BAFTA’s long tradition of recognising the artistry of the form stretches back to 1955, when the first film award for Animation went to the Czech stop motion short Song Of The Prairie. And indeed, the award has always had a strong tradition of respecting more experimental animated films – look no further than the awards of 1956, when Norman McLaren’s semi-abstract Blinkety Blink beat Animal Farm to the prize.
In 1982, whilst animations thrived in the Television Awards, the category in the Film Awards was limited to short animations. With the explosion of innovation in form and content led by studios like Pixar, the pressure to recognise animated features once again became irresistible.
In 2006, an award for feature length animations was duly restored to the BAFTA film ceremony, with the first winner being George Miller’s Happy Feet.
Image: Nick Park CBE of Aardman Animations