The UK’s most prestigious film honors took place Sunday as the 2017 BAFTA Awards were held at London’s Royal Albert Hall, hosted once again by comedian and actor Stephen Fry.
While the live-action awardees contained no major surprises (yes, another sweep for La La Land, which won in four of the 11 categories it was nominated in, including Best Film and Leading Actress for Emma Stone), Kubo and the Two Strings overcame the odds by winning the Animated Film prize for LAIKA and director Travis Knight over Pixar (Finding Dory) and Disney (Moana and Zootopia).
This marks LAIKA’s first BAFTA win, though every one of its features has been nominated (Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls). Combined, Disney and Pixar have won seven of the Animated Film BAFTAs since the category’s inception in 2006. This was the first year the category had four nominees rather than three, highlighting a very competitive year for quality feature animation.
The Animated Film BAFTA is a very strong predictor for Oscar success. Since 2006, the winner in this BAFTA category has gone on to win the Best Animated Feature Oscar every year except once, in 2014, when the winner across the pond — The LEGO Movie — was not even nominated by the Academy. Kubo is vying for both the animated feature and VFX Oscars this year.
The Special Visual Effects prize went to Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Andrew R. Jones and Adam Valdez for the technically live-action The Jungle Book, which won out over Arrival, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. And the prize for British Short Animation went to Khaled Gad, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara and Elena Ruscombe-King for A Love Story, a graduation film produced at the National Film and Television School.
Winners and nominees in key categories for the 2017 BAFTAs:
Kubo and the Two Strings | Travis Knight
Finding Dory | Andrew Stanton
Moana | Ron Clements, John Musker
Zootopia | Byron Howard, Rich Moore
Special Visual Effects
The Jungle Book | Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Andrew R. Jones, Adam Valdez
Arrival | Louis Morin
Doctor Strange | Richard Bluff, Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Tim Burke, Pablo Grillo, Christian Manz, David Watkins
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story | Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, Mohen Leo, John Knoll, Nigel Sumner
British Short Animation
A Love Story | Khaled Gad, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, Elena Ruscombe-King
The Alan Dimension | Jac Clinch, Jonathan Harbottle, Millie Marsh
Tough | Jennifer Zheng