'Cars' is Annie Awards' Best Animated Feature but 'Flushed Away' tops most categories
Feb. 11 update: John Lasseter and Joe Ranft's 2006 blockbuster Cars, starring Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Doc Hudson (Paul Newman) won the 2007 Annie Award for Best Animated Feature at the 34th International Animated Film Society Awards ceremony held at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, a few kilometers northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Besides taking home the top prize, the Disney/Pixar release also earned Randy Newman the Annie Award for Best Feature Music.
Flushed Away, however, turned out to be the evening's top winner. The DreamWorks Animation/Aardman Animations feature about life in the London sewers received a total of five Annies, including Best Animated Effects and Best Voice Acting for veteran Ian McKellen (The Lords of the Rings movies, Richard III), who plays the character Toad.
See further below the list of Annie Award winners and nominees in the feature film and television categories.
'Cars': Pixar box office hit tops 2007 Annie Award nominations
Dec. 6: John Lasseter and Joe Ranft's Pixar release Cars, set in the back roads of the United States, received the most nominations for the International Animated Film Society's 2007 Annie Awards, which were announced Dec. 4. Cars was shortlisted in nine categories, including Best Animated Feature.
Cars voices include those of Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen and veteran Paul Newman as Doc Hudson, plus Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub, Jennifer Lewis, Katherine Helmond, and Paul Dooley.
'Flushed Away' & 'Happy Feet'
DreamWorks Animation's Flushed Away, the story of an upscale rat who gets flushed down into the sewers of London, was strangely absent from the Annie Awards' Best Animated Feature category in spite of nominations for directors David Bowers and Sam Fell, and for screenwriter Will Davies. Flushed Away features the voices of Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Bill Nighy, Andy Serkis, Kathy Burke, and Miriam Margolyes.
George Miller's Australia / U.S. co-production and box office hit Happy Feet, about a genetically impaired penguin that tap dances, received two Annie Award nods: Best Animated Feature and Best Writing in an Animated Feature Production (director Miller, John Collee, Judy Morris, and Warren Coleman).
Happy Feet features the voices of Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting, 1997), Best Actress Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours), Anthony LaPaglia, and Flushed Away voice cast members Hugh Jackman and Miriam Margolyes.
'Cars' or no, DreamWorks Animation is top 2007 Annie Awards' studio
In all, DreamWorks Animation garnered the most nominations for the 2007 Annie Awards: a total of 16 nods for two features Flushed Away, a co-production with the British-based Aardman Animation, and Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick's Over the Hedge.
The latter is the animated feature version of a popular comic strip; it features the voices of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, William Shatner, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, Catherine O'Hara, Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church (Sideways, 2004), and two-time Best Actor Oscar nominee Nick Nolte (The Prince of Tides, 1991; Affliction, 1998).
Annies & Oscars
The winner of the top Annie has gone on to take home the Best Animated Film Oscar every single year since the Academy instituted the annual award in 2001.
The winners of the 2007 Annie Awards will be announced at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, a few kilometers northeast of downtown Los Angeles, on Feb. 11.
Annie Awards: Winners and nominations
Best Animated Feature
* Cars – Pixar Animation Studios.
Happy Feet – Warner Bros. Pictures presents in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Kennedy Miller Production in association with Animal Logic Film.
Monster House – Columbia Pictures Presents an ImageMovers / Amblin Production.
Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation / Columbia Pictures.
Over the Hedge – DreamWorks Animation.
Best Home Entertainment Production
* Bambi II – DisneyToon Studios.
The Adventures of Brer Rabbit – Universal Animation Studios.
Winnie the Pooh: Shapes & Sizes – DisneyToon Studios.
Best Animated Short Subject
Adventure Time – Nickelodeon.
Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot – Thunderbean Animation.
* No Time for Nuts – Blue Sky Studios.
Weird Al Yankovic “Don't Download This Song” – Acme Filmworks.
Best Animated Television Commercial
Candy Factory – Ka-chew! / Screen Novelties.
ESPN “Believe” – Laika / house.
Hilton “Dancing Couple” – Acme Filmworks.
St. Louis Zoo “Giraffe” – Z Animation.
* United Airlines “Dragon” – DUCK Studios.
