grochola, Filippo Maccari, Naoki Kato, Nicola Finizio, Edmond Boulet-Gilly

13. Best Character Animation - TV/Media


Episode: 1

Glitch Productions

Kevin Temmer

14. Best Character Animation - Feature

The Boy and the Heron

Studio Ghibli / Distributed by GKIDS

Takeshi Honda

15. Best Character Animation - Live Action


Production Company: Lucasfilm Ltd.

FX Production Company: Industrial Light & Magic

Rick O’Connor, Mike Beaulieu, Stewart Alves, Kevin Reuter, Wai Kit Wan

16. Best Character Animation - Video Game

Hogwarts Legacy

Avalanche Software

The Hogwarts Legacy Animation Team

17. Best Character Design - TV/Media

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur

Episode: 515M-106 (The Beyonder)

Disney Television Animation / Cinema Gypsy Productions

Jose Lopez

18. Best Character Design - Feature


Annapurna Animation for Netflix

Aidan Sugano

19. Best Direction - TV/Media

Pokémon Concierge

Episode: #2 What’s on Your Mind, Psyduck?

dwarf studios for Netflix

Iku Ogawa

20. Best Direction - Feature

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Sony Pictures Animation

Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson

21. Best Music - TV/Media


Episode: Talladega Mice

Warner Brothers Animation/Amblin Entertainment/HULU Originals

Steven Bernstein, Julie Bernstein

22. Best Music - Feature

The Boy and the Heron

Studio Ghibli / Distributed by GKIDS

Joe Hisaishi

23. Best Production Design - TV/Media

Star Wars: Visions

Episode: Sith

Lucasfilm Ltd.

Carlos Salgado

24. Best Production Design - Feature

The Boy and the Heron

Studio Ghibli / Distributed by GKIDS

Yoji Takeshige

25. Best Storyboarding - TV/Media

Craig Before The Creek

Episode: Craig Before The Creek

Cartoon Network Studios

Erik Fountain

26. Best Storyboarding - Feature

The Boy and the Heron

Studio Ghibli / Distributed by GKIDS

Hayao Miyazaki

27. Best Voice Acting - TV/Media

Craig Before The Creek

Episode: Craig Before The Creek

Cartoon Network Studios

Vico Ortiz (Character: Serena)

28. Best Voice Acting - Feature

The Super Mario Bros. Movie


Jack Black (Character: Bowser)

29. Best Writing - TV/Media

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Episode: Birthday Police

Nickelodeon Animation Studios

Josh Lehrman, Kyle Stegina, Aram Spencer Porter, Julia Prescott, Mike Trapp

30. Best Writing - Feature


Annapurna Animation for Netflix

Robert L. Baird, Lloyd Taylor

31. Best Editorial - TV/Media


Episode: Chapter 6: The Forgotten Lake

Hilda Productions Limited, a Silvergate Media Company, Netflix Inc. and Mercury Filmworks

John Mckinnon, Mike Stefanelli

32. Best Editorial - Feature


Pixar Animation Studios

Stephen Schaffer, Amera Rizk, Gregory Snyder, Jen Jew, Kevin Rose-Williams

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

2023 SAS Conference Presentation


Nobody Can Afford to Listen to You: 

Animation History Barriers 

Orrin Scott

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

Society of Animation Studies 34th Annual Conference

Rowan University 


As animation practitioners, it inherently requires access to materials, cutting edge technology and skill-based education. These requirements can be prohibitively expensive and act as a barrier for many. Whether animation boundaries are monetary or skills-based, these obstacles prevent the artform and industry from continuing to grow and evolve to its fullest potential and we all suffer the loss. In my research, I have explored some of the societal and cultural issues preventing accessibility to animation. My goal is to add to the conversation insights into the role U.S. education is serving in our field. Academic resources will be scrutinized for their availability over time. The purpose of my research is to discover some of the unseen ways animation can be inaccessible to new practitioners and students. I will call to action listeners to analyze their own animation environments and contemplate what steps can be made to give animators and researchers the financial, educational, and technological resources required to flourish. 


