MUMBAI: DreamWorks Animation was the big winner at this year’s 36th Annual Annie Awards at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, CA.
Kung Fu Panda received 13 Annies including the 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 television 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.
A complete list of winners can be viewed at the Annie Award’s official website http://www.annieawards.org. The Annie Awards ceremony can be viewed on its website beginning Tuesday, 3 February, 2009.
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. This award is named in honor of the animator and stands as one of the highest honors given to an individual in the animation industry in recognition for career contributions to the art of animation.
Actor and comedian Billy Crystal was on hand to present 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 included animation legend 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.
"ASIFA-Hollywood extends congratulations to all of the winners this year," said ASIFA-Hollywood president Antran Manoogian. "As in year’s past, we had an excellent pool of talent and productions entered making it another difficult year to decide who should win." Often a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 24 categories ranging from production design, character animation, and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music and voice acting.
Entries submitted for consideration were from productions that originally aired, were exhibited in an animation festival or commercially released between 1 January, 2008 and 31 December, 2008.