Best Animated Television Production
Charlie and Lola – Tiger Aspect Productions.
* Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends – Cartoon Network Studios.
King of the Hill – Twentieth Century Fox TV.
The Fairly OddParents – Nickelodeon.
Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! – Film Roman, a Starz Media Co.
Best Animated Video Game
* Flushed Away The Game – D3 Publisher of America, Inc.
Monster House – THQ, Inc.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature From the Krusty Krab – THQ, Inc.
Individual Achievement Categories
Directing in an Animated Feature Production
David Bowers & Sam Fell – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features.
* Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick – Over the Hedge – DreamWorks Animation.
Gil Kenan – Monster House – Columbia Pictures ImageMovers / Amblin Entertainment.
John Lasseter – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios.
Carlos Saldanha – Ice Age: The Meltdown – Blue Sky Studios.
Directing in an Animated Television Production
Shaun Cashman – The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy “Hill Billy” – Cartoon Network Studios.
Craig McCracken – Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends “Bus the Two of Us” – Cartoon Network Studios.
Guy Vasilovich – Growing Up Creepie “The Tell-Tale Poem” – Mike Young Productions.
* Giancarlo Volpe – Avatar “The Drill” – Nickelodeon.
Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Rich Burns – Brother Bear 2 – DisneyToon Studios.
* Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais and Chris Lloyd & Joe Keenan and Will Davies – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features.
Dan Harman, Rob Schrab & Pamela Pettler – Monster House – Columbia Pictures Presents an ImageMovers / Amblin Entertainment.
Dan Fogelman – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios.
George Miller, John Collee, Judy Morris & Warren Coleman – Happy Feet – Warner Bros. Pictures Presents in Association with Village Roadshow Pictures, A Kennedy Miller Production in Association with Animal Logic Film.
Writing in an Animated Television Production
Kirker Butler – Family Guy “Barely Legal” – Fuzzy Door Productions.
* Ian Maxtone-Graham – The Simpsons “The Seemingly Neverending Story” – Gracie Films.
Tom Sheppard – My Gym Partner's a Monkey “Nice Moustache” – Cartoon Network Studios.
Dan Veber – American Dad “American Dad Afterschool Special” – Fuzzy Door Productions / Underdog Productions.
John Viener – Family Guy “The Griffin Family History” – Fuzzy Door Productions.
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Voice of Zee – Monster House – Columbia Pictures ImageMovers / Amblin Entertainment.
Sam Lerner – Voice of Chowder – Monster House – Columbia Pictures ImageMovers / Amblin Entertainment.
Spencer Locke – Voice of Jenny – Monster House – Columbia Pictures ImageMovers / Amblin Entertainment.
* Ian McKellen – Voice of the Toad – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features.
Wanda Sykes – Voice of Stella – Over the Hedge – DreamWorks Animation.
Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production
Keith Ferguson – Voice of Blooregard – Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends “Squeeze the Day” – Cartoon Network Studios.
* Eartha Kitt – Voice of Yzma – The Emperor's New School “Kuzclone” – Walt Disney Television Animation.
Mila Kunis – Voice of Meg Griffin – Family Guy “Barely Legal” – Fuzzy Door Productions.
Russi Taylor – Voice of Ferny – Jakers! “Mi Galeon” – Mike Young Productions.
Patrick Warburton – Voice of Kronk – The Emperor's New School “Kuzclone” – Walt Disney Television Animation.
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
Thom Enriquez Over the Hedge – DreamWorks Animation.
William H. Frake III Ice Age: The Meltdown – Blue Sky Studios.
* Gary Graham Over the Hedge – DreamWorks Animation.
Kris Pearn Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation / Columbia Pictures.
Simon Wells Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features.
Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production
Troy Adomitis - American Dragon: Jake Long “Breakout” – Walt Disney Television Animation.
Ben Balistreri – Danny Phantom “Urban Jungle” – Nickelodeon.
* Li Hong – The X's “You Only Sneeze Twice” – Nickelodeon.
Shaut Nigoghossian – Danny Phantom “Reality Trip” – Nickelodeon.
Adam Van Wyk – Hellboy “Sword of Storms” – Film Roman, a Starz Media Co.
* Scott Cegielski – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features.
Keith Klohn – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios.
