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“Up” takes it, but…

The International Animated Film Society (ASIFA) presented the 37th annual Annie Awards  on Saturday, February 6th. The presentation was held at UCLA’s Royce Hall, and none other than William Shatner was the host.

As many had been expecting, Disney/Pixar’s Up took the honors for Best Animated Feature Film, as well as a Best Director win for co-director Pete Docter. But what was notable about the evening was that, unlike last year’s Kung Fu Panda sweep, no one film or TV show ran away with a multitude of awards. By sheer numbers, three items emerged victorious for winning three awards each: Coraline (Best Feature Character Design, Best Feature Production Design, Best Feature Music), Prep & Landing (Best TV Character Design, Best TV Production Design, Best TV Production), and The Princess and the Frog (Best Effects Animation, Best Feature Character Animation (Eric Goldberg for Lou the Alligator), and Best Feature Voice Acting (Jen Cody for Charlotte). The Penguins of Madagscar won two awards, Best TV Directing and Best TV Production for Children. Another 10 items won a single award each, including one for Fantastic Mr. Fox (for Best Writing in a Feature). In other words, the awards were spread around quite a bit!

Besides the regular awards, the evening also included several special awards and honors. Bruce Timm, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Tim Burton each received the Winsor McCay Award for Lifetime Achievement in Animation. The June Foray Award for “Benevolent Impact” on Animation went to long-time animator and union activist Tom Sito. William T. Reeves of Pixar won the Ub Iwerks Award for Technical Achievement (he practically invented particle systems animation), while Martin Meunier and Brian McLean were given Special Achievement Awards for creating a new fabrication process used in making the film Coraline. Also, moving tributes were held for the late Roy E. Disney and Wayne Allwine (the voice of Mickey Mouse). A complete listing of the Awards and pictures from the ceremony will be up soon at the Annie Awards web site.