Full Coverage: 2010 Annie Awards Ceremony


This article was originally posted 1.03.2010 and has since been revised and updated as new details have become available.

Presented by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, the 37th Annual Annie Awards were held on Saturday, February 6, 2010, at UCLA’s Royce Hall, in Los Angeles, California. The ceremony will also be webcast on AnnieAwards.org beginning Tuesday, Feb. 9th.

Following are the nominees and winners for the voice acting-related categories:

~ Voice Acting in a Television Production ~

Tom Kenny accepting his award. (Photo courtesy Carol Wyatt)

Danny Jacobs, Voice of King Julien: “Merry Madagascar”: DreamWorks Animation

Nicky Jones, Voice of Chowder: “Chowder: The Dinner Theatre'”: Cartoon Network Studios

* WINNER: Tom Kenny, Voice of SpongeBob: “SpongeBob SquarePants: Truth or Square”: Nickelodeon

– Dwight Schultz, Voice of Mung Daal: “Chowder:The Party Cruise”: Cartoon Network Studios

– Willow Smith, Voice of Abby: “Merry Madagascar”: DreamWorks Animation

~ Voice Acting in a Feature Production ~

* WINNER: Jen Cody, Voice of Charlotte: “The Princess and the Frog”: Walt Disney Animation Studios

– Dawn French, Voice of Miss Forcible: “Coraline”: Laika

– Hugh Laurie, Voice of Dr. Cockroach Ph.D.: “Monsters vs. Aliens”: DreamWorks Animation

– John Leguizamo, Voice of Sid: “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur”: Blue Sky Studios

– Jennifer Lewis, Voice of Mama Odie: “The Princess and the Frog”: Walt Disney Animation Studios

The highest honor of the night went to Pixar/Disney’s Up for “Best Animated Feature,” which won another award for “Directing in a Feature Production.”

Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder won for “Best Home Entertainment Production,” and Robot Chicken: Star Wars 2.5 was the winner for “Best Animated Short Subject.”

Disney’s Prep and Landing won “Best Animated Television Production” and 3 additional awards, while The Penguins of Madagascar won for the “Best Animated Television Production for Children.”

Producer/animator/artist Bruce Timm was one of three recipients of the prestigious Winsor McCay Award. Timm has also voiced incidental characters and performed background walla for the many DC Comics animated properties with which he’s been involved.

My hearty congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

William Shatner hosting (photo courtesy Carol Wyatt)

William Shatner served as host for the event (previously reported here), and presenters included June Foray, Seth Green, John Leguizamo, Sean Astin, Pete Docter, Ed Catmull and Henry Selick. Disney’s Don Hahn also introduced a special tribute to the late Roy Disney.

Please visit AnnieAwards.org for the complete list of winners.

I will be adding more photos and video from the event over the next week, but in the meantime here’s a video from the 2009 Annie Awards featuring voice actors James Hong, Brad Garrett and Pat Fraley (via ActorsReporter.com):

Update: 2.08.2010, 3:05 AM (EST) — My friend and fellow voice actor fan Matt Dunford had the privilege of attending the Annies and provided the following report:

It was great show. But I really don’t think that Shatner was anywhere near as good as Tom Kenny has been for the past 5 years. But the highlight of the evening was Shatner totally botching the pronunciation of John Leguizamo and the running gag it prompted for the rest of the evening.

[Besides the aforementioned presenters], John DiMaggio and Fred Tatasciore presented an award together. Later on Bill Farmer, Tony Anselmo, and Russi Taylor went on stage and presented an award and also gave a marvelous tribute to Wayne Allwine. It was wonderful, Russi was so thankful to everyone there as she was holding back tears, yet the trio still gave a wonderful performance.

And for VAs in the audience I ran into Dana Snyder from [Aqua Teen Hunger Force], and Michael-Leon Wooley [Princess and the Frog]. Wooley was…very smiley and laughing all the time.

Other comments on the Annie Awards ceremony via Cartoon Brew:

From Floyd Norman: “William Shatner was a terrific host. Plus, he really moved the show along nicely, making the most out of every comic opportunity. I’d gladly have him back at the helm for another awards ceremony.”

