Film News

"Kung Fu Panda" sweeps Annie Awards

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “Kung Fu Panda” pulled out all its martial arts moves at the 36th annual Annie Awards, where it was named best animated feature.

Cast member Jack Black poses with a panda character during the DVD release of "Kung Fu Panda" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California November 9, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The DreamWorks Animation feature dominated Friday’s awards ceremony at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, presented by ASIFA-Hollywood, the Los Angeles chapter of the International Animated Film Society.

“Panda” won the top prize over such other nominees as the critical favorites “WALL-E” and “Waltz With Bashir” and swept the feature film categories with 10 trophies, topping Pixar’s “Ratatouille” run last year, when it earned nine Annies, including best feature.

Additionally, DWA’s “Secrets of the Furious Five,” a 24-minute short that appears on the “Panda” DVD, took four awards in the TV production/shortform categories, and Activision’s “Kung Fu Panda” game won the award for best video game.

Since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences set up its best animated feature category in 2001, the Annie winner has gone on to score the animation Oscar every year except for two years ago, when the Annies opted for “Cars” but the Academy chose “Happy Feet.”

Rounding out the top prize recipients, Aardman Animations’ “Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death” was named best animated short subject.

ShadowMachine’s “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II” was honored as best animated TV production, while Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” won the prize for best TV production produced for children.

“Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs,” from the Curiosity Co. and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, was victorious in the home entertainment category, and Duck Studios’ “Heart” ad for United Airlines was the TV commercial prize winner.

The “Panda” awards parade to the winner’s podium continued throughout the evening. It included a directing award for John Stevenson and Mark Osborne, writing honors for Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, animated effects for Le-Ming Lawrence Lee, character animation for James Baxter and storyboarding for Jen Yuh Nelson.

Dustin Hoffman, who plays kung fu master Shifu in “Panda,” earned the award for voice acting in a feature film.

Nico Marlet took home two awards for character design, for “Panda” and “Secrets.” Tang Heng also was a double winner for production design on both projects. And Hans Zimmer and John Powell also were recognized twice, for “Panda’s” music and the “Secrets” score, where they were joined by Henry Jackman.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter