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‘Mr. Fox’ takes top prize at Annecy

Wes Anderson film also wins the animation fest's audience award

Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” nabbed the best feature Crystal as the 34th edition of the Annecy Animation Film Festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary, came to a close on Saturday.

“Fox” also nabbed Annecy’s audience award, a prestigious plaudit at a fest swamped by animation school students from France and beyond.

Dominique Monfery’s “Eleanor’s Secret,” an early venture into feature production by France’s Gaumont Alphanim, won a special distinction nod.

Anderson’s stop-motion pic was always the favorite in a seven-feature competition that featured far lesser-known titles.

“The Little Boy and the Beast” from Germany’s Jonannes Weiland and Uwe Heidschotter, won best TV production.

Annecy’s special award for a TV series went to helmer Michel Ocelot’s “Le Garcon qui ne mentait jamais,” a gorgeously colored fairy tale using silhouette shadow animation and cut-out puppets, which forms part of the Ocelot’s “Dragons and Princesses” skein, made for France’s Canal Plus.

Jakob Schuh and Max Lang’s Brit production, “The Gruffalo,” took best TV special.

The competition was just one attraction at an ebullient Annecy, which hosted world premieres of three 3D pics — Universal’s “Despicable Me,” which received a standing ovation, Pixar short “Day & Night” and Ben Stassen’s StudioCanal-sold “Sammy’s Adventures.”

A procession of toon luminaries attended, including Jeffrey Katzenberg, Matt Groening, Nick Park, Ari Folman, Patrice Leconte, Michel Ocelot, Stassen and Tim Rice.

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