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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Winsor McCay Winners Announced

Winsor McCay Award Recipients Announced: Career Achievement and Animation's Highest Honor

BURBANK, Calif. (November 10, 2009) The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood has announced the Winsor McCay Award recipients for 2009: Tim Burton, Bruce Timm and Jeffrey Katzenberg (see bios below). Award recipients will claim their trophies at the 37th Annual Annie Awards scheduled for Saturday, February 6, 2010 at UCLA's Royce Hall in Los Angeles, California.

Named in honor of animator Winsor McCay, best known as a prolific artist and pioneer in the art of comic strips and animation, the Winsor McCay Award stands as one of the highest honors given to an individual in the animation industry in recognition for career contributions to the art of animation. "ASIFA-Hollywood will proudly present Tim Burton, Bruce Timm and Jeffrey Katzenberg each with a Winsor McCay Award," said ASIFA-Hollywood President Antran Manoogian. "The career achievements and outstanding contributions of these talented artisans are most worthy of animation's highest honor."

The Winsor McCay Award may be awarded to a maximum of three individuals in recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation in producing, directing, animating, design, writing, voice acting, sound and sound effects, technical work, music, professional teaching, or for other endeavors which exhibit outstanding contributions to excellence in animation.

Tim Burton, though mainly known for his innovative live action features, has had a strong influence on the world of animation. Burton began his career as an animator (Tron, Fox And the Hound) at the Walt Disney Studios where made his first independent shorts, Vincent (in stop motion animation) and Frankenweenie (live action). He went on to co-produce Family Dog (1987), an animated pilot for Steven Spielberg, which became a prime time series for CBS in 1993. His stop-motion Halloween feature, Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, directed by Henry Selick) has become a worldwide cult classic. His interest in animation led him to co-produce the stop-mo feature James and The Giant Peach (1996) and this year's CG production, 9. Most recently Burton co-directed the stop-motion Corpse Bride (2005) and his internet animation series, The World of Stainboy (2000). Burton is currently remaking Frankenweenie as a full length animated feature.

Bruce Timm forever changed the world of TV adventure cartoons with his visual take on DC Comics super heroes, beginning with his co-producing Batman: the Animated Series in 1992. Timm began his career in animation at Filmation, doing layouts on He-Man and Flash Gordon. He did storyboards for Ralph Bakshi (on Mighty Mouse: the New Adventures) and John Kricfalusi (Beany & Cecil). While working on Tiny Toon Adventures, he teamed with Eric Rodamski to pitch a new take on Batman. The success of that series has led Timm to redesign the entire DC Comics universe in various Warner Bros. Animation series as Superman, Batman Beyond and Justice League Unlimited. He has drawn several graphic novels and comics stories for DC Comics and is currently producing a series of direct-to video animated features for Warner Home Video.

Jeffrey Katzenberg is the CEO of Dreamworks Animation. Katzenberg was responsible for reviving the fortunes of Walt Disney Feature Animation with his supervision of The Little Mermaid, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and The Beast and The Lion King. Katzenberg left Disney in 1994 to team with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen to create Dreamworks SKG, where, as head of the animation studio, he oversaw the production of hand drawn animated features The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado and Spirit. Switching to CG production, the studio produced a string of hits including Shrek (and its sequels), Madagascar (and its spin-offs), Kung Fu Panda, Antz, Bee Movie and Shark Tale.

ASIFA-Hollywood is the largest of an international network of chapters and supports a range of animation initiatives through its membership. Current projects include an animation archive, library and museum, classes and screenings, and animated film preservation efforts.

For up-to-the-minute information on the 37th Annual Annie Awards, please visit http://www.annieawards.org or email Gretchen@annieawards.org or call: 562.209.9900. Media inquiries, please contact Gretchen Houser, Houser PR, at 562.235.0991 or email:  Gretchen@houserpr.com.
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