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‘Dragon’ tops Annie Awards noms with 15

'Toy Story 3,' 'Tangled', 'Despicable,' 'Illusionist' in best picture race

Did Disney-Pixar’s withdrawal from the Intl. Animation Society make a difference in this year’s Annie Awards nominations? Possibly, if you consider that Disney and Pixar combined for a grand total of eight nominations while rival DreamWorks Animation racked up 39.

Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” and Disney’s “Tangled” were among the nominees for best animated pic. Other vying for the top prize are DWA’s “How to Train Your Dragon,” Illumination’s “Despicable Me” and Django Films’ “The Illusionist.” Overall, “Dragon” picked up 15 bids for DWA, including feature, direction, writing and voice acting. “Despicable Me” was second in total noms with seven. “Dragon” received mentions in every category for which the filmmakers submitted it, according to producer Bonnie Arnold. The film “has been very well received by people in the animation community,” she told Daily Variety. Whether its domination of the Annies nominations gives “Dragon” a boost for a best pic Oscar nom remains to be seen, but Arnold said, “It is as good a film as any film under consideration by the Academy. It’s heartfelt and has something to say.”

In addition to its feature nom, B.O. juggernaut “Toy Story 3” scored bids for director Lee Unkrich and writer Michael Arndt. “Tangled” scribe Dan Fogelman also picked up a nom.

The 38th annual Annie Awards, hosted by ASIFA-Hollywood, will be held Feb. 5 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

Disney withdrew its support from ASIFA and the Annie Awards in August over the org’s judging practices. The Mouse House was irked that ASIFA membership is open to anyone, not just industry pros, much like Film Independent, whose paying members vote for the Spirit Awards.

ASIFA made some tweaks to its judging last year, limiting voting in individual achievement categories to animation pros and has made significant changes this year so that non-pros can’t vote in any category. Those changes didn’t appease Disney, which wanted an advisory committee made up of reps from each studio to recommend rule changes to the ASIFA board.

ASIFA-Hollywood prexy Antran Manoogian said nominating committees are made up of industry professionals and that every effort is made to ensure there is no conflict of interest. They review all of the submitted material and have the leeway to include a project that may not have been submitted by filmmakers or a studio.

“Our nominating committees do a great job,” he said. “Any one of these nominees is deserving of receiving the Annie.”

Disney and Pixar’s absence from many of the individual achievement categories suggests that the Disney contingent refrained from submitting and that the few nominations they did receive may have been at the discretion of the nominating committee.

“Toy Story 3” is the most successful toon ever and the fifth-highest grossing film of all time, pulling in more than $1 billion worldwide. Disney’s latest, “Tangled,” dislodged “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” last weekend from its hold on the box office top spot, with a global take so far of $142 million. “How to Train Your Dragon” pulled in $491 million overall, while “Despicable Me” has brought in $534 million. French toon “The Illusionist,” from helmer Sylvain Chomet, has made $4 million.

In addition to “Toy Story 3’s” Unkrich, helming bids went to Chomet for “The Illusionist,” Pierre Coffin for “Despicable Me,” Mamoru Hosada for Madhouse/Funimation’s “Summer Wars” and Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois for “Dragon.”

Joining Arndt and Fogelman in the feature writing category are “Illusionist’s” Chomet; “Dragon’s” Sanders; DeBlois and William Davies; and Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons for DreamWorks Animation’s “Megamind.”

Voice acting noms went to Jay Baruchel and Gerard Butler for “Dragon,” Steve Carell for “Despicable Me,” Cameron Diaz for “Shrek Forever After” and Geoffrey Rush for “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.”

As “Dragon,” “Megamind” and “Shrek Forever After” scooped up feature noms, DWA also dominated in the TV categories, with its “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” and “Scared Shrekless” among the nominees for television production. Other nominees are “Futurama” (the Curiosity Co. in association with 20th Century Fox), “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (Lucasfilm Animation) and “The Simpsons” (Gracie Films).

Nommed in for TV production for children are Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time” and “Regular Show,” Nickelodeon’s “Fanboy and Chum Chum” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” and GIMC’s “Cloud Bread.”