From Floyd Bishop: “I thought the show was great, even from the nosebleed seats. The Tom [Kenny]/William Shatner voice swap skit was funny, and as Floyd Norman mentioned, Mr Shatner did a great job of keeping the show moving. It didn’t feel as long as it was.”

Update: 2.09.2010, 5:00 AM (EST) — The first few minutes of AnimationArchive.org’s podcast includes an “Annies Wrap Up.”

Seth Green fan blog “Freakin’ Awesome!” has posted photos collected from around the web of Green’s appearance at the Annie Awards here and here.

I also have a full gallery of photos courtesy of artist Carol Wyatt of Carol Wyatt Illustration (Thanks again, Carol!):

Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards
Annie Awards

And if anyone from ASIFA-Hollywood happens to be reading this, I would like to submit Richard Horvitz as host for the 38th Annual Annie Awards, provided that Tom Kenny is not available again. I’ve observed Horvitz for a few convention panel presentations and he’s naturally funny, quick-witted, great with people and presents himself professionally as well. He also has ample experience as a speaker since he teaches voice acting workshops which come highly-recommended.

While I’m sure having a celebrity guest host helped boost the Annies’ media exposure, wouldn’t you really rather have the host represent someone who genuinely works in your own industry?

Added: 2.08.2010, 3:39 AM (EST) — 2010 Annie Awards videos from the red carpet event:

Lacey Chabert (The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Wild Thornberrys, and the original voice of Meg Griffin on Family Guy):

John Leguizamo (Ice Age film series):

Russi Taylor (Minnie Mouse):

Tony Anselmo and Bill Farmer (Donald and Goofy, respectively):

Jennifer Lewis (Princess and the Frog):

Michael-Leon Wooley (Princess and the Frog):

Jennifer Cody (Princess and the Frog):

…and Cody receiving her Annie Award:

Nicky Jones (Chowder)

Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Family Guy)

Tom Kenny vs William Shatner: Battle for the Host!
…also includes Seth Green presenting the award for “Best Home Entertainment Production” (and a brief appearance by John Di Maggio)

A very special thanks to Matt Dunford for providing the event report, to artist Carol Wyatt of Carol Wyatt Illustration / Carol’s Couch for all the photos, and to Doreen Mulman for the heads-up on Carol’s photos.
I’d also like to thank the Academy…

Additional sources: NewsroomAmerica.com and Celebrity2Celebrity.com.

Related posts:
– 1.26.2010 — William Shatner to Host Annie Awards
– 12.17.2009 — Golden Globes Nominees Announced


William Shatner to Host Annie Awards


ASIFA-Hollywood announcement:

ASIFA-Hollywood is proud to announce the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor, director, producer and one of pop culture’s most recognizable figures, William Shatner, will host the 37th Annual Annie Awards on Saturday, February 6, 2010, at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, CA. The black-tie evening begins with a pre-reception at 5 p.m. followed by the Annie Awards ceremony at 7 p.m. and post award party at 10 p.m. All events will be held at Royce Hall. The Annie Awards ceremony will also be webcasted on http://www.annieawards.org beginning Tuesday, February 9, 2010.

In honor of the year’s best in animation, Shatner will be joined on stage by a lively mix of animation luminaries, celebrity presenters and comedic talent including animation legend June Foray. “ASIFA-Hollywood is honored to have William Shatner host this year’s Annie Awards,” says ASIFA-Hollywood President Antran Manoogian. “We are looking forward to Mr. Shatner’s unique and commanding presence presiding over the show.”

To view the list of voice acting-related nominees, click here.

In related news, if you haven’t yet seen Shatner’s Raw Nerve on the Biography Channel, it’s worth checking out. The show, currently in its second season, offers a fresh spin on the talk show format as Shatner gets up close and personal with his celebrity guests, which include some who have performed voiceovers for various TV/film productions: Leonard Nimoy, Tim Allen, Kelsey Grammer, Jason Alexander and Weird Al Yankovic. Preview clips and full episodes are available at Biography.com.

Thanks to ShadowWing Tronix of BW Media Spotlight for the heads-up on “Shatner’s Raw Nerve.”

On the Fourth Day ’til Christmas…


Next in the series of Holiday animated treats is “It’s A Very Merry Eek’s-Mas” from the Fox Kids series Eek! The Cat.

