Annie Awards postponed, moved to virtual format due to COVID

BURBANK, Calif. (CNS) — The presentation of the 49th Annie Awards, which honor animated entertainment productions, was rescheduled Thursday and shifted to an online format due to the spread of COVID-19.

The ceremony was originally set for Feb. 26 at UCLA’s Royce Hall. But the event organizer, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced Thursday the awards will now be presented March 12 in a virtual format through annieawards.org.

“When we announced that the Annies would be in person this year on February 26, the omicron variant was not even on the horizon,” Frank Gladstone, ASIFA’s executive director, said in a statement. “But now it is here and so highly infectious that, after much debate and discussion, ASIFA’s board of directors has decided, in an abundance of caution, to once again move to a virtual ceremony. We’ve also moved the date of the event by two weeks to give our production crew time to gather and edit the huge amount of additional material it takes to construct the virtual ceremony.”

Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” is the leading nominee for this year’s awards, with 10 overall nods, including best animated feature.

Also up for the top film award are “Encanto.” “Luca,” “Sing 2” and “The Mitchells vs. The Machines.”