Directing in a TV production bids went to Bob Anderson for “The Simpsons,” Peter Chung for Cartoon Network’s “Firebreather,” Duke Johnson for ShadowMachine’s “Frankenhole: Humanitas,” Tim Johnson for “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” and Gary Trousdale for “Scared Shrekless.”

ASIFA will hand out special honors at its awards gala to Brad Bird, Eric Goldberg and Matt Groening for career contributions to animation; Ross Iwamoto for benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation; and Autodesk for its development of digital entertainment creation tools that have played a significant role in all aspects of animation, including film, videogames and commercials. Don Hahn’s doc on the resurgence of Disney Animation, “Waking Sleeping Beauty,” will receive a special achievement award.



Best Animated Feature
Despicable Me – Illumination Entertainment
How to Train Your Dragon – DreamWorks Animation
Tangled – Disney
The Illusionist – Django Films
Toy Story 3 – Disney/Pixar

Best Animated Short Subject
Coyote Falls – Warner Bros. Animation
Day & Night – Pixar
Enrique Wrecks the World – House of Chai
The Cow Who Wanted To Be A Hamburger – Plymptoons Studio
The Renter – Jason Carpenter

Best Animated Television Commercial
Children’s Medical Center – DUCK Studios
Frito Lay Dips “And Then There Was Salsa” – LAIKA/house
‘How To Train Your Dragon’ Winter Olympic Interstitial “Speed Skating” – DreamWorks Animation
McDonald’s “Spaceman Stu” – DUCK Studios
Pop Secret “When Harry Met Sally” – Nathan Love

Best Animated Television Production
Futurama – The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Kung Fu Panda Holiday – DreamWorks Animation
Scared Shrekless – DreamWorks Animation
Star Wars: The Clone Wars “Arc Troopers” – Lucasfilm Animation, Ltd.
The Simpsons – Gracie Films

Best Animated Television Production for Children
Adventure Time – Cartoon Network Studios
Cloudbread – GIMC
Fanboy & Chum Chum – Nickelodeon, Frederator
Regular Show – Cartoon Network Studios
SpongeBob SquarePants – Nickelodeon

Best Animated Video Game
Heavy Rain – Quantic Dream
Kirby’s Epic Yarn – Good-Feel & HAL Laboratory
Limbo – Playdead
Shank – Klei Entertainment Inc.


Animated Effects in an Animated Production
Andrew Young Kim “Shrek Forever After” – DreamWorks Animation
Jason Mayer “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Brett Miller “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Sebastian Quessy “Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” – Warner Bros. Pictures
Kryzstof Rost “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Television Production
Nicolas A. Chauvelot “Scared Shrekless” – DreamWorks Animation
Savelon Forrest “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III” – ShadowMachine
Elizabeth Havetine “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III” – ShadowMachine
David Pate “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation
Nideep Varghese “Scared Shrekless” – DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Feature Production
Mark Donald “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation
Anthony Hodgson “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation
Gabe Hordos “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Jakob Hjort Jensen “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
David Torres “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Live Action Production
Quentin Miles – Clash of the Titans
Ryan Page – Alice in Wonderland

Character Design in a Television Production
Andy Bialk “The Ricky Gervais Show” – W!LDBRAIN Entertainment
Stephan DeStefano “Sym-Bionic Titan” – Cartoon Network
Ernie Gilbert “T.U.F.F. Puppy” – Nickelodeon
Gordon Hammond “T.U.F.F. Puppy” – Nickelodeon
Steve Lam “Fanboy & Chum Chum” – Nickelodeon, Frederator

Character Design in a Feature Production
Sylvain Chomet “The Illusionist” – Django Films
Carter Goodrich “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment
Timothy Lamb “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation
Nico Marlet “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation

Directing in a Television Production
Bob Anderson “The Simpsons” – Gracie Films
Peter Chung “Firebreather” – Cartoon Network Studios
Duke Johnson “Frankenhole: Humanitas” – ShadowMachine
Tim Johnson “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation
Gary Trousdale “Scared Shrekless” – DreamWorks Animation