This episode originally aired December 11th, 1993 and is notable in that it was the only one of the series to air during prime time, and it’s one of my favorites from the entire Eek! series as well (which is less than notable). The plot involves Eek trying to reunite Sharky the Shark Dog with his family and help Santa save Christmas after being abandoned by his elves and reindeer (and left with a broken leg too).

It’s chock full o’cartoony fun goodness, and you really have to watch it more than once to catch all the visual gags, clever puns (like “Elmo the Brown-Nose Reindeer”), cultural references and Holiday-special spoofiness. Even the musical score includes some subtle gags.

It also features great comedic performances by the cast. They are included below so as not to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen this.

With that said, please enjoy all that is “It’s A Very Merry Eek’s-Mas”:

Last I heard, Disney owns the rights to this series, which means there’s a snowman’s chance in hades it will ever be released on DVD. But here’s hoping anyway.

As for the voice credits… unfortunately, there’s very little data available to identify the voices individually. IMDb and Wikipedia had practically nothing on this episode, and even on the most comprehensive Eek fan site the voice credits are limited to trivia bits.

And since the actual screen credits list only the cast names (and two of them are misspelled), I’ve made the effort to I.D. the voices by ear:

Bill Kopp as Eek, Skyhawk-1, addl. Reindeer and Elf voices
Tawny Kitaen as Annabelle
Savage Steve Holland as Elmo the Elk
Bobcat Goldthwait as Rudolph
The Barbi Twins as Themselves (aka, “The Greatest Minds in the World”)
E.G. Daily as Delores (Little Girl)
Gary Owens as Clive Buttburn (TV Reporter)
Brad Garrett as Big Brother Roy, “Hat Rack” Reindeer, “Bird Dog” Fighter Pilot
Anita Dangler as Mrs. Claus
– and William Shatner as Santa, Larry (Talk Show Host)

…with additional Reindeer and Elf voices by Charlie Adler, John Kassir, and Cam Clarke.

I’ve also found two sources crediting Tim Curry as the voice of the narrator (IMDb, TV.com), but he’s not mentioned in the actual screen credits. Furthermore, the Boris Karloff-esque “Grinch” imitation in this episode doesn’t sound much like Curry to my ear. I’ll check with Bill Kopp to verify this, and maybe I can coax him into sharing some behind-the-scenes details on this episode while I’m at it. (I’ll provide an update on his reply.)

Previous post: 12.20.2009 — ‘Prep and Landing’ Featured Cartoon

Related post: 7.07.2009 — Bill Kopp, Brad Garrett Producing New Adult Animated Series

Voting Opens for 2009 Game Show Awards


The Game Show Network has opened the polls for public voting in their annual Game Show Awards, and golly bob howdy, they’ve included a category for game show announcers!

The nominees include:

Joe Cipriano, Deal or No Deal
Rich Fields, The Price is Right
Johnny Gilbert, Jeopardy!
Charlie O’Donnell, Wheel of Fortune
Burton Richardson, Family Feud
Mark Thompson, Don’t Forget the Lyrics!

And a few celebrities who have done some voice acting are nominated in the category for “Favorite Celebrity Player,” including Neil Patrick Harris, William Shatner, Dan Whitney (aka Larry The Cable Guy), and Craig Ferguson. And “Favorite Game Show Host” includes Howie Mandel (Bobby’s World, Gremlins), but I refuse to vote in this category because they snubbed the fantastically talented John O’Hurley (Duck Dodgers, SpongeBob SquarePants, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command) who hosts The Family Feud.

But if you’re not as nitpicky as I am, you can vote online via The Game Show Network. Winners will be announced on-air via GSN on June 6th.

Source: Voice Over Times

Celebrity Voice Acting Round-Up (yee-hah.)


Forgive me for lumping all these celebrity voice acting news bits together. It was more for the sake of convenience, and not because I have any personal bias against celebrity voice acting (as I previously discussed here).

– Rapper Kanye West will have a recurring role as Kenny West on FOX’s upcoming Family Guy spinoff, The Cleveland Show (as previously reported here). Producers for the new series, Mike Henry and Richard Appel, spoke with People Magazine about Kanye’s involvement in the show:

“It was surprising to us that [he] was so into it that he came to the table [read], and wonderfully surprising how cool he was, how funny he was and how unassuming he was,” says Henry, who voices Cleveland Brown and other characters on the show. “He’s just a great presence.”

