Thursday 29 September 2016

Stick Man Martin Freeman beats off rivals at animation awards

Published 10/03/2016 | 22:06

Martin Freeman was recognised for his work on Stick Man
Martin Freeman was recognised for his work on Stick Man

Sherlock star Martin Freeman has won best voice performance at the 2016 British Animation Awards (BAAs).

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The Hampshire-born actor received the recognition for his work as Stick Man in the eponymous BBC One adaptation of the much-loved children's book.

Martin faced stiff competition from The IT Crowd's Chris O'Dowd in Irish children's programme Puffin Rock and William Vanderpuye for his lively voice performances in Rastamouse.

Stick Man also picked up the award for best use of sound at the ceremony held on Thursday at London's BFI Southbank.

Held every two years, the BAAs reward the very best in animation across a variety of categories.

The prestigious award for best long form was won by Aardman Animations' Shaun The Sheep: The Movie.

The stop-frame family favourite about a flock of sheep who venture into the big city to rescue their farmer saw off competition from Stick Man and Children Of The Holocaust.

It is the 20th BAA secured by Oscar-winning Aardman Animations, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit, over the last two decades.

Turner Broadcasting's anarchic The Amazing World Of Gumball: The Shell scooped best children's series.

It was also selected by a jury of youngsters for the children's choice award.

Best pre-school series was won by Nick Jr's Lily's Driftwood Bay: Goodbye Seagull.

Manchester band James rocked to success in the best music video category with their video for Moving On made by Ainslie Harrison.

Anchor Butter's Little Elephant took home the BAA for best use of animation in a commercial.

Animation aficionados had their say in the public choice category for favourite film, but it was impossible to separate the top two.

In the end, the BAA was awarded jointly to Mend And Make Do by Bexie Bush, a graduation film from the National Film & Television School and BlueBarry by TwinTrash, an undergraduate film from Kingston University.

This year's student categories saw Man Up You by Katie Lenton pick up the best undergraduate student film, while Small People With Hats by Sarina Nihei won best postgraduate film.

BAA director Jayne Pilling said: "It's 20 years since these awards began and we never cease to be bowled over by the sheer creativity and innovation in the British animation industry."

She added: "The incredibly difficult decisions that our panels had to make to choose the winners prove that the animation industry is in better health than it's ever been."

Previous BAA winners have included Hollywood director Tim Burton, Oscar-winner Nick Park and Gorillaz, the virtual band co-created by Blur's Damon Albarn.

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