To open 2016, the New Year Honours appointments were announced to recognize and reward good works by citizens within the British commonwealth. Among the appointments for 2016 were actors Idris Elba and David Oyelowo and musician Damon Albarn as Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Officers are recognized for their "contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations and public service outside the Civil Service."
I picked out Elba, Albarn, and Oyelowo due to their recognition in animation.
Primarily known for his thrilling work in The Wire, Luther, the Thor films, and recently Beasts of No Nation, Elba has done some minor voice work with an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and as "Tank" in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. He will be doing a lot more animation work this year as Shere Kahn in The Jungle Book, Chief Bogo in Zootopia, and has a role in Finding Dory.
Initially known as the frontman to popular English rock group Blur, Albarn is just as well known as co-mastermind behind the mega-popular animated band Gorillaz alongside artist Jamie Hewlett. Albarn provides the musical aspects to the group and voices frontman 2D. Albarn also helped Hewlett in assisting Chen Shi-Zheng in realizing the stage performance Monkey: Journey to the West, which utilized animation for promotion and visual inspiration alongside Albarn's music.
Like Elba, Oyelowo is primarily known as an actor in live-action features such as Selma, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Lee Daniels' The Butler, and the upcoming The Queen of Katwe. He has recently ventured into animation, having a recurring role as Imperial Agent Kallus in Star Wars Rebels.
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