On Tuesday, November 1, Animation Magazine was delighted to honor a few of the brightest stars in the animation and visual effects universe with the 5th Annual World Animation and VFX Summit Hall of Fame Awards. The 2016 honorees — Betty Cohen, Butch Hartman, Michael Hirsh, Travis Knight, Ellen Poon and Pierre Sissmann — were feted at an evening Awards Gala held in the Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, California.
Betty Cohen, a renowned TV network and digital media executive who was founding President of Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang, received her award from celebrated film producer Gale Anne Hurd.
Butch Hartman, the multiple Emmy- and Annie-nominated and BAFTA-winning creator of Nickelodeon series The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom and T.U.F.F. Puppy, received his award from animation producer and founder of Frederator!, Fred Seibert.
Michael Hirsh, a highly accomplished entrepreneur and executive and founder of Nelvana and TeleTOON Canada, was reunited with a familiar face as respected children’s and family entertainment executive Toper Taylor, fellow co-founder of Cookie Jar, presented his award.
Travis Knight, President & CEO of renowned animation studio LAIKA and the director/producer of Kubo and the Two Strings — as well as producer and lead animator on The Boxtrolls and ParaNorman; and lead animator for Coraline — was chivalrously awarded by Sir Ben Kingsley, who won a voice acting Annie for his role in The Boxtrolls to complement his Oscar and Golden Globe statuettes.
Ellen Poon, an acclaimed VFX supervisor and producer whose many credits include Disney’s Frozen, Zootopia, and this year’s much-anticipated feature Moana, received her award from VFX guru, director and producer Mark Dippé.
Pierre Sissmann, Chairman, CEO and Founder of leading French animation company, Cyber Group Studios, had the distinction of receiving the most 21st century introduction, with The Tornante Company founder and former Disney CEO Michael Eisner presenting via video.
The Hall of Fame Awards Gala was the festive endcap to the 2016 World Animation & VFX Summit, finishing this year’s edition the way Animation Magazine Publisher and Summit founder Jean Thoren aims to tackle every milepost on the animation highway: as a celebration. We hope to see you at the 2017 edition!