The scope of this paper is to analyze the ability for an individual to approach animation from the micro scale to the macro scale. This is done by analyzing the minimum requirements to run industry standard software, the availability of literature over time, and the availability of a formal education on the State and U.S. national scale.

Methods & Results

 A sample of three industry standard software was analyzed for their minimum requirements and compared on PC Part Picker, a website designed to compare and contrast compatibility of computer components, their real world cost, and their availability in May of 2023. The three pieces of software include Autodesk, Blender, and Adobe Animate. The minimum requirement amongst the three software was the same. The emphasis has been placed on minimum requirements, and while this would be less than ideal to work within in a practical sense, it would be a functional methodology for producing an animated project. While the computer market fluctuates wildly from year to year (Bajarin, 2022), the minimum price totalled $555, pre-tax. As with most computer builds, a majority of the budget was spent on the graphics card and operating system, two of the most expensive components of any personal computer. 

 The availability of education is essential to further develop and expand upon animation. Using a combination of resources and a databases available from the National Center for Education Statistics and a list of all available secondary educational facilities that offer an animation degree was created. This resulted in a list of 201 schools across the United States. Of the continental 50 states, 40 contain at least one university that offers an animation degree. Of the 201 schools, 72 of them are located in California. A breakdown of the amount featured in each state can be seen in Appendix A. 

The United States Government via the Department of Education maintains a database of available degrees offered and earned each year throughout the country on the National Center for Education Statistics website. Animation as a field of study is considered to fall under the Visual and Performing Arts field. In analyzing the degrees earned in 2022, it was found that the Visual and Performing Arts made up 4.4% of all Bachelor degrees, 1.8% of all Masters Degrees, and .8% of all Doctoral degrees, see Appendices C & D. While all nationalities and women have continued to see an increase in attendance in higher education, men, white men in particular, have been fallen consistently for the last half decade (Donadel, 2023).


“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”  

-James Clear, Atomic Habits 

There has not been a more relevant time for the discussion of animation than the current state of affairs. Decisions made in the 1960’s are playing out in a fight between Florida Governor Ron Desantis and Disney (Narea, 2022). Interactive animation has usurped the second highest grossing animated film of all time with The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Rubin, 2023). We’re also on the precipice of another technological milestone with the utilization and implementation of artificial intelligence in the production pipeline (Idelson, 2023). While the challenges presenting themselves to animation are unique to our industry, the answer to the original question proposed by this paper consists of solutions seen in other industries. If animation is to continue to grow and bring in new perspectives, ideas, and innovations, resources and education need to be made more geographically available. 

Appendices (A)

Appendices Continued (B)

Appendices Continued (C)


Animate system requirements. Adobe. (n.d.). 

Animation Career Review, 

Blender Foundation. (n.d.). Requirements. 

Bajarin, Tim. “Will There Be a Downturn in the PC Market in 2022-2023?” Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022, 

Donadel, A. (2023). Men are falling behind in higher ed and the trend may not be letting up. University Business.

Idelson, K. (2023, June 11). Variety.

“National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, Part of the U.S. Department of Education.” National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Home Page, a Part of the U.S. Department of Education, Accessed May 29, 2023. 

Narea, Nicole. “DeSantis’s Feud with Disney Is Costing Florida - and Possibly His 2024 Campaign.” Vox, 19 May 2023, 

Rubin, R. (2023, June 5). Variety.

Scott, Orrin. “Animation History Bibliography June 2023 Update.” Cartoon Research, 1 June 2023, 

“System Requirements for Autodesk 3DS MAX 2021.” Autodesk, 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Society of Animation Studies 2022 Micro-Talk

Yesterday was the deadline for 2023's Society of Animation Studies Conference Call for Papers; New Jersey for 2023. It's been a year since I submitted the last time, and - wow! - a lot happened in a year. The speech I ended up giving at Teesside U. was in the wrong context for the conference; a valuable lesson I am applying this year as I've dived full body back into academia to learn to write gooder. But, I am still proud of what I got done.  Here's what I wrote, a first time participant in an animation academic conference; truly a place and group of people that seemed unreal to gather together. My time across the pond ranks up there with the time I visited Japan; there's a before the trip me and after the trip me, and the two are very different. The amount I learned and the people I met have had a positive and immense impact and I cannot wait until June.  

