There was further awards success for Altrincham puppet maker and animation big hitter MacKinnon & Saunders overnight when Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio picked up the night’s very first award, Best Feature Animation, at the Oscars.
The achievement marked a triple crown of Golden Globe, BAFTA and Oscar for the film. Unlike at the BAFTAs, there was no direct on-stage thank you for the Manchester company, which made the film’s puppets, from the co-directors this time around.
That was perhaps in part thanks to host Jimmy Kimmel’s threat that any speeches that went on too long – now that all 23 awards are back in the TV telecast after a shortened televised event last year which saw eight prizes handed out in advance – would be forcibly danced off stage by a crack team of Bollywood dancers from the surprise global hit RRR, a fate of which Kimmel found himself the first victim.
There was no missing Mackinnon & Saunders’ work though, with their puppets taking centre stage during the clips ahead of the award presentation. MacKinnon and Saunders has also previosuly worked on household names from Brit TV favourites like Bob the Builder to Hollywood blockbusters such as Mars Attacks!
Del Toro and co-director Mark Gustafson instead read out an abridged list of thankees this time around, including Netflix, the Jim Henson Company and Del Toro’s wife, kids and late parents.
Del Toro also made a passionate plea to keep animation centre stage as he picked up his latest prize, noting that: “Animation is ready to be taken to the next step. We are all ready for it. Please help us keep animation in the conversation.”