“We knew Kanye was a big Family Guy fan because he invited [creator] Seth [MacFarlane] to his house a year or two ago,” adds Henry. “And there was a mention on his blog when the spin-off was announced that he was excited about it. We knew he was a big fan and a lot of us are fans of his.”

“We just recorded him in the booth and he was fantastic,” says Appel. “Once he read it a couple times through, he just owned the character, which I guess isn’t hard since he was named Kenny West. He said he’d be glad to [be back.]. I said we could write him in to the next 21 episodes!”

ScreenDaily.com reports that Johnny Depp is recording new narration for When You’re Strange, Tom DiCillo’s documentary about rock legends The Doors which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

– The educational CGI/3D feature film Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey boasts a lengthy and impressive celebrity voice cast: Chris Pine (Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming “Star Trek XI” feature film), Samuel L. Jackson (“The Spirit,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Star Wars”), Hayden Christensen (“Jumper,” “Star Wars”), Amanda Peet (“X-Files Movie 2”), Robert Picardo (“Stargate Atlantis”), Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”), Casey Kasem (“Transformers,” “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?”), Tom Kenny (voice of “Sponge Bob Squarepants,” “Transformers”), Sandra Oh (“Sideways,” “Grey’s Anatomy”), Brent Spiner (“Independence Day,” “Star Trek: Next Generation”), James Earl Jones (“Star Wars”), William Shatner (“Boston Legal,” “Star Trek”), Mark Hamill (“Star Wars”), astronaut Neil Armstrong, Doug Jones (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Abe Sabien – Hell Boy”), Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl”), and Janina Gavankar (“The L Word”).

The film is scheduled for release in September 2009. Character profiles and a preview of the character designs and animation are available at the official movie site: QQTheMovie.com.

Life & Style Magazine reports that Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries, Get Smart) will have a cameo in an upcoming episode of Family Guy. “Anne is a longtime fan of the show. She hadn’t considered guest-starring until series creator Seth MacFarlane approached her,” an insider told the magazine. “He pitched Anne an episode idea that completely cracked her up. She didn’t even have to think it over — she wanted in!” Hathaway also recorded for an episode of The Simpsons earlier this year.

James Earl Jones is narrating the U.S. release of Earth, a feature-length spinoff of the BBC TV series, Planet Earth. The UK version released in 2007 was narrated by Patrick Stewart. The film makes its US debut April 22, appropriately, on “Earth Day.”

Mike Tyson is narrating Tyson, a feature film documentary on his life opening in NY and LA on April 24th, 2009. When asked by the UK’s Daily Mirror what was most difficult about making the documentary, Tyson responded, “Doing retakes and voiceovers. I was in rehab and sometimes I couldn’t go as it was against my curfew.”

And it’s only because Tyson doesn’t know where I live that I’m saying this, but I would imagine just trying to read one word at a time out loud for the narration was the most difficult for him. (Now watch him find this in a random Google search, hunt me down, and bite off my ear. But on second thought, no worries: he doesn’t know how to spell “Google.”)

Robert Downey Jr., Tina Fey and Ben Stiller will be lending their voice talents to DreamWorks’ Master Mind CGI feature scheduled for 2010. IMDb.com describes the film’s plot as a “satirical take on superhero movies, in which a notorious villain loses his oomph after he accidentally kills his nemesis.”

MovieJungle.com reports that Ellen Degeneres will be voicing a character in the Warner Bros animated film Dog Show, currently in early development and tentatively scheduled for release in 2011. More on this from MovieJungle.com:

“Dog Show” [is] a pitch for an animated [film] from Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons who also wrote DreamWorks Animation’s’ “Master Mind.” “Eagle Eye” writer John Glenn and producer David Manpearl developed the idea with Schoolcraft and Simons before approaching DeGeneres [about producing and performing in the film]. The team took the project around town and Warners topped others competing for the title. Not much on the plot now, but apparently the story tells of a stray dog and her misfit friends who shake things up a bit for a posh dog show.

– Rapper/actor Tone Loc, who has recorded voice-overs for several animated projects (Chowder, King of the Hill, Static Shock, C-Bear and Jamal), says in an interview with Macon.com that voice-overs are “easier” than anything else he’s involved with: “I don’t need to get up early. I don’t need makeup. You just get in there and say what you’ve got to say.”

