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press release: Smiley Guy Studios’ pick up OIAF kids’ prize for Beethoven’s Wig

Always at the risk of sounding self-serving, here’s the official press release from Smiley Guy Studios (where I work) regarding the win at the Ottawa Festival last week:

Beethoven’s Wig Wins Very Big at Ottawa Int’l Animation Fest Smiley Guy Studios-Produced Film receives Children’s Short Prize

TORONTO / NEW YORK, September 27, 2012 – “Beethoven’s Wig…” go the lyrics to the Grammy-nominated song, “… is very big.” Just how big is it? Well, “Beethoven’s Wig”, a short animation created by Toronto-based Smiley Guy Studios, just won the award for Best Short Animation Made for Children at this year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF). So… it’s pretty darn big.

The award was presented at a gala ceremony at the National Arts Centre on Sunday, where films and television shows from around the world were honoured for their achievements in animation. Established in 1976, the OIAF is one of the longest running and most prestigious animation festivals in the world.

The short was animated to the title song from the 4-time Grammy nominated “Beethoven’s Wig” series, which features songwriter Richard Perlmutter singing lyrics to famous pieces of classical music.

About the win, Perlmutter had this to say [via e-mail]: “Great news! Congratulations!! Smiley Guy is the BEST!” Ludwig van Beethoven was unavailable for comment.

The Festival featured a special jury made up of local children to select the “Best Short Animation Made for Children.” This year’s kids jury included: Jordan Quayle, Evelyn Abacra, Lucas Kelly, Jakob Boose, Zoe Monogian, Conall Sloan, Eleanor Simonetta, Jacob Cooper, Chantalyne Leonhardt and Lauralee Leonhardt. Smiley Guy Studios applauds the decision of this clearly ‘with-it’ and discerning bunch of kids.

Denny Silverthorne, who co-directed the short with Alex Hawley, commented: “It’s really gratifying to have been selected by kids, our actual audience, rather than an adult jury who are trying to think like kids.”

Along with “Beethoven’s Wig,” the Smiley Guys have animated two other shorts from the series that are being embraced by festivals and childrens’ websites around the world. With Perlmutter’s blessing, they are developing the concept into a larger television show featuring Richard and a zany orchestra of animated creatures, and which focuses on music appreciation.

“The Ottawa Festival is prestigious, just getting in is difficult enough,” added Silverthorne. He hailed the win as a significant achievement and honour.

Smiley Guy Studios have been invited to OIAF before, nominated for Ascent of Man, a short film based on a New Yorker cover illustration by Bruce McCall, as well as screening the television series Odd Job Jack and the short film Clear Conscience.

To view the award-winning video, follow the link to the Beethoven’s Wig YouTube page.

About Smiley Guy Studios

Smiley Guy Studios ( is an award-winning production company that specializes in animation, design, writing, sound, music and interactive media. Founded in 1998 by graduates of Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre, SGS has grown in size and capability, with expertise in vector-based animation, computer-generated imagery and multi-platform production. It produces its own original content while also collaborating with clients on a variety of animated TV, film and new media projects.

For more information, please contact:

Mike Valiquette, Director of Development, Smiley Guy Studios, +1 416 979 8800 ext. 238

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