Sunday, October 2, 2022

What's in a Name?

I want specificity, dammit. 
 I want precision. 
 I want clarity. 

 Was I writing an... 


 ...this entire time? 

Root Word 
To give life to to 

a combining form used in the names of processes or forms of writing, printing, representing, recording, or describing, or in the names of an art or science concerned with such processes 

Animaography (A-ni-ma-o-gra-phy/N.) The collection and listing of material concerning the study of animation.

Edit 2-18-23: 

Rightfully pointed out I was misusing word structure. So....Anipendium. Coming 2023. Working on Logo now. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

Who does that!? The Best Saturdays of Our Lives by Mark McCray

 Sometimes you receive a package and the thought and love put into its presentation give you childlike glee. Today that happened to me, check it:


Inside an autographed copy of The Best Saturdays of Our Lives by Mark McCray, with a matching Bookmark, magnet and sticker. 

This is awesome and I cannot wait to devour it whole.

Get yours here:

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Streaming / 2021 / Deals

This year is flying. I cannot believe it's already September. As slow as last year was during the Pandemic, this year is flying by the speed of light. Lots of cool things are happening, lots of changes from the pandemic now becoming permanent. Let’s catch up.

Cartoon Research has started a new streaming channel on Twitch. They've been showing off all sorts of awesome animation and features. There have been four podcasts with some awesome people throughout the industry. I highly recommend checking them out. They've been produced by Mauricio over at and if you haven't already checked out his website, he's got lots of cool licensed stuff!

Recently going through Amazon and came across a deal that seem to be too good to be true and, for once, it was not too good to be true! It was real. I'm assuming somebody mistyped a price on a book for it was supposed to be $95, $100. I saw it available for $9.50.

I also have some projects to share in the future, just can't share with you yet. Just know that they’re forthcoming!

Friday, February 26, 2021

And the Avatar Cycle Continues Anew

One of my favorite Nicktoons is Avatar: The Last Airbender. It is one of the best animated series to have been produced in the last twenty years. It won a Peabody! 

I've been sitting my parents through it. They were hooked by fifth episode of the first season. We're on episode two of season two. I always forget how relatively slow paced the first season is. There's high action and drama, but there is quite a bit of world building occurring. 

The production history of Avatar is a tale of push an pull. While it seems Avatar went off fairly well, even acquiring the funding to finish the story in 61 episodes instead of the agreed 60, shows the lengths the business minded folks at the ol' Nickelodeon rallied behind what would become a modern day classic. It's sequel, The Legend of Korra, not so much. 

Korra has a notoriously famous identity crisis throughout all four seasons of its run. Nickelodeon had a hit on their hands that wasn't their target demographic, and so the show shifted from time slot to time slot, then to from channel to channel, and eventually premiering it's final episodes online. 

That's just the animated universe. The live-action retelling of the first season by M. Night Shyamalan is a notorious production nightmare where Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko were pushed aside. The film would eventually premiere without the creators attached to the project. Today, the film has a 5% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Netflix is currently at work trying to fix the mistakes of the past, working on a new live action series of Avatar. The original creators were publicized as being attached to the project and guiding it's trajectory. 

In October of 2020, the creators put out a statement they were no longer attached to the project. 

And now to today! Nickelodeon has put out the following press release:

BURBANK, Calif.—Feb. 24, 2021—Nickelodeon today announced the launch of Avatar Studios, a newly formed division designed to create original content spanning animated series and movies based on the beloved world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Original creators and executive producers Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko will helm the studio as co-chief creative officers, reporting to Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation. The Studio’s output will bow on platforms including Paramount+, ViacomCBS’ subscription video on-demand service; on Nickelodeon’s own linear and digital platforms; as well as on third-party platforms and in theaters.

The first project from Avatar Studios is slated as an animated theatrical film set to begin production this year. Additional details will be available soon.