David Stephens – Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation / Columbia Pictures.
Erdem Taylan – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios.
John David Thornton – Ice Age: The Meltdown – Blue Sky Studios.
Character Animation in a Feature Production
Line Andersen – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features.
Carlos Baena – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios.
* Gabe Hordos – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features.
Bobby Podesta – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios.
Kristof Serrand – Over the Hedge – DreamWorks Animation.
Character Animation in a Television Production
Joshua Jennings – Moral Orel – ShadowMachine Films.
Eileen Kohlhepp – Family Guy – Fox TV.
Sihanouk Mariona – Robot Chicken – ShadowMachine Films.
* Yu Jae Myung – Avatar “The Blind Bandit” – Nickelodeon.
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
Peter DeSeve – Ice Age: The Meltdown – Blue Sky Studios.
Carter Goodrich – Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation / Columbia Pictures.
* Nicolas Marlet – Over the Hedge – DreamWorks Animation.
Character Design in an Animated Television Production
Ben Balistreri – Danny Phantom “King Tuck” – Nickelodeon.
* Mike Kunkel – The Life & Times of Juniper Lee “Party Monsters” – Cartoon Network Studios.
Carlos Ramos – The X's “Homebody” – Nickelodeon.
Eric Robles – The X's “You Only Sneeze Twice” – Nickelodeon.
Music in an Animated Feature Production
John Debney – The Ant Bully – Warner Bros. Pictures Presents in Association with Legendary Pictures, a Playtone Production in Association with DNA Productions.
Gordon Goodwin – Bah Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas – Warner Bros. Animation.
Laura Karpman – A Monkey's Tale – Dedica Group.
* Randy Newman – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios.
John Powell – Ice Age: The Meltdown – Blue Sky Studios.
Music in an Animated Television Production
Brad Benedict, Mark Fontana & Erik Godal – Squirrel Boy “A Line in the Sandwich” – Cartoon Network Studios.
John King – Shorty McShorts' Shorts “Boyz on Da Run Part 1” – Walt Disney Television Animation.
Steve Marston – Jakers! “The Gift” – Mike Young Productions.
* James L. Venable & Jennifer Kes Remington – Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends “One False Movie” – Cartoon Networks Studios.
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
William Cone – Cars – Pixar Animation Studios.
Andy Harkness – Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation / Columbia Pictures.
Michael Humphries – Open Season – Sony Pictures Animation / Columbia Pictures.
Paul Shardlow – Over the Hedge – DreamWorks Animation.
* Pierre-Olivier Vincent – Flushed Away – DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features.
Production Design in an Animated Television Production
* Martin Ansolabehere – Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends “Good Wilt Hunting” – Cartoon Network Studios.
Alan Bodner – The Life and Times of Juniper Lee “Water We Fighting For” – Cartoon Network Studios.
Bob Boyle – Wow! Wow! Wubbzy “Tale of Tails” – Film Roman, a Starz Media Co.
Dan Krall – My Gym Partner's A Monkey “Grub Drive” – Cartoon Network Studios.
Sue Mondt – Camp Lazlo “Hard Days Samson” – Cartoon Network Studios.
June Foray Award: (Significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation)
Winsor McCay Award: (Recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation)
Certificate of Merit:
Another eclectic Best Original Song Oscar longlist: From 'Borat' to Bollywood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that 56 songs – ranging from “My Little Girl” and “Hillbilly Holla” to “Luka Chuppi” and “O Kazakhstan” – will be considered for inclusion in the 2007 Academy Awards' Best Original Song category.
On Jan. 16, the Academy will screen clips featuring each song, in random order, for Music Branch voting members in both Beverly Hills and New York City.
According to the Academy's press release, “to be eligible, a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credit.”
Melissa Etheridge in the running
As to be expected, a number of songs from animated films (Happy Feet, Cars) have been included on the longlist. More surprisingly, so have a handful of ditties from non-English-language films (Deepa Mehta's Water, Zhang Yimou's Curse of the Golden Flower, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Rang De Basanti).
All that and “I Need to Wake Up,” too. Melissa Etheridge's song is heard in Davis Guggenheim's environmentally focused documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
Nominations for the 2007 Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 5:30 a.m. PST in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
The 2007 Academy Awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center.
