In what may be a bellwether for Oscar night, Paramount/Nickelodeon’s quirky CG-animated feature Rango won the prize for Best Picture at the Annie Awards this Saturday (Feb.4). The Gore Verbinski-directed pic, which centers on the adventures of a chameleon in the Wild West, also won the award for best writing (John Logan, Gore Verbinski, James Byrkit), character design (Mark Crash McCreery) and editing (Craig Wood). Jennifer Yuh-Nelson was the winner of the Best Director Annie for DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda 2.
It was also a good night for Matt Groening’s long-running animated series The Simpsons, which won the award for Best TV series, marking the 13th Annie for the show. The show’s director Matthew Nastuk and writer Carolyn Omine (“Treehouse of Horror XXII”) also won Annies this year. Disney TV’s Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice also had a great night, with four wins in character animation (Tony Smeed), character design (Bill Schwab), music (Grace Potter and Michael Giacchino) and storyboarding (Brian Kesinger). Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball was the winner in the Best Animated Series, Children, and Disney Channel’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates won the Best Preschool toon.
In the other feature categories, Paramount’s The Adventures of Tintin, won for best score (John Williams) and animated effects in a production (Kevin Romond), while Kung Fu Panda 2 also won for production design (Raymond Zilbach). Fox/Blue Sky’s Rio received the Annie for character animation (Jeff Gabor), Disney’s Winnie the Pooh got the nod for storyboarding (Jeremy Spears) and Sony/Aardman’s Arthur Christmas received a trophy for voice performance (Bill Nighy as GrandSanta).
The Annie for Best Animated Short went to Minkyu Lee, who beat out heavyweights such as Pixar’s La Luna, Disney’s The Ballad of Nessie and Warner Bros.’ I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat.
Following is a complete list of winners:
Best Animated Feature: Rango (Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies present A Blind Wink/GK Films Production)
Best Animated Special Production: Kung Fu Panda – Secrets of the Masters (Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation)
Best Animated Short Subject: Adam and Dog directed by Minkyu Lee
Best Animated Television Commercial: Twinings Sea (Psyop)
Best General Audience Animated TV Production: The Simpsons – Gracie Films
Best Animated Television Production – Preschool: Disney Jake and the Never Land Pirates – Disney Television Animation
Best Animated Television Production – Children: The Amazing World of Gumball – Cartoon Network in Association with Dandelion Studios, Boulder Media & Studio Soi
Best Animated Videogame: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (Shadow Planet Prods., Gagne/Fuelcell)
Animated Effects in an Animated Production: Kevin Romond (Adventures of Tintin)_Amblin Entertainment, Wingnut Films and Kennedy/Marshall
Animated Effects in a Live-Action Production: Florent Andorra (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) Industrial Light & Magic
Character Animation in a Television Production: Tony Smeed (Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice)
Character Animation in a Feature Production: Jeff Gabor (Rio) Blue Sky Studios
Character Animation in a Live-Action Production: Eric Reynolds (Rise of the Planet of the Ape) 20th Century Fox
Character Design in a Television Production: Bill Schwab (Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice)
Character Design in a Feature Production: Mark Crash McCreery (Rango)
Directing in a Television Production: Matthew Nastuk (The Simpsons)
Directing in a Feature Production: Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2) DreamWorks Animation
Music in a Television Production: Grace Potter, Michael Giacchino (Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice)
Music in a Feature Production: John Williams The Adventures of Tintin
Production Design in a Television Production: Mark Bodnar, Chris Tsirgiotis, Sue Mondt and Daniel Elson (Secret Mountain Fort Awesome) Cartoon Network Studios
Production Design in a Feature Production: Raymond Zilbach (Kung Fu Panda 2)
Storyboarding in a Television Production: Brian Kesinger (Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice)
Storyboarding in a Feature Production: Jeremy Spears (Winnie the Pooh) Walt Disney Animation Studios
Voice Acting in a Television Production: Jeff Bennett as Kowalski (Penguins of Madagascar) Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation
Voice Acting in a Feature Production: Bill Nighy as Grandsanta (Arthur Christmas) Sony Pictures Animation, Aardman Animations
Writing in a Television Production: Carolyn Omine (The Simpsons -Treehouse of Horror XXII )
Writing in a Feature Production: John Logan, Gore Verbinski and James Byrkit (Rango)
Editing in Television Production: Ted Machold, Jeff Adams, Doug Tiano, Bob Tomlin (Penguins of Madagascar)Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation
Editing in a Feature Production: Craig Wood, A.C.E. (Rango)
Winsor McCay Award: Walt Peregoy, Borge Ring, Ronald Searle
June Foray: Art Leonardi
Special Achievement: Depth Analysis
For more info, visit www.annieawards.org.