'Ratatouille' in Annie mix

Leads cartoon pack with 13 noms

A rat could emerge as the big cheese at this year's Annie Awards.

Pixar's "Ratatouille" leads the pack in the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA-Hollywood) competition field with 13 feature nominations, including best animated feature as well as individual nominations for directing, writing, character animation, animated effects (two nominations), production design, storyboarding, character design, character animation, music and voice acting (three nominations).

Sony's "Surf's Up" followed, riding a wave of interest to earn 10 feature nominations for feature, animated effects, animation production artists, character animation (two nominations), character design and directing.

Rounding out the best animated feature category are DreamWorks Animation's "Bee Movie," Sony Pictures Classics' "Persepolis" and Fox's "The Simpsons Movie."

Parmount/Warner Bros.' closely watched "Beowulf" earned one nomination, in the category of production design.

The nominees for directing in an animated feature are Brad Bird for "Ratatouille," Ash Brannon and Chris Buck for "Surf's Up," Chris Miller and Raman Hui for DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek the Third," Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi for "Persepolis" and David Silverman for "The Simpsons Movie."

In television, Nickelodeon's "El Tigre" leads the pack with four nominations — for best animated television production for children as well as individual nominations for character animation, character design and music.

The best animated television production nominees are "Creative Comforts America" from Aardman Animations, "Jane and the Dragon" from Weta Prods. and Nelvana, "Kim Possible" from Walt Disney Television Animation as well as "Moral Orel" and "Robot Chicken Star Wars" from ShadowMachine.

The Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in 25 categories covering film, television, commercials, video games and short subjects.

The Winsor McCay Award for career contributions to the art of animation will be presented to John Canemaker, Glen Keane and John Kricfalusi. The June Foray Award for significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation will be presented to Jerry Beck; the Ub Iwerks Award for technical achievement award will be bestowed on Jonathan Gay, Gary Grossman and Robert Tatsumi; and a Special Achievement Annie Award will go to Edward R. Leonard.

Certificates of merits will be awarded to Marcus Adams, Jo Jo Batista, Steve Gattuso, Jon Reeves, Gemma Ross and Woodbury University.

The 35th annual Annie Awards will be presented Feb. 8 at UCLA's Royce Hall in Westwood.

A complete list of nominees can be found at hollywood reporter.com.