Shaun the Sheep

The talent behind some of Britain’s best animation over the past year, including The Snail and the Whale, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, The Adventures of Paddington, and A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon were celebrated at the British Animation Awards 2020 this week.

Held at London’s BFI Southbank, the BAAs was hosted by comedian and actor Miles Jupp who kicked off a ceremony dedicated to recognising all forms of animation and honour the achievements of the British animation scene from the past two years.

Top awards went to Sally Hawkins for her work on the animated adaptation of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book, The Snail and the Whale, David Arnold for Best Original Music for The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and to Nick Jr for its pre-school series, The Adventures of Paddington.

Hawkins scooped up the award for Best Voice Performance for her portrayal of Snail in Snail and the Whale, Magic Light Pictures’ festive animation about a mollusc on an epic adventure.

Meanwhile there were three major awards for acclaimed studio Aardman Animations, which picked up the prestigious award for Best Long Form Animation for its hugely successful madcap caper A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmaggedon (directed by Will Becher and Richard Phelan), the Children’s Choice Award for an episode from its CBBC series Shaun The Sheep: Squirreled Away(directed by Carmen Bromfield-Mason), and Best Music Video for Coldplay’s “Daddy” (directed by Asa Lucanda).

Staying in the children’s TV categories, Adam Shaw and Chris Drew picked up the Best Children’s Pre-School Series award for their charming Nick Jr. series The Adventures of Paddington – which features the voice of Ben Wishaw as Paddington and a song written and performed by Gary Barlow.

Erstwhile awards and audience favourite The Amazing Adventures of Gumball added another two BAAs to its collection picking up Best Use of Sound and the Writers Award for Richard Overall, Mic Graves and Tony Hull.

Meanwhile, the Best Children’s Series was awarded to Gutsy Animations’ Sky One series Moominvalley (directed by Steve Box), which was praised by the judges for its “undeniable beauty” and “top-notch vocal performances”.

The Best Original Music Award went to multi award-winning duo David Arnold and Don Black for Lupus Films’ The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

 Some of the leading British animation courses were represented in both Best Undergraduate and Best Postgraduate Student film categories including nominees from Falmouth University School of Film and Television, University of Creative Arts in Farnham, Arts University Bournemouth and the Royal College of Arts London.

The winner of the all-female nominated Best Undergraduate Student Film category was Megan Earls from UCA, Farnham for Border/Line and the victor of the Best Postgraduate Student Film was Alex Widdowson, also from RCA, for his film Music and Clowns.

 In other categories: The Best Short Film was awarded to Jonathan Hodgson for Roughhouse, which the judges described as a “masterful piece of short form storytelling”. The Best Animation in a Commercial award went to Thomas Harnett O’Meara and Matthew Day for their charming take on The Wind in the Willows for The Wildlife Trusts; The Best Film or TV Graphic, Motion Design was awarded to Second Home Studios for its “varied and imaginative idents” for DaVinci Learning.

The Best Commissioned Animation was picked up by Moth Studio for the “beautifully delicate animation” in Conception: Catie & Jen: The Best Immersive Category was won by Marshmallow Laser Feast for We Live in an Ocean of Air, which was praised for “inspiring us to think about nature in a different way”.

Finally, in a new category for 2020, the Best Social Good Award rewarded Danny Capozzi for his animation for United for Global Mental Health – New Mindset.

BAA Director, Helen Brunsdon, said: “This is my first year at the helm of the BAAs and I was blown away by the quality of the entries this year. The BAAs are a brilliant way to showcase the incredible talent we have here in the UK and help cement Britain’s position as one of the leading countries in the world for animation.”

Held every two years, the British Animation Awards (BAAs) reward the very best new and established British animators across a variety of categories including short films, animated graphics for film and television, children’s series, music videos and commercials.

The awards themselves (the BAAs) are unique artworks, featuring sheep, created especially for the occasion by a range of leading international and UK animation artists: a measure of the world-wide respect felt for British animation.

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