Kung Fu Panda Wins Big at Annie Awards

During a black-tie event at Royce Hall in Los Angeles, ASIFA-Hollywood handed out prizes at the 36th Annual Annie Awards recognizing the year's best animation across film, television, commercials, videogames and short subjects.

KUNG FU PANDA was the big winner, besting awards season favorite WALL-E and getting the Best Animated Feature prize as well as nine other awards for individual animators and voice actors. DreamWorks Animation's KUNG FU PANDA had led the field with 17 nominations out of 27 overall for the studio. Pixar Animation Studios was shut out of all eight awards it was nominated for, and Walt Disney Animation Studios received one award out of nine nominations, for storyboarding on GLAGO's GUEST (Chris Williams).

In television, AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER (Nickelodeon) won for Best Animated Television for children, while ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS EPISODE II won for Best Animated Television Production.

The evening included the presentation of the Winsor McCay award to three industry leaders -- Nick Park, Mike Judge and John Lasseter. This award is named in honor of the prolific animator and stands as one of the highest honors given to an individual in the animation industry in recognition for career contributions to the art of animation. Actor and comedian Billy Crystal was on hand to present Lasseter with his Winsor McCay.

Tom Kenny, the voice of SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS handled hosting duties again this year and was joined on stage by a lively mix of animation luminaries, celebrity presenters and comedic talent included animation legend June Foray, actors Brad Garrett (RATATOUILLE, TILL DEATH), Seth Green (AUSTIN POWERS, ROBOT CHICKEN), James Hong (KUNG FU PANDA, BLADE RUNNER) Donald Faison (SCRUBS), Ben Burtt (WALL-E), Henry Selick (Director, CORALINE, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS) and a video presentation by Cheech & Chong.

The 2008 Annie Award Winners are:

PRODUCTION CATEGORIES

Best Animated Feature

KUNG FU PANDA -- DreamWorks Animation

Best Animated Home Entertainment Production

FUTURAMA: THE BEAST WITH A BILLION BACKS -- The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Home Ent.

Best Animated Short Subject

WALLACE & GROMIT: A MATTER OF LOAF AND DEATH -- Aardman Animations Ltd.

Best Animated Television Commercial

United Airlines HEART -- Duck Studios

Best Animated Television Production

ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS EPISODE II -- ShadowMachine

Best Animated Television Production Produced for Children

AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER -- Nickelodeon

Best Animated Video Game

KUNG FU PANDA -- Activision

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES

Animated Effects

Li-Ming Lawrence Lee -- KUNG FU PANDA -- DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Feature Production

James Baxter -- KUNG FU PANDA -- DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Television Production or Short Form

Pierre Perifel -- SECRETS OF THE FURIOUS FIVE -- DreamWorks Animation

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production

Nico Marlet -- KUNG FU PANDA -- DreamWorks Animation

Character Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form

Nico Marlet -- SECRETS OF THE FURIOUS FIVE -- DreamWorks Animation

Directing in an Animated Feature Production

John Stevenson & Mark Osborne -- KUNG FU PANDA -- DreamWorks Animation

Directing in an Animated Television Production or Short Form

Joaquim Dos Santos -- AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER "Sozin's Comet Pt. 3" -- Nickelodeon

Music in an Animated Feature Production

Hans Zimmer & John Powell -- KUNG FU PANDA -- DreamWorks Animation

Music in an Animated Television Production or Short Form

Henry Jackman, Hans Zimmer & John Powell -- SECRETS OF THE FURIOUS FIVE -- DreamWorks Animation

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

Tang Heng -- KUNG FU PANDA -- DreamWorks Animation

Production Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form

Tang Heng -- SECRETS OF THE FURIOUS FIVE -- DreamWorks Animation

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production

Jen Yuh Nelson -- KUNG FU PANDA -- DreamWorks Animation

Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production or Short Form

Chris Williams -- GLAGO'S GUEST -- Walt Disney Animation Studios

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production

Dustin Hoffman -- Voice of Shifu -- KUNG FU PANDA -- DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production or Short Form

Ahmed Best -- Voice of Jar Jar Binks -- ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS EPISODE II -- ShadowMachine

Writing in an Animated Feature Production

Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger -- KUNG FU PANDA -- DreamWorks Animation

Writing in an Animated Television Production or Short Form

Tom Root, Douglas Goldstein, Hugh Davidson, Mike Fasolo, Seth Green, Dan Milano, Matthew Senreich, Kevin Shinick, Zeb Wells, Breckin Meyer -- ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS EPISODE II -- ShadowMachine

Special juried awards honoring career achievement and exceptional contributions to animation were also awarded: Winsor McCay recipients -- Mike Judge, John Lasseter and Nick Park for career contributions to the art of animation; June Foray award -- Bill Turner for significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation; and Certificate of Merit award -- Amir Avini, Mike Fontanelli, Kathy Turner, Alex Vassilev.