It seems that every year, I get invited to the prestigious "Annies", ASIFA Hollywood's answer to the Oscars.
For me, it's heaven, because I get to smooze with the elite of the animation industry. People like Frank Gladstone, Tom Sito, Bill Kroyer, Eric Goldberg—the crème de la cartoon crème.
But this year was a strange one, because of the Disney/Pixar boycott. In the past, there were wonderful hors d'oeuvres and live bands – not this year, fewer sponsors.
The feud started like this: Dreamworks began by giving memberships to everyone at the studio—truck drivers, secretaries—people who had nothing to do with animation—so effectively they stuffed the ballot box. And they always won prizes, naturally.
So, Disney/Pixar cried "foul", and threatened to boycott unless they changed the rules. ASIFA Hollywood stuck by their guns, and Disney walked.
But to me, the Annies hadn't lost their glamour. Tom Kenny (Sponge Bob) was fantastic as an MC, very funny. Of course my film, "The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger", lost to Pixar.
But that's okay, I had a ball. I got to smooze with Matt Groening, who won the prestigious Winsor McCay award, along with Brad Bird and Eric Goldberg.
Me with Peter Chung
I also chatted with Guillermo del Toro, Peter Chung "Firebreather", David Silverman and Tom Kenny. I had a blast!
So, already I'm working on a new film to enter at the Annies. L.A. 2012, here I come!