Best Original Song Oscar longlist
Below is the list of songs eligible for the 2007 Oscars, in alphabetical order:
- “Believe It,” The Heart of the Game.
- “The Best,” Everyone's Hero.
- “The Book I Write,” Stranger Than Fiction.
- “Broken Bridges,” Broken Bridges.
- “Chan Chan,” Water.
- “Circle in the Sand,” Friends with Money.
- “Coming Back to You,” Deja Vu.
- “Definition of Love,” Akeelah and the Bee.
- “Dreamz with a Z,” American Dreamz.
- “Encarnacion,” Nacho Libre.
- “Every Word,” Wordplay.
- “Family of Me,” Over the Hedge.
- “A Father's Way,” The Pursuit of Happyness.
- “The Girl in Byakkoya - White Tiger Field,” Paprika.
- “Heist,” Over the Hedge.
- “Hillbilly Holla,” Barnyard.
- “Hollywood Familia,” Hollywood Familia.
- “I Belong,” Open Season.
- “I Need to Wake Up,” An Inconvenient Truth.
- “In Rosa Vernat Lilium,” The Nativity Story.
- “It's a Fight,” Rocky Balboa.
- “Ju Hua Tai,” Curse of the Golden Flower.
- “Keep Holding On,” Eragon.
- “Khalbali,” Rang de Basanti.
- “Kingdom of Love,” One Night with the King.
- “Listen,” Dreamgirls.
- “A Lonely Man,” Don't Come Knocking.
- “Love You I Do,” Dreamgirls.
- “Luka Chuppi,” Rang de Basanti.
- “The Motion,” 3 Needles.
- “My Little Girl,” Flicka.
- “Never Gonna Break My Faith,” Bobby.
- “Never Let Go,” The Guardian.
- “O Kazakhstan,” Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
- “Open Your Heart,” Saving Shiloh.
- “Ordinary Miracle,” Charlotte's Web.
- “Our Town,” Cars.
- “Patience,” Dreamgirls.
- “Philosophy,” Step Up.
- “PJ & Rooster,” Idlewild.
- “Quest for Love,” Arthur and the Invisibles.
- “Real Gone,” Cars.
- “Really Nice Day,” The Wild.
- “Shine on 'Em,” Blood Diamond.
- “The Song of the Heart,” Happy Feet.
- “Star Mile,” The Last Kiss.
- “Still,” Over the Hedge.
- “Suenos,” Hollywood Familia.
- “Sweet Music,” Glory Road.
- “Til the End of Time,” Little Miss Sunshine.
- “Tonight,” Night at the Museum.
- “Try Not to Remember,” Home of the Brave.
- “Upside Down,” Curious George.
- “When You Taught Me How to Dance,” Miss Potter.
- “Won't Let You Fall,” Poseidon.
- “You Know My Name,” Casino Royale.
Best Visual Effects Oscar semifinalists
Below is the longish list of seven films still “in consideration” for the 2007 Best Visual Effects Academy Award. They are:
- Casino Royale.
- Night at the Museum.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
- Superman Returns.
- X-Men: The Last Stand.
Apparently, the visual effects found in Guillermo del Toro's fantasy Pan's Labyrinth weren't considered special enough.
On Jan. 17, the Academy's Visual Effects Award nominating committee will watch 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven films.
Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate three films for the 2007 Oscar.
Best Song & Best Visual Effects 'contenders'
As an aside, four of the seven semifinalists listed above are also in the running (or rather, are eligible) for the Best Original Song Oscar: Eragon, Night at the Museum, Poseidon, and, inevitably, the James Bond flick Casino Royale.
As another aside, the 1972 Best Song Oscar winner was from the original 1972 The Poseidon Adventure: Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn's “The Morning After,” sung by Carol Lynley's character (with Renee Armand's voice) and later turned into a Gold record by Maureen McGovern.
Marrakech Film Festival winners: German romantic drama tops
The 2006 Marrakech Film Festival came to a close on Dec. 9.
Dominik Graf's German drama The Red Cockatoo / Der Rote Kakadu, a love story set in 1961 Dresden, won the Étoile d'Or (Golden Star) for Best Film. The film's male lead, Max Riemelt, was named Best Actor. Jessica Schwarz costars.
