“Production Design in Animation: Celebrating 100 Years of Imagination” will be this year’s theme for the  Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) 22nd Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards where the guild will debut its new award category Excellence in Production Design for an Animated Feature Film, it was announced by ADG Event Producers Thomas A. Walsh ADG and Thomas Wilkins ADG. The annual awards gala honoring Production Design in theatrical motion pictures, television, commercials and music videos will take place on Saturday, January 27, 2018, in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.

Said Walsh: “It is our intention to honor and celebrate great Production Design achievements in the remarkable and evolving art form of animation through this new award. By separating feature animation into its own constituent category, we wish to pay tribute to these creative works in a manner equivalent to all our other feature design categories.”

Qualifications for Excellence in Production Design in an Animated Feature Film eligibility include:

  • Animated feature films representing 2D (hand drawn), 3D (CGI), clay animation/puppet and motion–capture (live-action/CGI hybrid) will all qualify for this award category.

  • A feature film must have the majority of its sets and locations created using a frame-by-frame technique, and usually falls into one of the two general fields of animation: narrative or abstract.

  • Some of the techniques of animating films include but are not limited to hand-drawn animation, computer animation, stop-motion, clay animation, pixilation, cutout animation, pinscreen, camera multiple pass imagery, kaleidoscopic effects created frame-by-frame, and drawing on the film frame itself.

  • Motion capture and real-time puppetry are not by themselves considered animation techniques.

  • Animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture's total running time.

  • A narrative animated film must have a significant number of the top eight (8) major characters animated.

  • If the picture is created in a cinematic style that could be mistaken for live action, producers must submit information supporting how and why the picture is substantially a work of animation rather than live action.


The ADG has previously recognized feature animation as a contender in its awards for the past 11 years as part of the award honoring Excellence in Production Design for a Fantasy Feature Film. Past nominees have been Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E and The Adventures of TinTin.

Producers of this year's ADG Awards (#ADGawards) are Production Designers Thomas A. Walsh ADG and Thomas Wilkins ADG. Award submissions open online October 5 – November 9, 2017. Online nomination voting will be held December 6, 2017– January 3, 2018 and nominees announced on January 4, 2018. Final online balloting will be held January 8 –25, and winners will be announced at the dinner ceremony on Saturday, January 27, 2018. ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producer’s signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions.

The Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) represents 2,500 members who work throughout the United States, Canada and the rest of the world in film, television and theater as Production Designers, Art Directors, Assistant Art Directors; Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists; Illustrators and Matte Artists; Set Designers and Model Makers; and Previs Artists. Established in 1937, the ADG’s ongoing activities include a Film Society, an annual Awards Banquet, a creative/technology community (the World Building Institute), a bimonthly craft magazinene (Perspective); and extensive technology-training programs, figure drawing and other creative workshops and year-round Gallery 800 art exhibitions. The Guild’s Online Directory/Website Resource is at www.adg.org. Connect with the Art Directors Guild and #ADGawards on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.