ANNIE Award for Kevin Molina-Ortiz (Animation ’16)

At the 46th Annual ANNIE Awards last weekend, Alonso Ramirez Ramos from Disney Television Animation made his way to the stage, accompanied by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme song … naturally.

“A ‘Moonlight’ moment,” said Kevin Molina-Ortiz, LMU Animation ’16. “Great way to start 2019.”

Although this wasn’t quite a repeat of the Oscars mishap from 2017, the announcers did make an initial mistake by neglecting to announce a tie for ‘Best Storyboarding in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production’.

The ANNIE award, the highest honor from the animation industry, was bestowed upon Ramirez Ramos of Disney as well as our own Lion, Molina-Ortiz. The alum received the award for his work for Nickelodeon on “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” episode “Mystic Mayhem.” Having worked at Nickelodeon as a Storyboard Artist for two years, Molina-Ortiz recently received a promotion to Director for the “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series.

“Kevin was a stand-out student at LMU,” said Associate Professor of Animation, Tom Klein. “I was lucky to be his advisor for both his thesis film and his sophomore film. I recognized his tremendous talent and vision, and now the animation studies value him too. We’ll be hearing lot more from Kevin. An ANNIE Award in one’s early twenties is quite a feat. His is a career that is only getting started.”