'Water' tops Italian animation fest


ROME -- New U.K. dog-and-cat series "Buddy & Elvis" won the Pulcinella Award for an animated pilot series and "Water & Bubbles" from Italy's RAI Fiction won the top prize for television series for all ages at the 12th Cartoons on the Bay Festival, which concluded Sunday.

The Salerno-based animation festival, which began Thursday, also handed out career Pulcinella Awards to Canadian animator Gerald Potterton and Japanese artist and designer Fusako Yusaki.

The U.K. took home three of 11 competitive Pulcinella nod, with Italian productions and those from Canada taking home two each. A U.S. production took home just one Pulcinella Award -- Nickelodeon's "Tak and the Power of Juju," which won for best soundtrack.

"Frankenstein's Cat" and "John and Karen" -- both from the U.K. -- won the prizes for children's television series and best short film, respectively. Canada's two winners were "My Friend Rabbit," which won for infants' television series, and "Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in all the World" -- which the jury applauded for "pushing social boundaries" -- for best television series.

In addition to "Water & Bubbles," RAI Fiction took home the prize for action and adventure television series with "Gladiators," which was praised for its "beautiful and accurate settings" and "resonating personal drama."

India's Famous House of Animation won the Pulcinella Award sponsored by UNICEF for "BBC Chunnilal," an information program for families dealing with prejudice. South Korea's "Wanted" won the prize for television special, and Ellen, the wildebeest protagonist from "No Room for Gerold," won the prize for best character.

Disney's "My Friends Tigger and Pooh" won a special mention for its screenplay.