Happy Feet Wins BAFTA

While Disney/Pixar’s Cars was cleaning up at the Annies in Los Angeles, Warner Bros.’ and Village Roadshow’s Happy Feet was making out famously across the pond at the Orange British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA). The penguin movie beat Cars and fellow nominee Flushed Away from DreamWorks and local heroes Aardman Animations, who managed to trump all live-action contenders last year by winning the award for Outstanding British Film of the Year with Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. This year’s awards ceremony was held on Sunday at the Royal Opera House in London.

Critics and awards voters have been pretty split between Cars and Happy Feet, which makes things interesting going into next month’s Academy Awards. Both films are up for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, along with Sony’s Monster House. With Golden Globes and Annies wins, however, Cars has taken the inside track.

The team of John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall picked up the BAFTA for Achievement in Special Visual Effects for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which also swept the Visual Effects Society Awards on Sunday in Hollywood. The swashbuckler beat out fellow BAFTA nominees Casino Royale, Children of Men, Pan’s Labyrinth and Superman Returns. Pan’s Labyrinth didn’t go home empty-hooved, however. The film from Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro won for costume design and make-up & hair, and took the award for a film not in the English language. Meanwhile, Children of Men picked up BAFTAs for cinematography and production design, while Casino Royale gave the competition a sound beating in the Sound category.

The Short Animation Film award was presented to Guy 101 from Royal College of Art grad Ian Gouldstone. In the film, the narrator relates a twisted tale of sex and hitchhiking as told to him in an Internet chatroom. The short previously won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Postgraduate Animation and can be viewed in its entirety at www.iwgouldstone.com/port_film.html (adult content). Also nominated in the category were Dreams and Desires’Family Ties by Les Millsand Joanna Quinn, and Peter and the Wolf from Hugh Welchman, Alan Dewhurst and Suzie Templeton.

The Film of the Year BAFTA went to The Queen, which presided over a court that included Babel, The Departed, The Last King of Scotland and Little Miss Sunshine. The Alexander Korda Award for the Outstanding British Film of the Year went to The Last King of Scotland. A full list of 2007 BAFTA film award winners can be found at www.bafta.org/site/Jahia/cache/offonce/pid/287.