The Grand Jury Prize went to Romanian filmmaker Radu Muntean's political drama The Paper Will Be Blue / Hîrtia va fi albastrã, about a soldier who changes sides during Romania's bloody 1989 revolution.
French-Senegalese actress Fatou N'Diaye was the Best Actress winner for her performance as a Rwandan waitress who happens to fall in love right at the time of the Hutu genocide in Robert Favreau's Canadian drama A Sunday in Kigali / Un dimanche à Kigali.
Roman Polanski & Martin Scorsese
More than 120 films were screened at the Marrakech festival, including 15 entries that competed for the Étoile d'Or. Franco-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski acted as president of the Official Competition jury.
Among the film professionals honored with career tributes during the festival's nine days were American actress Susan Sarandon, Bollywood stars Kajol and Ajay Devgan, Egyptian filmmaker Tawfiq Salah, Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke, and Moroccan actor Mohamed Majd (the domineering Muslim patriarch in Le Grand Voyage).
Additionally, a retrospective of about 50 films – arranged by American director Martin Scorsese – covered 60 years of Italian cinema.
Patrice Leconte's comedy My Best Friend / Mon meilleur ami, starring Daniel Auteuil and Julie Gayet, was the closing night gala screening.
Marrakech Film Festival Awards
The 2006 Marrakech Film Festival winners were announced at the Palais des Congrès on Dec. 9. The festival ran Dec. 1–9.
The Golden Star – Grand Prix: The Red Cockatoo / Der Rote Kakadu (Germany).
Jury Prize: The Paper Will Be Blue / Hîrtia va fi albastrã (Romania).
Best Actor: Max Riemelt for The Red Cockatoo (Germany).
Best Actress: Fatou N'Diaye for A Sunday in Kigali / Un dimanche à Kigali (Canada).
Official Competition Jury:
- Filmmaker Roman Polanski (President, France / Poland).
- Actress Sandrine Bonnaire (France).
- Actress Maria de Medeiros (Portugal).
- Actor, writer, and producer Jamel Debbouze (France).
- Director and screenwriter Pan Nalin (India).
- Director and screenwriter Yousry Nasrallah (Egypt).
- Actress Ludivine Sagnier (France).
- Actress Paz Vega (Spain).
- Actor David Wenham (Australia).
Marrakech Film Festival film line-up
Below are the 2006 Marrakech Film Festival's Official Competition films:
A Casa Nostra, Francesca Comencini (Italy).
Be Ahestegi…, Maziar Miri (Iran).
Before We Fall in Love Again, James Lee (Malaysia).
Bobby, Emilio Estevez (United States).
Casa de Areia / House of Sand, Andrucha Waddington (Brazil).
Dek Hor / Le Pensionnat, Songyos Sugmakanan (Thailand).
Der Rote Kakadu / The Red Cockatoo, Dominik Graf (Germany).
Hîrtia va fi albastrã / The Paper Will Be Blue, Radu Muntean (Romania).
Il a suffi que maman s'en aille… / Mommy's Departure Was Enough…, René Féret (France).
Las Vidas de Celia / The Lives of Celia, Antonio Chavarrías (Spain).
Mon frère se marie / My Brother Is Getting Married, Jean-Stéphane Bron (Switzerland / France).
Prag / Prague, Ole Christian Madsen (Denmark).
Un dimanche à Kigali / A Sunday in Kigali, Robert Favreau (Canada).
Wake-Up Morocco, Narjiss Nejjar (Morocco).
WWW - What a Wonderful World, Faouzi Bensaïdi (France / Morocco / Germany).
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website.
Marrakech Film Festival website.
Image of Sacha Baron Cohen in potential Best Song Oscar contender Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan: 20th Century Fox.
Eragon image: 20th Century Fox.
Image of Jessica Schwarz and Max Riemelt in the 2006 Marrakech Film Festival's Best Film winner The Red Cockatoo: Seven Pictures.
Ten Canoes image: Palace Films.
Annie Awards website.
Cars' Lightning McQueen images: Pixar / Walt Disney Studios.
“Cars: Pixar Annie Awards' Win Overshadowed by DreamWorks Trophies” last updated in January 2019.