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78th Academy Award Nominations Announced

KING KONG is up four Oscars in the list of nominees just released by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the 78th Annual Academy Awards, starting with Best Visual Effects, up against THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE and WAR OF THE WORLDS. In an apparent snubbing of George Lucas, the visual effects branch of the academy rejected his final STAR WARS movie, EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH, which received a sole nomination for makeup. However, ILMs contributions were acknowledged with the nominations of WAR OF THE WORLDS and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE (in collaboration with lead house Rhythm & Hues and Sony Pictures Imageworks). KONGs vfx were created by Weta Digital.

Competing for Best Animated Feature are Hayao Miyazakis HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, WALLACE & GROMIT: CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT and TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE, overshadowing the 3D-animated MADAGASCAR and CHICKEN LITTLE. Festival favorites in the Animated Shorts category are THE MOON AND THE SON: AN IMAGINED CONVERSATION by John Canemaker and Peggy Stern, THE MYSTERIOUS GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORATIONS OF JASPER MORELLO by Anthony Lucas and 3D Films Prods., ONE MAN BAND by Pixar's Andrew Jimenez and Mark Andrews, 9 by Shane Aker and BADGERED by Sharon Colman and the National Film and Television School.

Peter Jackson's classic remake on the big gorilla has noms for sound editing, sound mixing and art direction.

Competing for Sound editing are KING KONG, WAR OF THE WORLDS and MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA. These three also made the cut for sound mixing, along with WALK THE LINE and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE has a nom for best art direction, along with KING KONG. Also in the running are GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA and PRIDE & PREJUDICE.

Up for cinematography are BATMAN BEGINS, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, THE NEW WORLD, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA and GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK.

Animation is normally a strong contender in the Best Song category, but was shut out this year.

The 78th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jon Stewart, will be held on March 5, 2006, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC starting at 5:00 pm PST. For a full list of nominees, go to www.oscars.com/nominees/nominees.html.

Check out all the animated Oscar nominees in AWN's Oscar Showcase!

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Rick DeMott
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