Winners of the 2020 Ursa Major Awards
The winners of the 2020 Ursa Major Awards have been announced on YouTube!
Nominations for the best work involving anthropomorphic animals in 2020 were taken this February, and the top five in each of fourteen categories were voted on during March.
This year's winners are…
Best Motion Picture: Wolfwalkers (Cartoon Saloon, Mélusine) [Flayrah review]
Runners-up (in descending vote order): Sonic the Hedgehog - Soul - Onward - Hayop Ka!
Best Dramatic Short Work: ZooPhobia - "Bad Luck Jack" (Vivziepop)
Runners-up: "The Humiliation of Jinjur Maiham" - "Burrow" - "Mystery Skulls Animated" - "Trick Moon"
Best Dramatic Series: Beastars (U.S. release of the English dub, Season 1)
Runners-up: Helluva Boss - Aggretsuko - BNA: Brand New Animal - Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts
Best Short Fiction: "What Makes a Witch", by Linnea Capps (Weasel Press)
Runners-up: "Summer Strawberries" - "Familiar" - "The Glow" - "Tittilating Trivia"
Best Other Literary Work: Difursity: Stories by Furries of Color, edited by Weasel (anthology, Bound Tales Press/Thurston Howl)
Runners-up: Blacksad: The Collected Stories - Tales of Hayven Celestia - Selections of Anthropomorphic Regalements, Vol. 1 - Bush Heroes
Best Non-Fiction Work: The Fandom: A Furry Documentary, directed by Ash Kreis & Eric Risher [Flayrah review; review of Eric's 'Furries']
Runners-up: The Last Bronycon - From Paw To Print - The Best and Worst Anthro Movies - Furries Among Us 3
This year's awards ceremony was held virtually, rather than at a participating convention
Best Novel: The City That Barks and Roars, by J.T. Bird (self-published)
Runners-up: On The Mark - Entanglement Bound - Disbanded - Spin the Bottle
Best Graphic Story: Beastars, by Paru Itagaki (manga, English translation, Vol. 4-9)
Runners-up: Shine - Found - A&H Club - Oren's Forge
Best Comic Strip: Housepets!, by Rick Griffin (Jan. 1 - Dec. 30)
Runners-up: Carry On - Freefall - Doc Rat - The Whiteboard
Best Magazine: Pocari Roo's videos
Runners-up: Dogpatch Press - Furry Writers' Guild - Flayrah - Zooscape
Best Website: Fur Affinity
Runners-up: SoFurry - Loona - Furry Life Online - Stolas
Best Published Illustration: "Cheers" (by Lofi)
Runners-up: "A Night At The Fair" - "Paintwork" - "Sir Monty, The Good Boy" - "Take Off Your Headset!!"
Best Game: Animal Crossing: New Horizons (developer and publisher: Nintendo)
Runners-up: Ori and the Will of the Wisps - Spiritfarer - Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time - Them's Fightin' Herds
Best Anthropomorphic Costume (Fursuit): Zigc the Khajiit - maker: Inerri Creatures; owner, wearer: Zigc.
Runners-up: Toriel - Cassidy Civet - Inutami Luki the Saluki - Xif
Congrats to everyone, including the 1000+ who took the time to nominate and vote! And if you've seen anything anthropomorphic that you've enjoyed in 2021 so far, you can suggest it to the 2021 Recommended Anthropomorphics List!
Well, my "cynically predict one thing so that my bad karma, thinking I want my prediction to happen, will make what I actually want to happen happen" plan worked, and Wolfwalkers won, so that's alright then.
I was completely wrong about how it would win, though; looking at the voting data, it won on sheer force of first place votes. I thought it would win by virtue of being "everybody's second place/consensus pick" if it did beat Sonic the Hedgehog, but that actually seems to be Sonic's (failed) path to victory (which I though would win on sheer force of first place votes). My (very cynical) reasoning was Wolfwalkers might get a lot of "well, I haven't seen it, personally, but it seems like the sort of thing I should vote for" second place votes. Instead it was more of a passion pick; which, in hindsight, duh, that's my vote for it. Why should I be so uniquely special?
Anyway, I want to be clear though Sonic the Hedgehog losing is the right choice, if it had won, it still would not have been as bad a choice as Avatar, because at least Sonic prominently features an actual anthropomorphic animal movie (and a historically popular one, at that). Avatar being one of the screamingly stupid choices ever is because, setting aside quality, I mean, it's not furry. Other years have had rather dubiously furry winners in the movie section (2010, 2013), but they at least had little to no actual furry competition, and Fantastic Mr. Fox wasn't sitting right there.
In other news, the only Published Illustration I genuinely liked was dead last! (Not sayng the other choices were bad, just not my thing.)
Second and third preference was the route to the win in Published Illustration, where the winner came third in first-preference votes. It very nearly happened in Other Literary Work, and it carried third place in Graphic Story and Comic Strip, and second place in Novel.
Then again, so few voted for Novel in relative terms, and they were distributed so evenly, that the result beyond first place is a toss up.
Would like to point out that the presentation video finishes with the equivalent of Best Picture.
Take notes, the Oscars.
Well that's 3/8 winners that match what I think should have happened. Seems absurd that something could beat Ori. I am at least glad to see that Wolfwalkers won as that was very well-deserved. A couple of my runner up positions also did well in the actual voting so I guess it wasn't too bad. There are still a few things there that I don't think should be there but oh well.
"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~
So, I was wondering, how does the point system actually work?
So Sonic technically had the most votes, but Wolfwalkers had the most 1st place votes, which I guess gives it more points.
I'm not angry, I voted for Soul for these awards for first. (I liked Sonic but felt that they need to prove themselves with the sequel before I can fully trust these makers.) I am just wondering how the math works on this voting process.
It's a Borda count (a form of positional voting) with non-modified ties. First preference = 3, second = 2, third = 1, and not voting does not impact the scoring of the other votes.
This method is pretty good; it's subject to tactical voting in that if you really want someone to win, it's best not to vote your second or third preferences - but this is common to ranked voting systems, and there may be other reasons for not expressing a preference.
For example, Best Novel has far more first preferences than second or third, but perhaps this is because half the voters in that category only read the one novel (judging by the proportion of overall voting, the median number of novels read is zero).
The biggest issue is probably not with the vote but the nomination (which is essentially block voting) as works which may have broad consensus support may be eliminated if one party fields multiple candidates that their supporters nominate. Similarly, if a particular type of work (gay romance, babyfur, ...) has a plurality of nominees, a slate of work featuring it is likely to be nominated and thus win.
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