Directing in a Feature Production
Sylvain Chomet “The Illusionist” – Django Films
Pierre Coffin “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment
Mamoru HosodaSummer Wars” – Madhouse/Funimation
Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Lee Unkrich “Toy Story 3” – Disney/Pixar

Music in a Television Production
J. Walter Hawkes “The Wonder Pets!” – Nickelodeon Production & Little Airplane Productions
Henry Jackman, Hans Zimmer and John Powell “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation
Tim Long, Alf Clausen, Bret McKenzie, Jemaine Clement “The Simpsons: Elementary School Musical” – Gracie Films
Shawn Patterson “Robot Chicken’s DP Christmas Special” – ShadowMachine
Jeremy Wakefield, Sage Guyton, Nick Carr, Tuck Tucker “SpongeBob SquarePants” – Nickelodeon

Music in a Feature Production
Sylvain Chomet “The Illusionist” – Django Films
David Hirschfelder “Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” – Warner Bros. Pictures
John Powell “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Harry Gregson Williams “Shrek Forever After” – DreamWorks Animation
Pharrell Williams, Heitor Pereira “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment

Production Design in a Television Production
Alan Bodner “Neighbors From Hell” – 20th Century Fox Television
Barry Jackson “Firebreather” – Cartoon Network Studios
Pete Oswald “Doubtsourcing” – Badmash Animation Studios
Richie Sacilioc “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation
Scott Wills “Sym-Bionic Titan” – Cartoon Network Studios

Production Design in a Feature Production
Yarrow Cheney “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment
Eric Guillon “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment
Dan Hee Ryu “Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” – Warner Bros. Pictures
Pierre Olivier Vincent “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Peter Zaslav “Shrek Forever After” – DreamWorks Animation

Storyboarding in a Television Production
Sean Bishop “Scared Shrekless” – DreamWorks Animation
Fred Gonzales “T.U.F.F. Puppy” – Nickelodeon
Tom Owens “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation
Dave Thomas “Fairly OddParents” – Nickelodeon

Storyboarding in a Feature Production
Alessandro Carloni “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Paul Fisher “Shrek Forever After” – DreamWorks Animation
Tom Owens “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Catherine Yuh Rader “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in a Television Production
Jeff Bennett as The Necronomicon “Fanboy & Chum Chum” – Nickelodeon & Frederator
Corey Burton as Baron Papanoida “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” – Cartoon Network
Nika Futterman as Asajj Ventress “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” – Cartoon Network
Mike Henry as Cleveland Brown “The Cleveland Show” – Fox Television Animation
James Hong as Mr. Ping “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” – DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in a Feature Production
Jay Baruchel as Hiccup “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Gerard Butler as Stoick “How To Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Steve Carrell as Gru “Despicable Me” – Illumination Entertainment
Cameron Diaz as Fiona “Shrek Forever After” – DreamWorks Animation
Geoffrey Rush as Ezylryb “Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” – Warner Bros. Pictures

Writing in a Television Production
Daniel Arkin “Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Heroes on Both Sides” – Lucasfilm Animation Ltd.
Jon Colton Barry & Piero Piluso “Phineas & Ferb: Nerds of a Feather” – Disney Channel
Geoff Johns, Matthew Beans, Zeb Wells, Hugh Sterbakov, Matthew Senreich, Breckin Meyer, Seth Green, Mike Fasolo, Douglas Goldstein, Tom Root, Dan Milano, Kevin Shinick & Hugh Davidson “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III” – ShadowMachine
Billy Kimball & Ian Maxtone-Graham “The Simpsons: Stealing First Base” – Gracie Films
Michael Rowe “Futurama” – The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television

Writing in a Feature Production
Michael Arndt “Toy Story 3” – Disney/Pixar
Sylvain Chomet “The Illusionist” – Django Films
William Davies, Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders “How to Train Your Dragon” – DreamWorks Animation
Dan Fogelman “Tangled” – Disney
Alan J. Schoolcraft, Brent Simons “Megamind” – DreamWorks Animation


Winsor McCay Award – Brad Bird, Eric Goldberg, Matt Groening

June Foray – Ross Iwamoto

Ub Iwerks Award – Autodesk

Special Achievement – “Waking Sleeping Beauty”

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