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Spirits Soar in Oscar Noms

Five films were selected in the Best Animated Feature Film category by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that were announced this morning for the 75th Academy Awards. Three are Walt Disney releases, LILO & STITCH (Chris Sanders), SPIRITED AWAY (Hayao Miyazaki) and TREASURE PLANET (Ron Clements), which will vie against Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky's ICE AGE (Chris Wedge) and DreamWorks' SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON (Jeffrey Katzenberg).

Visual effects stunner THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS is up for Best Achievement in Visual Effects and Best Motion Picture. The New Line release competes for top picture against Miramax's CHICAGO and GANGS OF NEW YORK, as well as Focus Features' THE PIANIST and Paramount/Miramax's THE HOURS.

The visual effects bake-off narrowed down the field of choices to THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (Weta Digital: Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook, Alex Funke), Sony Pictures' SPIDER-MAN (Sony Pictures Imageworks: John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara, John Frazier) and Twentieth Century Fox's STAR WARS: EPISODE II - ATTACK OF THE CLONES (ILM: Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll, Ben Snow).

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS and SPIDER-MAN are also competing for Best Achievement Sound. TWO TOWERS is also up for statuettes in film editing, art direction and sounding editing, with a grand total of six nominations.

The race for Best Animated Short Film pits Tomek Baginski's THE CATHEDRAL (Platige Image) against Eric Armstrong's THE CHUBBCHUBBS (Sony Pictures Imageworks), Chris Stenner and Heidi Wittlinger's DAS RAD (Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg GmbH), Pete Docter and Roger Gould's MIKE'S NEW CAR (Pixar Animation Studios/Buena Vista) and Koji Yamamura's MT. HEAD (Yamamura Animation).

The animated feature THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE from Paramount/NickelodeonPictures/Klasky Csupo is up for Best Original Song for Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter." Others nominated are "Burn It Blue" from FRIDA (music by Elliot Goldenthal, lyrics by Julie Taymor), "The Hands That Built America" from GANGS OF NEW YORK (music and lyrics by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen), "I Move On" from CHICAGO (music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb) and "Lose Yourself" from 8 MILE (music by Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto, lyrics by Eminem).

To see a full list of nominees,