Golden Globes Favor Cars, Happy Feet, Monster House

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association today announced the nominees for the 64th Golden Globe Awards. Disney/Pixar’s Cars, Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s Happy Feet and Sony/Columbia Pictures’ Monster House will compete for Best Animated Feature Film during the ceremony, which will take place on Jan. 15 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. NBC will broadcast the event live starting at 8 p.m. EST.

Despite having a whopping 16 animated features to choose from, the foreign press whittled the selection down to three films, shutting out a fair number of major studio and independent productions. DreamWorks, which leads in Annie Award nominations for Flushed Away and Over the Hedge, is surprisingly absent in the list. Clearly, box-office performance was not a factor since the moderately successful Monster House got the nod over the better atended Open Season from Sony Pictures Animation and the blockbuster Ice Age: The Meltdown from Fox Animation. And while foreign animated films have received more love from the group in the past, both Satoshi Kon’s 2D Paprika (Sony) and Christian Volckman’s black-and-white Renaissance (Miramax) were left out in the cold. Similarly, Luc Besson’s Arthur and the Invisibles (The Weinstein Co.), which opens this Friday, is nowhere in sight.

Happy Feet, which is now the odds-on favorite to win the Oscar, is also up for a Globe in the Best Original Song category, where its ‘Song of the Heart’ (music and lyrics by pop star Prince) is up against tunes from th live-action features Dreamgirls, The Pursuit of Happyness, Bobby and Home of the Brave.

Films competing for Best Picture-Drama this year are Paramount Vantage’ Babel, The Weinstein Co.’s Bobby, Warner Bros.’ The Departed, New Line Cinema’s Little Children and Miramax’s The Queen. In the running for Best Picture-Musical or Comedy are 20th Century Fox’s Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and The Devil Wears Prada, DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures’ Dreamgirls and Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Little Miss Sunshine and Thank You For Smoking.

A full list of 2007 Golden Globe nominees can be found at www.hfpa.org/news/id/42.