Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Kung Fu Panda" Wins Big @ 36th Annual "Annie Awards"...

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DreamWorks Animation was the big winner at the 36th Annual "Annie Awards" January 30 @ UCLA's Royce Hall in Los Angeles.

"Kung Fu Panda" received 13 'Annies' including Best Animated Feature and nine Individual Achievement awards for Animated Effects (Li-Ming Lawrence Lee), Character Animation (James Baxter), Character Design (Nico Marlet), Directing (John Stevenson & Mark Osborne), Music (Hans Zimmer & John Powell), Production Design (Tang Heng), Storyboarding (Jen Yuh Nelson), Voice Acting (Dustin Hoffman), and Writing (Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger).

The balance of DreamWorks' wins went to its TV production of "Secrets of the Furious Five" for Character Animation (Pierre Perifel), Character Design (Nico Marlet), and Production Design (Tang Heng).

"Kung Fu Panda" also received the Best Animated Video Game produced by Activision.

Best Animated Short Subject went to Aardman Animations Ltd. for "Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death"; Duck Studios won Best Animated Television Commercial for United Airlines "Heart"; Best Animated TV Production went to ShadowMachine's "Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II"; and Best Animated TV Production for Children went to Nickelodeon's "Avatar: The Last Airbender".

The evening included the presentation of the Winsor McCay award to three industry leaders - Nick Park, Mike Judge and John Lasseter. The award is named after the prolific animator and stands as one of the highest tributes given to an individual in the animation industry in recognition for career contributions to the art of animation.

Actor/comedian Billy Crystal presented John Lasseter with his 'Winsor McCay'.

Tom Kenny, the voice of "SpongeBob SquarePants" handled hosting duties again this year and was joined on stage by a lively mix of animation luminaries, celebrity presenters and comedic talent including June Foray, actors Brad Garrett ("Ratatouille", "Till Death"), Seth Green ("Austin Powers", "Robot Chicken"), James Hong ("Kung Fu Panda", "Blade Runner"), Donald Faison ("Scrubs"), Ben Burtt ("Wall-E"), Henry Selick (Director, "Coraline", "The Nightmare Before Christmas") and a video presentation by Cheech & Chong.

Founded in 1972 by voice artist June Foray, the Annie Awards are often a predictor of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, honouring overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 24 categories ranging from production design, character animation, effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music and voice acting...