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SYFY WIRE Emmys 2020

Creative Emmys 2020: The Mandalorian and Watchmen win big for Disney+ and HBO

By Josh Weiss
The Mandalorian & Watchmen

At less than a year old, Disney+ has proven itself a quality content provider with eight Emmy victories.

Across five nights of Creative Emmy winner announcements, the streaming service took home seven awards for The Mandalorian. The hit Star Wars TV series is the first live-action Lucasfilm project to win an Emmy since 1985's Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. However, the franchise has been recognized in recent years for its animation and variety show output like Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Star Wars Show.

The Mandalorian hunted down seven of the eight Disney+ wins in the categories for Visual Effects; Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour); Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) And Animation; Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation; Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour); Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score); and Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series, or Movie.

Baby Yoda The Mandalorian

"The technology was brand-new at the time and that no one had used it, it was a very very high danger of screwing up and having a lot [of it] look not good," Mando's director of photography Greig Fraser (Rogue One, Dune) told SYFY WIRE of the show's groundbreaking VFX earlier this year. "I took the baton and effectively made sure I could get the thing working."

Fraser shares the cinematography Emmy with Baz Idoine, who fully took over DP duties for the upcoming second season. Disney+ will premiere Season 2 of The Mandalorian Friday, Oct. 30. A third season has already been green-lit.

At the main, Primetime ceremony, the series is up for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (Giancarlo Esposito), Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Taika Waititi), and Outstanding Drama Series. It was originally nominated for 15 Emmys in total.

The Mouse House streaming service's eighth Creative Emmy arrived by way of its Toy Story 4 spinoff, Forky Asks a Question. Featuring Tony Hale as Bonnie's inquisitive arts and crafts project, the show won for Outstanding Short Form Animated Program. It marks Pixar's first-ever Emmy award.

HBO's Watchmen tied with The Mandalorian, also bringing in seven Creative Emmys. Damon Lindelof's masterful re-contextualization of the subversive graphic novel Doctor Manhattan-ed its way to wins in Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie; Fantasy/Sci-fi Costumes; Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or Movie; Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie; Musical Composition for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special (Original Dramatic Score); Casting for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special; and Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special.

Originally nominated in 26 categories, Watchmen is also up for a slew of Primetime prizes like Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Jeremy Irons), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (Regina King), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (Jean Smart), Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jovan Adepo, and Louis Gossett Jr.), and Outstanding Limited Series or Movie. 

Watchmen HBO

Other Creative Emmy genre winners included:

— Rick and Morty (Outstanding Animated Program) 

— The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Outstanding Children's Program)

— The Handmaid's Tale (Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program, One-Hour or More)

— Star Trek: Picard (Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, or Movie)

— Stranger Things (Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series, One-Hour)

— Genndy Tartakovsky's Primal (Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation; it won three awards in this juried category)

— Archer (Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation)

— Big Mouth (Outstanding Derivative Interactive Program and Outstanding Character Voiceover Performance: Maya Rudolph)

— Vikings (Outstanding Special Effects in a Supporting Role)

— Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming)

In particular, Rick and Morty secured an Emmy triumph thanks to Season 4's "The Vat of Acid Episode." Its writer, Jeff Loveness (who is penning the screenplay for Ant-Man 3), celebrated on Twitter with a bizarre snippet from the official teleplay.

The 72nd Primetime Emmys will take place this evening at 8:00 p.m. EST. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the annual television awards ceremony is going entirely virtual as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.