CalArts’ Alums Earn Annie Award Nominations

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The nominations for the 49th Annie Awards for animation were announced on Dec. 21 with more than a dozen CalArtians or their projects recognized among the nominees. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Raya and the Last Dragon, directed by Carlos López Estrada and Don Hall (Film/Video BFA 95), leads the feature categories with 10 nominations.

Earning a Best Feature Annie nomination along with Raya and the Last Dragon are The Mitchells vs. The Machines (Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix), directed by Michael Rianda (Film/Video 11) and Jeffrey Rowe (Film/Video 11). Rianda and Rowe also earned a nomination for Best Direction – Feature for The Mitchells vs. The Machines.

In the television categories, Maya and the Three (A Netflix Series)—created by Jorge R. Gutierrez (Film/Video BFA 97, MFA 00)—earned seven Annie nominations. Gutierrez personally earned nominations for Best Character Design, Best Direction, Best Production Design – TV/Media for “The Sun and the Moon” episode. He also earned a Best Writing nomination for “The Skull” episode.

The 2022 Annie Awards take place on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles.


View the CalArtians among the 49th Annie Award nominations, and please leave a comment below or email communications@calarts.edu if we missed any CalArtian Annie nominees.

Best Feature

  • Raya and the Last Dragon (Walt Disney Animation Studios) – from Don Hall (Film/Video BFA 95)
  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines (Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix) from Michael Rianda (Film/Video 11), Jeffrey Rowe (Film/Video 11)

Best Special Production

  • Namoo (Baobab Studios) – Chief Creative Officer of studio is alumnx Eric Darnell (Film/Video MFA 90)

Best TV/Media – Children

  • Amphibia (Walt Disney Television Animation), Episode: “True Colors.” The show was created by Matt Braly (Film/Video BFA 10)
  • Maya and the Three (A Netflix Series), Episode: “The Sun and the Moon.” The show was created by Jorge R. Gutierrez (Film/Video BFA 97, MFA 00)
  • We the People (Laughing Wild, Higher Ground Productions, Netflix), Episode: “Active Citizenship.” The supervising director of series is Tim Rauch (recent Character Animation faculty member).

Best Character Animation – Feature

  • Raya and the Last Dragon (Walt Disney Animation Studios), Jennifer Hager (Film/Video BFA 05)

Best Character Design – TV/Media

  • Kid Cosmic (A Netflix Original Series), Episode: “The Rings of Power” by Craig McCracken (Film/Video 93)
  • Maya and the Three (A Netflix Series), Episode: “The Sun and the Moon” by Jorge R. Gutierrez (Film/Video BFA 97, MFA 00)

Best Character Design – Feature

  • Vivo (Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix), Joe Moshier (Character Animation 94)

Best Direction – TV/Media

  • Amphibia (Walt Disney Television Animation), Episode: “True Colors” – Jenn Strickland, Kyler Spears (Film/Video 13)
  • Maya and the Three (A Netflix Series), Episode: “The Sun and the Moon,” Jorge R. Gutierrez (Film/Video BFA 97, MFA 00)

Best Direction – Feature

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix) – Michael Rianda (Character Animation 11), Jeffrey Rowe (Character Animation 11)

Best Production Design – TV/Media

  • Arlo the Alligator Boy (Netflix Presents A Ryan Crego Film), Episode: “Broadcast Special,” Israel Sanchez, Margaret Wuller, Michelle Haejung Park (Art BFA 09), Kayla Jones, Tania Franco
  • Maya and the Three (A Netflix Series) Episode: “The Sun and the Moon,” – Jorge R. Gutierrez (Film/Video BFA 97, MFA 00), Paul Sullivan, Gerald de Jesus, Richard Chen

Best Storyboarding – Feature

  • Encanto (Walt Disney Animation Studios), Jason Hand (Character Animation BFA 02)
  • Vivo (Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix), Carlos Romero (Character Animation BFA 12)

Best Writing – TV/Media

  • Maya and the Three (A Netflix Series) Episode: Chapter 4: “The Skull”), Silvia Olivas, Jorge R. Gutierrez (Film/Video BFA 97, MFA 00)
  • The Mighty Ones (DreamWorks Animation), Episode: “Berry’s Pet Threat,” Jillian Goldfluss, Erica Jones (Film/Video 13), Nicolette Wood (Film/Video BFA 14)

Best Writing – Feature

  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines (Sony Pictures Animation for Netflix), Mike Rianda (Film/Video 11), Jeff Rowe (Film/Video 11)
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PUBLISHED BY Christine N. Ziemba

Christine is the director of Content at CalArts, responsible for the Institute's editorial in both print and online platforms. In addition, she oversees CalArts' social media accounts. In her spare time, she writes about the Santa Clarita food scene at scvfoodie.com.

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