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Watch Variety's Animation Director Roundtable

The 2016/17 awards season is now in full swing, as the film community celebrates this year's releases. It's widely believed that 2016 has been a particularly strong year for animation, meaning that the field is considerably more open than it has been in other years. Entertainment industry bible Variety gathered together the directors of several of the year's biggest animated contenders for a fascinating roundtable discussion that you don't want to miss.

The line-up neatly represents the diversity of animated films that have been released this year. It consists of Zootopia's Rich Moore, (recent podcast guest) The Little Prince's Mark Osborne, Sing's Garth Jennings, Kubo and The Two Strings director Travis Knight, Sausage Party's Conrad Vernon, Trolls helmer Mike Mitchell and The Red Turtle's Michael Dudok de Wit. It's a good selection because while it might not actually represent the films that are most likely to score nominations ( the directors of Moana and Finding Dory are notably absent) it does represent a variety of animation techniques and style of films.  There's a nice mix of CG, stop-motion and 2D, general audience and adult animation, and of indie and mainstream.

The directors cover a range of topics including discussing their biggest challenges on their respective projects, the power of music and how their experiences differ between animation mediums. It's pretty clear that the conversation was as enjoyable for the filmmakers as it is to watch, and is full of fascinating insights and tidbits you might not have heard elsewhere. It packs a lot into a relatively modest running time of 47 minutes.

Watch the full video on Variety here.