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The 39th annual Annie Awards were held this evening at UCLA's Royce Hall in West Los Angeles. You'll recall "Kung Fu Panda 2" and "Puss in Boots" led the nominations and both were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
It was "Rango," though, that had the big night (and will surely take the Oscar later this month). The film won four awards, including Best Animated Feature. It did, however, lose Best Director to "Kung Fu Panda 2" helmer Jennifer Yuh Nelson (whose film won one other award, for production design).
It's interesting to note an upset in the animated short category as the indie "Adam and Dog" beat out contenders from Pixar, Disney and the National Film Board of Canada (the latter having two nominees in the Oscar short category, both of which were in contention here).
Other nominees in the top field, by the way, included "A Cat in Paris" and "Chico & Rita," both of which surprised by showing up on the Oscar slate (despite not being nominated in any other Annie category). "The Adventures of Tintin," which did not make the Oscar cut, won two awards, for John Williams's score and for animated effects in an animated production. The other DreamWorks entry, "Puss in Boots," went home with a goose egg.
Finally, in the live action realm, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" were chalked up for animated effects and character animation, respectively.
By the way, I don't know if anyone watched the live stream of the ceremony, but it was a total train wreck. Like a comedy of errors. When Bill Nighy won the award for voice acting in a feature production, he stood up, he walked toward the stage, or wherever you go to get to the stage, and he promptly disappeared. Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy stood awkward on stage as the music played, waiting for Nighy to walk out. He never did. Where did he go? Is he in some UCLA classroom right now looking for the stage?
Then there was this. Presenters end up presenting two or three awards before leaving the stage. But rather than hand them one envelope at a time, they have each of the categories they'll be presenting in hand. You can see what's coming, right? Yes, someone opened the wrong envelope, spoiling the winner of the NEXT category.
It was total anarchy. Patton Oswalt took it in stride but even he could barely contain his shock at all this. Hey, at least it spiced the show up a bit. Still, get a producer, guys.
(Line of the night, though, goes to Verbinski, regarding the animation community: "The Freemasons have nothing on you f***ers.")
Check out the full list of winners below. And as always, remember to keep track of the ups and downs of the 2011-2012 film awards season via The Circuit.
Best Animated Feature: "Rango"
Best Animated Special Production: "Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters"
Best Animated Short Subject: "Adam and Dog"
Animated Effects in an Animated Production: "The Adventures of Tintin"
Animated Effects in a Live Action Production: "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
Character Animation in a Feature Production: "Rio"
Character Animation in a Live Action Production: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
Character Design in a Feature Production: "Rango"
Directing in a Feature Production: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, "Kung Fu Panda 2"
Music in a Feature Production: John Williams, "The Adventures of Tintin"
Production Design in a Feature Production: "Kung Fu Panda 2"
Storyboarding in a Feature Production: "Winnie the Pooh"
Voice Acting in a Feature Production: Bill Nighy, "Arthur Christmas"
Writing in a Feature Production: "Rango"
Editing in a Feature Production: "Rango"
Winsor McCay Award: Walt Peregoy, Borge Ring, Robert Searle
June Foray Award: Art Leonardi
Special Achievement Award: Depth Analysis
For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.
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