Variety reports that Disney is to withdraw from the prestigious Annie animation awards.
Ed Catmull, president of Disney-Pixar, made clear that the voting system that Annie organizers favour is not professional - furthermore, it seems to promote Disney's biggest rival, Dreamworks (Shrek etc.)
The ASIFA-Hollywood organized event is open for membership to anyone related to animation, even though (s)he may not be professional. Dreamworks Animation reportedly gives a free membership to ASIFA-Hollywood for its new employee.
This is supposed to explain why Kung Fu Panda (Dreamworks) won over Wall-E (Pixar) in 2008, and yet the latter won the Oscar for best animation.
The animator Bill Plympton has talked of "backstage politics that you don't want to know about", but this year the voting rules have changed. Only professional can vote, yet this is not objective enough for Disney, who would want an executive advisory committee in charge.
Toy Story 3 of Pixar can still be nominated as an individual accomplishment. However, if Disney accomplishes its threat, the ceremony might lead to winners that otherwise would have been ignored -not necessarily a thing to mourn about.
The Annie awards are a Hollywood tradition for animation since 1972, and involve categories for screenplay, music, production design and voice acting. Last year's winner was Up.