ETOnline.com reports that Liam Neeson has joined the cast for Disney’s English dub of acclaimed anime film director Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo, which is scheduled to make its US theatrical debut August 14th, 2009. Other members of the US voice cast include Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, Lily Tomlin, Betty White, Noah Cyrus, Madison Davenport, Frankie Jonas, and Cloris Leachman. ETOnline says the animated film is “inspired by The Little Mermaid fairy tale and follows an overeager goldfish named Ponyo that is determined to become a human.”

And speaking of Cloris Leachman… just for the heck of it, here’s a pic of her literally dressed in lettuce as the spokesperson for Peta’s new vegetarian campaign:

Peta.org: "Let Vegetarianism grow on you."

Peta.org: "Let Vegetarianism grow on you."

Celebrate ‘International Talk Like William Shatner Day’


Originally posted March 21, 2009:

In honor of William Shatner’s birthday, voice actor and impressionist extraordinaire Maurice LaMarche (Futurama, Pinky and The Brain) has declared March 22nd, 2009 the first-ever “International Talk Like William Shatner Day.” To celebrate this event, Maurice has recorded a video tutorial explaining how to do a proper Shatner impression. Originally posted as an exclusive to Maurice’s officially-endorsed Facebook group The Genius of Moe: Fans of Maurice LaMarche, Moe has now made the video available via YouTube:

Update: 3.22.2010: Maurice has posted a video for the second annual “International Talk Like William Shatner Day,” performing with “premiere” Shatner impressionist Kevin Pollak:

[Caution: Adult language.]

You’re also invited to join the original “International Talk Like William Shatner Day” group on Facebook, for which Moe serves as a group admin.

And of course there would be no “International Talk Like William Shatner Day” without the man (or “The Shat”) himself.

And so, I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to actor William Shatner, born March 22nd, 1933, and famous the world over as Star Trek Captain James Tiberius Kirk… and also known for his trademark style of dramatic pause-acting.

In addition to his long career in film and television, Shatner has also been performing voice-overs since Star Trek: The Animated Series aired in 1973 (which also gave us Shatner’s infamous “sabotage” outtakes). He has gone on to lend his distinctive voice to many other animated projects: Futurama, Eek! The Cat, Osmosis Jones, Over The Hedge, Atomic Betty, and video games from the Star Trek franchise.

Shatner’s 1968 recording The Transformed Man is my favorite spoken-word/Shakespearean/pop music/disco album. Years ago, when I finally tracked down a copy at the now-defunct Warehouse Music, the cashier tried to prevent me from purchasing the album — informed me that it was “absolutely not for sale.” When I asked why, he said, “Because it’s the last copy we have. And if we sell it, we won’t have anything else to play to chase customers out of the store at closing time.”

And of course, here’s the obligatory link to Shatner’s official site: WilliamShatner.com.

Tom Kenny To Host 2009 ELAN Awards


Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob SquarePants) will be hosting the 3rd Annual ELAN Awards, an international event “honoring the talent behind video games, animation, and visual effects.”

Kenny, who has already been declared an ELAN winner for “Best Voice Over in an Animated Production,” says of hosting the event, “Since my kids are far too busy playing video games to talk to me anymore, I’m looking forward to the social interaction of the ELAN Awards.” Show founder Holly Carinci adds, “Tom will make our guests remember that what they do for a living is entertain people at a time they most need to be entertained and that theirs is a talent that should be celebrated and awarded.”

The ELAN Awards take place Saturday, April 25th at the Fairmount Hotel in Vancouver, B.C. Limited seating is available for this event, and nearly a dozen of the 50 tables available have already sold out. To purchase tickets, visit TheELANS.com.

The ELANS are asking industry professionals go to IGN.com to cast their vote for the recipients of the “Video Game Hall of Fame”, “Lifetime Achievement in Animation” and the “Visionary Award” (VFX).

To view the full list of nominees, the press release is available at ToonZone.net.

Seth MacFarlane
(Family Guy, American Dad) and William Shatner (Star… something, I forget) previously served as hosts for The ELANS, and photos from those events are available at TheELANS.com.