Cars Leads in Annie Noms

Disney/Pixar’s Cars took the inside track this morning when ASIFA-Hollywood announced the nominations for the 2006 Annie Awards, taking place Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Alex Theater in Glendale, Calif. John Lasseter’s tale of talking automobiles is in the running for nine awards, including Best Animated Feature. DreamWorks/Aardman’s Flushed Away and DreamWorks’ Over the Hedge also made out well, garnering eight nominations each, including voice acting nods for Ian McKellan and Wanda Sykes, respectively.

In addition to Cars, the Best Animated Feature race will be run by Warner Bros.’ Happy Feet, DreamWorks’ Over the Hedge, Sony Pictures’ Open Season and Columbia Pictures’ Monster House. The year’s top-grossing toon, Fox Animation’s Ice Age: The Meltdown, was shut out, though members of its crew were singled out in various individual achievement categories, including Animated Effects (John David Thornton), Character Design (Peter DeSeve), Storyboarding (William H. Frake III) and Music (John Powell).

Ice Age: The Meltdown also earned a directing nomination for Carlos Saldanha. Also up for the award are John Lasseter for Cars, Gil Kenan for Monster House, Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick for Over the Hedge and David Bowers and Sam Fell for Flushed Away.

The short list for Best Animated Short Subject includes Nickelodeon’s Adventure Time, Thunderbean Animation’s Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot, Blue Sky Studios’ No Time For Nuts and Acme Filmworks’ Weird Al Yankovic Don`t Download This Song (animated by Bill Plympton). Obvious omissions include DreamWorks First Flight, which opened for Over the Hedge in many theaters, and Disney’s The Little Match Girl, directed by Roger Allers (Open Season, The Lion King).

Cartoon Network’s Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends proved popular in the television categories. The toon series from Craig McCracken is nominated for Best Animated Television production, along with Charlie and Lola from Tiger Aspect Productions, King of the Hill from 20th Century Fox Television, The Fairly OddParents from Nickelodeon and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! from Starz Media’s Film Roman.

One of the biggest surprises is the selection of nominees for the Winsor McKay Award for lifetime or career contributions to animation. Whereas previous Annie ceremonies feted such stalwart luminaries as Fred Crippen, Virginia Davis, Arnold Stang, Gene Deitch and Floyd Norman, this year sees more contemporary contributors singled out for their work. Independent animation guru Bill Plympton (Hair High, Mutant Aliens), former Cartoon Network toon wunderkind Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars) and veteran Disney animator Andreas Deja (The Lion King, Aladdin) will all be honored with the award.

Other nominees include:

Best Home Entertainment Production

Bambi II – DisneyToon Studios

The Adventures of Brer Rabbit – Universal Animation Studios

Winnie the Pooh: Shapes & Sizes – DisneyToon Studios

Best Animated Television Commercial

Candy Factory – Kachen/Screen Novelties

ESPN Believe – Laika/house

Hilton Dancing Couple – Acme Filmworks

St. Louis Zoo Giraffe – Z Animation

United Airlines Dragon – DUCK Studios

Best Animated Video Game

Flushed Away The Game – D3 Publisher of America, Inc.

Monster House – THQ, Inc.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature From the Krusty Krab – THQ, Inc.

Animated Effects

Scott Cegielski – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features

Keith Klohn – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios

David Stephens – Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures

Erdem Taylan – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios

John David Thornton – Ice Age: The Meltdown – Blue Sky Studios

Character Animation in a Feature Production

Line Andersen – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features

Carlos Baena – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios

Gabe Hordos – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features

Bobby Podesta – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios

Kristof Serrand – Over The Hedge – DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Television Production

Joshua Jennings – Moral Orel – ShadowMachine Films

Eileen Kohlhepp – Family Guy – Fox TV

Sihanouk Mariona – Robot Chicken – ShadowMachine Films

Yu Jae Myung – Avatar The Blind Bandit – Nickelodeon

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production

Peter DeSeve – Ice Age: The Meltdown – Blue Sky Studios

Carter Goodrich – Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures

Nicolas Marlet – Over The Hedge – DreamWorks Animation

Character Design in an Animated Television Production

Ben Balistreri – Danny Phantom ‘King Tuck’- Nickelodeon

Mike Kunkel – The Life & Times of Juniper Lee ‘Party Monsters’ – Cartoon Network Studios

Carlos Ramos – The X’s ‘Homebody’ – Nickelodeon

Eric Robles – The X’s ‘You Only Sneeze Twice’ – Nickelodeon

Directing in an Animated Television Production

Shaun Cashman – The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy ‘Hill Billy’ – Cartoon Network Studios

Craig McCracken – Foster `s Home for Imaginary Friends ‘Bus the Two of Us’ – Cartoon Network Studios

Guy Vasilovich – Growing Up Creepie ‘The Tell-Tale Poem’ – Mike Young Productions

