Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/6/2009 (4235 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The last time Barker won that particular award was in 2001 for his last film, Strange Invaders, which would go on to garner his second Oscar nomination for best animated short film. (He was first nominated for his 1988 film, The Cat Came Back.)
But Barker remains bleak about the prospect of even having the film get invited to the Ottawa animation film festival this fall, let alone receiving Oscar consideration. Possibly it's because Runaway was an especially difficult birthing process for the 53-year-old artist.
Barker was surprised to win the awards, "considering how black I felt about in the six months before I finished it," he says, on the phone from Paris.
The film, about a driverless train thundering over a bumpy landscape, actually had Barker phoning the National Film Board to cancel the project before he had even started animation.
"I thought I bit off more than I could chew," Barker says. "I phoned the producer at that time and tried to get out of it, but he talked me down and I guess I came away reassured that all the resources would be brought to bear."
Barker acknowledges he felt equally discouraged while attempting to finish The Cat Came Back.
"It felt like there was a giant sword hanging over my head and I was hoping I wouldn't be awful as I thought it was at the time," he says of the film that would go on to become one of the most beloved animated films in the National Film Board archives.
"That's just part of my character."
-- Randall King