Shrek 2, Dykstra Feted at Hollywood Film Fest

The 8th Annual Hollywood Film Festival concluded Monday night with an awards gala ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Among the honorees was DreamWorks’ Shrek 2, which received the special Hollywood Animation Award. Vis wiz John Dykstra was also honored for his pioneering work in visual effects from Star Wars to Spider-Man.

Directed by Andrew Adamson (who co-directed Shrek with Vickey Jensen), Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon, Shrek 2 earned $435.6 million domestically to become the top-grossing animated film in history. The comedy sequel boasts an all-star voice cast that includes Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas, John Cleese, Rupert Everett and Jennifer Saunders.

Shrek 2 was also nominated for the fest’s Hollywood Movie of the Year Award, but lost to Michael Moore’s controversial Fahrenheit 9/11, which was chosen by the public via online voting at the Yahoo! Movies and Entertainment Tonight websites. The DreamWorks toon was the only animated film among the nominees, which also included DreamWorks’ Collateral, Sony’s Spider-Man 2, New Market’s The Passion of the Christ, Fox SearchLight’s Napoleon Dynamite, Miramax’s Hero, Lions Gate’s Fahrenheit 9/11, Universal’s The Bourne Supremacy and Focus Features’ The Motorcycle Diaries and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Nominated for the Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, Shrek 2 is a frontrunner in this year’s Oscar race for Best Animated Feature.

Dykstra studied industrial design at Long Beach State before hooking up with George Lucas to work on the groundbreaking 1977 blockbuster, Star Wars. For the film, he designed and built the first computer-controlled motion control system, dubbed the Dystraflex, which made the pic’s amazing outer space dogfight sequences possible. He then took his talents to TV with the expensive, Star Wars-like 1978 series, Battlestar Galactica, and went on to produce effects for such films as Lifeforce (1985), Batman Forever (1995), Stuart Little (1999), Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004). Dykstra is now at work on Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man 3, which is slated for release around 2007.