'Cars,' DWA top Annie nom list

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Pixar Animation Studios' "Cars" received nine nominations, the most feature noms of any film, for the 34th annual Annie Awards, organized by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood.

Overall, DreamWorks Animation leads the feature field with 17 nominations, shared between DWA's "Over the Hedge" and DWA/Aardman Animations' "Flushed Away."

Rounding out the best animated feature category are Warner Bros. Pictures' "Happy Feet," Columbia Pictures' "Monster House" and Sony Pictures Animation's "Open Season."

Winners in the film and television, commercials, video games and short subjects races will be announced Feb. 11 at an awards ceremony at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

In the television heats, Cartoon Network Studios' "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" leads the pack with five nominations: for best animated television production as well as individual nominations for directing, music, production design and voice acting. Other best animated television production nominees include "Charlie and Lola," from Tiger Aspect Prods.; "King of the Hill," from 20th Century Fox Television; Nickelodeon's "The Fairly OddParents"; and "Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!" from Film Roman, a Starz Media Co.

The contenders for best directing in an animated feature include David Bowers and Sam Fell for "Flushed," Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick for "Hedge," Gil Kenan for "Monster," John Lasseter for "Cars" and Carlos Saldanha for Blue Sky Studios' "Ice Age: The Meltdown."

In the voice acting race, "Monster" dominated the competition, collecting three nominations for Maggie Gyllenhaal (voice of Zee), Sam Lerner (voice of Chowder) and Spencer Locke (voice of Jenny). In a surprise, Steve Carell's voice as hyperactive Hammy in "Hedge" was trumped by Wanda Sykes as Stella the skunk. Ian McKellen earned a nomination for his work as the Toad in "Flushed."

In the character animation heat, "Cars" and "Flushed" earned two nominations apiece, for Pixar's Carlos Baena and Bobby Podesta and DWA's Line Anderson and Gabe Hordos, respectively. Kristof Serrand also was cited for character animation for DWA's "Hedge."

The best home entertainment field includes DisneyToon Studios' blockbuster "Bambi II" and "Winnie the Pooh: Shapes & Sizes," and Universal Animation Studios' "The Adventures of Brer Rabbit." Short subject contenders are Nickelodeon's "Adventure Time," Thunderbean Animation's "Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot," Blue Sky Studios' "No Time For Nuts" and Acme Filmworks' Weird Al Yankovic video "Don't Download This Song."

Nominees in the best animated commercial are Kachen/Screen Novelties' "Candy Factory," Laika's ESPN "Believe," Acme Filmworks' "Dancing Couple" for Hilton Hotels, Z Animation's "Giraffe" for the St. Louis Zoo and Duck Studios' "Dragon" for United Airlines.

In the best animated video game race, THQ Inc.'s "Monster House" and "SpongeBob Square- Pants: Creature From the Krusty Krab" were cited, along with D3 Publisher of America's "Flushed Away."

The annual Annie juried awards will be given to Steven Worth for his "significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation" in the form of a June Foray Award; this year's Winsor McKay Awards will be given to Bill Plympton, Genndy Tartakovski and Andreas Deja in recognition of a lifetime of contribution to the art of animation; and certificates of merit will be given to Bill Matthews, Michael Phallic, Mark Deckter and Eric Graff.

For a complete list of nominees, go to www.asifa- hollywood.org.
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