It’s anyone’s guess as to whether Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai will win at the Academy Awards, but this weekend, the film pulled in another impressive distinction. The 2018 film won for Best Animated Independent Feature at the Annie Awards, the long-running animation awards from the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood.
Mirai is the first Japanese animated film to win the award since it was founded in 2016. That year, the award went to Michael Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle, which was produced by Studio Ghibli.
The Best Animated Feature award went to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
According to Deadline, 12 of the 17 winners of the Annie’s top award have gone on to win the Best Animated Feature at the Oscars since that award was created in 2002. Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the Annie for Best Animated Feature in 2002 before going on to win the Academy Award.
Here’s how GKIDS describes Mirai:
From acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda (Summer Wars, Wolf Children) and Japan’s Studio Chizu comes MIRAI, a daringly original story of love passed down through generations. When four-year-old Kun meets his new baby sister, his world is turned upside down. Named Mirai (meaning “future”), the baby quickly wins the hearts of Kun’s entire family. As his mother returns to work, and his father struggles to run the household, Kun becomes increasingly jealous of baby Mirai… until one day he storms off into the garden, where he encounters strange guests from the past and future – including his sister Mirai, as a teenager. Together, Kun and teenage Mirai go on a journey through time and space, uncovering their family’s incredible story. But why did Mirai come from the future?