The nominations for the 40th annual Annie Awards were announced today, and Disney had to be all smiles with 27 nominations across four feature films in play. And it was "Brave" and "Wreck-It Ralph" from that stable that led the pack, along with DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians," with 10 nominations apiece.

Not far behind was "Hotel Transylvania" and "ParaNorman" with eight nods each. The former was a delightful surprise for me personally while the latter shows great strength with animators here. The other DreamWorks entry in play, "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," brought in four nods.

Shockingly, there wasn't a single notice for "The Painting" from GKIDS, which makes me wonder if it was seen. Because of the indie distributor's four films in the animated feature race this year, it is by far the most creative and dynamic. All three of the other films managed at least one nomination, with "The Rabbi's Cat" showing up in both the Best Animated Feature and Best Director categories. It's formidable. Remember, it's already won a Cesar Award. "Zarafa" also showed up in the director category.

On the live action side of things, "The Amazing Spider-Man," "The Avengers" and "Life of Pi" each racked up a pair of nods. "Battleship" and "John Carter" had a presence as well.

Good timing on all of this, as Anne and I plan on discussing the animated feature category in this week's podcast. I believe this year's race is between the two films that led the way here, "Brave" and "Wreck-It Ralph." We'll see how it pans out, but it's a great year for Disney indeed.

Check out the full list of theatrical (and short) nominees below. I weeded out the television stuff for our purposes. The 40th annual Annie Awards will take place on Saturday, February 2, 2013.

Best Animated Feature
"Brave"
"Frankenweenie"
"Hotel Transylvania"
"ParaNorman"
"Rise of the Guardians"
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
"The Rabbi's Cat"
"Wreck-It Ralph"

Best Animated Short Subject
"Brad and Gary"
"Bydlo"
"Eyes on the Stars"
"Goodnight Mr. Foot"
"Kali the Little Vampire"
"Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare'"
"Paperman"
"The Simpsons - 'Bill Plympton Couch Gag'"

Animated Effects in an Animated Production
"Brave"
"Ice Age: Continental Drift"
"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
"ParaNorman"
"Rise of the Guardians"
"Star Wars: The Clone Wars"
"Wreck-It Ralph"

Animated Effects in a Live Action Production
"The Amazing Spider-Man"
"The Avengers"
"Battleship"
"John Carter"

Character Animation in a Feature Production
"Brave"
"Brave"
"Brave"
"ParaNorman"
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
"Rise of the Guardians"
"Rise of the Guardians"
"Rise of the Guardians"

Character Animation in a Live Action Production
"The Amazing Spider-Man"
"The Avengers"
"Life of Pi"
"Life of Pi"

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
"Hotel Transylvania"
"Hotel Transylvania"
"The Lorax"
"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
"ParaNorman"
"Wreck-It Ralph"

Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Genndy Tartakovsky, "Hotel Transylvania"
Sam Fell, Chris Butler, "ParaNorman"
Johan Sfar, Antoine Delesvaux, "The Rabbi's Cat"
Rick Moore, "Wreck-It Ralph"
Remi Bezancon, Jean-Christophe Lie, "Zarafa"

Music in an Animated Feature Production
"Adventures in Zambezia" (Bruce Retief)
"Brave" (Patrick Doyle, Mark Andrews, Alex Mandel)
"Hotel Transylvania" (Mark Mothersbaugh)
"Ice Age: Continental Drift" (John Powell, Adam Schlesinger, Ester Dean)
"The Lorax" (John Powell, Cinco Paul)
"Rise of the Guardians" (Alexandre Desplat)
"Secret of the Wings" (Joel McNeely, Brendan Milburn, Valerie Vigoda)
"Wreck-It Ralph" (Henry Jackman)

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
"Brave"
"Frankenweenie"
"Hotel Transylvania"
"Ice Age: Continental Drift"
"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
"ParaNorman"
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
"Rise of the Guardians"

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
"ParaNorman"
"Rise of the Guardians"
"Wreck-It Ralph"
"Wreck-It Ralph"

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Jim Cummings, "Adventures in Zambezia"
Kelly MacDonald, "Brave"
Catherine O'Hara, "Frankenweenie"
Adam Sandler, "Hotel Transylvania"
Atticus Shaffer, "Frankenweenie"
Imelda Staunton, "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
Jude Law, "Rise of the Guardians"
Alan Tudyk, "Wreck-It Ralph"

Writing in an Animated Feature Production
"Brave"
"Frankenweenie"
"From Up on Poppy Hill"
"ParaNorman"
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
"Wreck-It Ralph"

Editorial in an Animated Feature Production
"Brave"
"Hotel Transylvania"
"Rise of the Guardians"
"Secret of the Wings"
"Wreck-It Ralph"

Check out all the ups and downs of the season at The Circuit.