Avatar: The Last Airbender and Korra have grown at least ten-fold in popularity since their original hit runs on Nickelodeon, and Ramsey Naito and I are incredibly excited to have Mike and Bryan’s genius talent on board to helm a studio devoted to expanding their characters and world into new content and formats for fans everywhere,” said Brian Robbins, President, ViacomCBS Kids & Family. “Creator-driven stories and characters have long been the hallmarks of Nickelodeon, and Avatar Studios is a way to give Mike and Bryan the resources and runway to open up their imaginations even more and dive deeper into the action and mythology of Avatar as we simultaneously expand upon that world and the world of content available on Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.”

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years since we created Avatar: The Last Airbender. But even after all that time, there are still many stories and time periods in Aang’s world that we are eager to bring to life. We are fortunate to have an ever-growing community of passionate fans that enjoys exploring the Avatarverse as much as we do. And with this new Avatar Studios venture we have an unparalleled opportunity to develop our franchise and its storytelling on a vast scale, in myriad exciting ways and mediums. We are exceedingly grateful to Brian Robbins and Ramsey Naito for their enthusiasm and respect for the Avatar property and us as its stewards. From the start, they’ve supported our ambitious plans and created a positive, proactive environment for us. We’re excited to be back at Nickelodeon where Avatar began, doing what we do best in the biggest way possible. We can’t wait to build the great teams and productions to make all of this fantasy a reality,” said Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino.

Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender aired for three seasons originally on Nickelodeon, where it began in February 2005 and concluded in July 2008. The series has received the Peabody Award, a Primetime Emmy, Annie Awards and Genesis Awards. The series follows the adventures of the main protagonist Aang and his friends, who must save the world by defeating Fire Lord Ozai and ending the destructive war with the Fire Nation.

Avatar: The Last Airbender emerged from its initial three seasons (61 episodes) as one of the most beloved animated properties in history. In addition to the series’ success, the property also has been translated into a successful comic book and graphic novel series, which continue to roll out new original stories. The “Avatar: The Last Airbender” graphic novel spent 70 cumulative weeks on the New York Times Graphic Novel Bestseller list, hitting number one. The DVD and Blu-rays are also incredibly successful, with the “Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series” generating nearly $5MM in retail sales since its 2018 release.

The Legend of Korra launched in April 2012 on Nickelodeon and ran for four seasons (52 episodes). Its first season premiered as basic cable’s number one kid’s show and drew 3.8 million viewers per episode, the highest for an animated series that year. Created and executive produced by DiMartino and Konietzko, the series is translated in more than 25 languages for Nickelodeon branded channels internationally.

The property has translated into a successful ongoing graphic novel series written by TV series co-creator DiMartino. The first graphic novel storyline, Legend of Korra: Turf Wars, has captured various Top 10 sales spots across children’s fiction, YA science fiction, and graphic novel categories since its debut in 2017. The epic story of The Legend of Korra, set in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender 70 years later, follows the journey of Avatar Korra, a 17-year-old girl striving to live up to the legacy of her predecessor Avatar Aang, while using her mastery of all four elements to confront political and spiritual unrest in a modernizing world.

About Bryan Konietzko
Bryan Konietzko graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design’s illustration department in 1998. He worked in TV animation as a character designer, storyboard artist, and art director before teaming up with Michael DiMartino to co-create and executive produce the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. He is the creator of the upcoming graphic novel series Threadworlds, to be published by First Second Books.

About Mike DiMartino
Michael Dante DiMartino began his training at the Rhode Island School of Design where he graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Film and Animation Department. His directing credits include the primetime animated series King of the Hill, Family Guy, and Mission Hill. DiMartino is a co-creator of the award-winning animated Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel, The Legend of Korra. From 2002 to 2014 he served as executive producer and story editor on both series. He continues Korra’s story as writer for the graphic novel, Turf Wars, published by Dark Horse comics. He is also the author of the fantasy novels Rebel Genius and Warrior Genius. DiMartino currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon, now in its 41st year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The brand includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, location-based experiences, publishing and feature films. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC).