Ratatouille, Pearce Sisters Snag BAFTAs

Ratatouille‘s stellar awards season rolls on as the Disney/Pixar film picked up the award for Best Animated Feature at Sunday Night’s BAFTA Awards, presented by The British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Aardman Animations’ 2D short The Pearce Sisters, from directors Jo Allen and Luis Cook, was named top animated short film during the ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House.

Director Brad Bird’s culinary tale of a rat in Paris beat out fellow animated nominees Shrek the Third from DreamWorks Animation and The Simpsons Movie from 20th Century Fox. The award will go on the mantle with three VES Awards received on the same night from the Visual Effects Society, as well as the whopping ten kudos the film nabbed at ASIFA’s Annie Awards on Friday. Needless to say, it’s been a great weekend for the folks at Disney and Pixar.

In the Short Animation category, The Pearce Sisters trumped Head Over Heels by Osbert Parker, Fiona Pitkin and Ian Gouldstone; and
The Crumblegiant by Pearse Moore and John McCloskey. A wickedly comic and macabre tale about two Sisters living in a remote coastal town, The Pearce Sisters have been doing well on the festival circuit, winning the Jury’s Special Prize at Annecy and picking up top honors at the Platform Int’l Animation Festival and Cartoon Forum.

The award for Special Visual Effects was given to New Line’s The Golden Compass and the vfx team of Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Woods. Academy voters chose the fantasy flick’s effects over those in Universal’s The Bourne Ultimatum (Peter Chiang, Charlie Noble, Mattias Lindahl and Joss Williams) Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Tim Burke, John Richardson, Emma Norton and Chris Shaw), Disney’s
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (John Knoll, Charles Gibson, Hal Hickel and John Frazier) and Sony/Columbia’s Spider-Man 3 (Scott Stokdyk, Peter Nofz, Kee-Suk Ken Hahn and Spencer Cook).

Universal International Pictures’ Atonement led the pack of live-action films with 14 BAFTA nominations and ended up taking two, including Best Film. In the category, the pic was up against fellow Universal International Pictures release American Gangster, Lionsgate’s The Lives of Others and the
Miramax releases No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood. Atonement also won the Golden Globe a couple weeks ago and just may pull off a hat trick at the 80th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 24. To see the full list of BAFTA winners, go to www.bafta.org.