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Cars Takes Feature Cup While Fosters & DreamWorks Take Home Most Annie Gold

Disney/Pixar's CARS took Best Animated Feature prize while the rest of The Annie Awards were more spread out amongst the contenders as the Cartoon Network series, FOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY won the top TV category, Best Animated Television Production at 34th Annual Annie Awards held Feb. 11, 2007, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California. FOSTER'S won three awards and DreamWorks projects took home the lions share of awards, winning in nine categories at ASIFA-Hollywoods black-tie ceremony attended by more than 1,300 industry insiders and the public.

CARS, which had led the nominations, ended up with two awards, while fellow feature films OVER THE HEDGE won three and FLUSHED AWAY had six, including Directing in an Animated Feature Production.

Disney and Cartoon Network ended up with four awards each while Nickelodeon garnered three.

This year's presenters included many on-camera actors, voices for recent and upcoming projects and a humorous break with George W. Bush impersonator Steve Bridges. Changes in script and flow were also made when two presenters, veteran voice-actor Rob Paulsen and well-known actor/activist Edward James Olmos, were called away to family emergencies after they had already arrived at the Alex Theatre. SpongeBob voice Tom Kenny again hosted his third consecutive ceremony with his topical, political and comical comments and adlibs to keep the program running.

Kenny quipped, Pixar did what GM and Ford couldnt do, which was make money off of cars, he joked, referring to John Lasseter's nominated film CARS and said he did not see Lasseter in attendance. He added, John Lasseters wallet is so fat it now weighs three times Nicole Richie!

Lasseter was present to accept the Music in an Animated Feature Production for Randy Newman, and, at the end of the ceremony, the Best Feature award. Lasseter said Newman was, the greatest collaborator Ive ever worked with.

Kenny came back to lament hed probably blown his chances to ever voice a character for Lasseter.

During Lasseters feature film acceptance, he said, What a year weve had in animation, calling 2006 a banner year for animated films that were entertaining and good.

When Mike Kunkel accepted his Character Design in an Animated Television Production award for THE LIFE & TIMES OF JUNIPER LEE "Party Monsters, he came without prepared remarks, but looked about the room and said, Seeing all of you reminds us of how many talented people we get to work with.

Roughly midway through the evening the on screen projection broke down due to an extension cord backstage that had caught on fire. With the dark screen behind him where the nominees had been projected, as well as the onstage business, presenter Dave Thomas said, Is there anyone here who can draw? He then quipped that the fire had been caused due to an AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE gizmo box exploding in the back, Jim Samples parting gift to the industry.

A few other comments were made about the longtime Cartoon Network exec's resignation following the hysteria in Boston over the Cartoon Network marketing stunt for the upcoming AQUA TEEN movie. Later, Craig McCracken, during his acceptance for Directing in an Animated Television Production on FOSTERS, said, amongst his thank yous, Samples was instrumental in the launch of the series.

The Bush impersonator was happy to point out the commonality between himself and animators. We have one thing in common -- we both send a lot of people overseas! he also offered various mispronunciations of ASIFA president Antran Manoogian's name, such as Amtrak McNuclear or Anthrax Smithsonian.

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 on the grounds behind Alex Theatre.

Animation professionals and fans comprise the voting membership of ASIFA-Hollywood that doles out the awards. For the first time in Annie history, all voting was cast online rather than by mail. For more information visit www.asifa-hollywood.org.

Following is the list of final winners:

PRODUCTION CATEGORIES

Best Animated Feature* CARS -- Pixar Animation Studios

Best Home Entertainment Production* BAMBI II -- DisneyToon Studios

Best Animated Short Subject* NO TIME FOR NUTS -- Blue Sky Studios

Best Animated Television Commercial * United Airlines "Dragon" -- DUCK Studios

Best Animated Television Production* FOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS -- Cartoon Network Studios

Best Animated Videogame* FLUSHED AWAY THE GAME -- D3 Publisher of America, Inc.

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES

Animated Effects* Scott Cegielski -- FLUSHED AWAY -- DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features

Character Animation in a Feature Production* Gabe Hordos -- FLUSHED AWAY -- DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features

Character Animation in a Television Production* Yu Jae Myung -- AVATAR "The Blind Bandit" -- Nickelodeon

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production* Nicolas Marlet -- OVER THE HEDGE -- DreamWorks Animation

Character Design in an Animated Television Production* Mike Kunkel -- THE LIFE & TIMES OF JUNIPER LEE "Party Monsters" -- Cartoon Network Studios

Directing in an Animated Feature Production* Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick -- OVER THE HEDGE -- DreamWorks Animation

Directing in an Animated Television Production* Giancarlo Volpe -- AVATAR "The Drill" -- Nickelodeon

Music in an Animated Feature Production* Randy Newman -- CARS -- Pixar Animation Studios

Music in an Animated Television Production* 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* 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

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production* Gary Graham -- OVER THE HEDGE -- DreamWorks Animation

Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production

* Troy Adomitis - AMERICAN DRAGON: JAKE LONG "Breakout" -- Walt Disney Television Animation* Li Hong -- THE X'S "You Only Sneeze Twice" -- Nickelodeon

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production* Ian McKellan -- Voice of the Toad -- FLUSHED AWAY -- DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features

Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production* Eartha Kitt -- Voice of Yzma -- THE EMPEROR'S NEW SCHOOL "Kuzclone" -- Walt Disney Television Animation

Writing in an Animated Feature Production* Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais and Chris Lloyd & Joe Keenan and Will Davies -- FLUSHED AWAY -- DreamWorks Animation & Aardman Features

Writing in an Animated Television Production* Ian Maxtone-Graham -- THE SIMPSONS "The Seemingly Neverending Story" -- Gracie Films

JURIED AWARDS

June Foray Award - Significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.

Stephen Worth

Winsor McCay Award - Recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation.

Bill PlymptonGenndy TartakovskiAndreas Deja

Certificate of Merit

Bill MatthewsMichael Phallic Mark DeckterEric Graff

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