Giancarlo Volpe ‘ Avatar: The Last Airbender ‘The Drill’ – Nickelodeon

Music in an Animated Feature Production

John Debney – The Ant Bully – Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures/ Playtone/DNA Productions

Gordon Goodwin – Bah Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas – Warner Bros. Animation

Laura Karpman – A Monkey’s Tale – Dedica Group

Randy Newman – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios

John Powell – Ice Age: The Meltdown – Blue Sky Studios

Music in an Animated Television Production

Brad Benedict, Mark Fontana & Erik Godal – Squirrel Boy ‘A Line in the Sandwich’ – Cartoon Network Studios

John King – Shorty McShorts’ Shorts Boyz on Da Run Part 1 – Walt Disney Television Animation

Steve Marston – Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks ‘The Gift’ – Mike Young Productions

James L. Venable & Jennifer Kes Remington – Foster`s Home for Imaginary Friends ‘One False Movie’ – Cartoon Networks Studios

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

William Cone – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios

Andy Harkness – Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures

Michael Humphries – Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures

Paul Shardlow – Over The Hedge – DreamWorks Animation

Pierre-Olivier Vincent – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features

Production Design in an Animated Television Production

Martin Ansolabehere – Foster `s Home for Imaginary Friends ‘Good Wilt Hunting’ – Cartoon Network Studios

Alan Bodner – The Life and Times of Juniper Lee ‘Water We Fighting For’ – Cartoon Network Studios

Bob Boyle – Wow! Wow! Wubbzy ‘Tale of Tails’ – Film Roman

Dan Krall – My Gym Partner’s a Monkey ‘Grub Drive’ – Cartoon Network Studios

Sue Mondt – Camp Lazlo ‘Hard Days Samson’ – Cartoon Network Studios

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

Thom Enriquez – Over The Hedge – DreamWorks Animation

William H. Frake III – Ice Age: The Meltdown – Blue Sky Studios

Gary Graham – Over The Hedge – DreamWorks Animation

Kris Pearn – Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures

Simon Wells – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features

Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production

Troy Adomitis – American Dragon: Jake Long ‘Breakout’ – Walt Disney Television Animation

Ben Balistreri – Danny Phantom ‘Urban Jungle’ – Nickelodeon

Li Hong – The X’s ‘You Only Sneeze Twice’ – Nickelodeon

Shaut Nigoghossian – Danny Phantom ‘Reality Trip’ – Nickelodeon

Adam Van Wyk – Hellboy Sword of Storms – Film Roman

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production

Maggie Gyllenhaal -voice of Zee – Monster House – Columbia Pictures/ImageMovers/Amblin Ent.

Sam Lerner – voice of Chowder – Monster House – Columbia Pictures/ImageMovers/Amblin Ent.

Spencer Locke – voice of Jenny – Monster House – Columbia Pictures/ImageMovers/Amblin Ent.

Ian McKellan – voice of the Toad – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation/ Aardman Features

Wanda Sykes – voice of Stella – Over The Hedge – DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production

Keith Ferguson – voice of Blooregard ‘ Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends ‘Squeeze the Day’ – Cartoon Network Studios

Eartha Kitt – voice of Yzma – The Emperor’s New School ‘Kuzclone’ – Walt Disney Television Animation

Mila Kunis – voice of Meg Griffin – Family Guy ‘Barely Legal’ – Fuzzy Door Prods.

Russi Taylor – voice of Ferny – Jakers! ‘Mi Galeon’ – Mike Young Prods.

Patrick Warburton – Voice of Kronk – The Emperor’s New School ‘Kuzclone’ – Walt Disney Television Animation

Writing in an Animated Feature Production

Rich Burns – Brother Bear 2 – DisneyToon Studios

Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais and Chris Lloyd & Joe Keenan and Will Davies – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation/Aardman Features

Dan Harman, Rob Schrab & Pamela Pettler – Monster House – Columbia Pictures/ImageMovers/Amblin Ent.

Dan Fogelman – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios

George Miller, John Collee, Judy Morris & Warren Coleman – Happy Feet – Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures/Kennedy Miller/Animal Logic Film

Writing in an Animated Television Production

Kirker Butler – Family Guy ‘Barely Legal’ – Fuzzy Door Productions

Ian Maxtone-Graham – The Simpsons ‘The Seemingly Neverending Story’ – Gracie Films

Tom Sheppard – My Gym Partner’s a Monkey Nice Moustache – Cartoon Network Studios

Dan Veber – American Dad ‘American Dad Afterschool Special’ – Fuzzy Door Productions/Underdog Productions

John Viener – Family Guy ‘The Griffin Family History’ – Fuzzy Door Productions

Juried Awards

June Foray Award for significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.

Stephen Worth

Certificate of Merit

Bill Matthews

Michael Phallic

Mark Deckter

Eric Graff