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Bristol Animators Invade Annie Awards

DreamWorks/Aardman Animations swept the Annie Awards, taking the Best Animated Feature, as well as the nine other categories it was nominated in, at the 33rd annual Annie Awards, held Feb. 4, 2006, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California. The Cartoon Network series, STAR WARS: CLONE WARS II CHAPTERS 21-25, won the top TV category, Best Animated Television Production at ASIFA-Hollywoods formal fete.

Unfortunately, no one from the CLONE WARS production or Cartoon Network came to the podium to accept the awards for best series. Ends up, Cartoon Network people were seated high up in the balcony area, which made for too long a trek down to the stage during the fast-paced show. Nominees are given tickets on the orchestra floor and should send reps in the future, if even from the sponsoring network, to make an acceptance.

Co-directors Nick Park and Steve Box were apologetic about coming to the podium so many times to accept awards for themselves and various members of their crew who did not make the trip across the pond for the awards ceremony.

This year's presenters included Brad Bird, Seth MacFarlane, Jason Alexander and William Shatner, as well as many studio execs. SpongeBob voice Tom Kenny again hosted the ceremony with great flourish and was nominated by actor/presenter to host the Academy Awards.

At one point, Kenny quipped that ASIFA would be installing a diamond lane for Park to make his way to the podium to pick up his trophy hardware during the evening. Park and Box said they were humbled by the recognition as against such honorable competition.

In addition to Kennys antics, the proceedings upped the ante with the quality of presenters, technical execution, clip edits and pacing. Attendees mingled at a two-hour pre-reception in the courtyard and lobby areas of the Alex Theatre, while ticket holders and guests were treated to a post-show celebration dinner at Milanos Cucina Italiana restaurant, up the street from the venue.

Animation professionals and fans comprise the voting membership of ASIFA-Hollywood that doles out the awards. For more information visit www.asifa-hollywood.org.

Following is the list of final winners:

PRODUCTION CATEGORIES

Best Animated Feature

* WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks Animation

Best Home Entertainment Production* LILO & STITCH 2: STITCH HAS A GLITCH DisneyToon Studios

Best Animated Short Subject* THE FAN AND THE FLOWER Atomic Television/Plymptoons Prods.

Best Animated Television Commercial* United Airlines "Mr. Pants" Acme Filmworks

Best Animated Television Production* STAR WARS: CLONE WARS II CHAPTERS 21-25 Cartoon Network Studios

Best Animated Videogame* ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN Activision

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES

Animated Effects

* Jason Wen WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation* Claire Billett WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks Animation

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production* Nick Park WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks Animation

Character Design in an Animated Television Production* Ernie Gilbert THE FAIRLY ODDPARENT The Good Old Days Nickelodeon

Directing in an Animated Feature Production* Nick Park, Steve Box WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks Animation

Directing in an Animated Television Production* Peter Shin FAMILY GUY North by North Quahog Fox TV Animation

Music in an Animated Feature Production* Julian Nott WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks Animation

Music in an Animated Television Production * James L. Venable FOSTERS HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS Duchess of Wails Cartoon Network Studios

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production* Phil Lewis WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks Animation

Production Design in an Animated Television Production* Mike Moon, Craig McCracken, Dave Dunnet, Martin Ansolabehere FOSTERS HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS A Lost Claus Cartoon Network Studios

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production* Bob Persichetti WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks Animation

Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production* Lauren MacMullan AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER The Deserter Nickelodeon

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production* Peter Sallis Voice of Wallace WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production* Seth MacFarlane Voice of Stewie FAMILY GUY Brian the Bachelor Fox TV Animation

Writing in an Animated Feature Production* Steve Box, Nick Park, Bob Baker, Mark Burton WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks Animation

Writing in an Animated Television Production* C.H. Greenblatt, Paul Tibbitt, Mike Bell, Tim Hill SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS Fear of a Krabby Patty Nickelodeon

JURIED AWARDS

June Foray Award (Significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation)Mark Kausler

Winsor McCay Award (Recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation)Cornelius Cole Tyrus Wong Fred Crippen

Ub Iwerks AwardIan MacKinnon and Pete Saunders of Mackinnon and Saunders, for CORPSE BRIDE

Certificate of MeritLarry Loc andDREAM ON SILLY DREAMER filmmakers Dan Lund and Tony West

There was also a stirring tribute to Joe Ranft, storyman at Pixar Animation, whose career was cut short at age 45 from a car crash.

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