'Up' wins best feature at Annie Awards

Jeffrey Katzenberg honored at ceremony

Pixar Animation Studio's "Up" was named best animated feature, and its helmer Pete Docter was honored for direction, at the 37th annual Annie Awards for animation, Saturday at UCLA's Royce Hall.

Other big winners in the Annie feature competition included Laika's "Coraline" and Disney's "The Princess and the Frog," which won three trophies each.

Nominated for five Academy Awards, "Up" is the odds-on favorite to win the Oscar for animated feature, and is only the second animated film to earn a nomination in the best picture category. It is also nominated for best screenplay, music and sound editing Oscars.

"We always look at these as films; we take them as seriously as anyone else does in this industry," Docter -- wearing an Ellie badge on his lapel -- said of the best picture nod. "The fact that our peers are looking at this film in the same way is just fantastic."

To win the top Annie prize, "Up" led fellow nominees "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" from Sony Pictures Animation, "Coraline," 20th Century Fox's "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "The Princess and the Frog" and "The Secret of Kells" from Cartoon Saloon.

Also in features, "Coraline" won the categories for character design, music and production design. "The Princess and the Frog" was recognized for animated effects, character animation and voice acting.

Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach won the writing category for "Fantastic Mr. Fox." DreamWorks Animation's "Monsters vs. Aliens" collected the award for storyboarding.

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Disney's "Prep and Landing" won three trophies in the television category, including best animated TV program.

In all, awards were presented in 23 Annie categories in features, TV and commercials.

The Annie for best animated feature has matched the Oscar winner each year (except twice) since the Academy Awards first awarded the category in 2002. A year ago, the Annie Awards received some scrutiny after DreamWorks' "Kung Fu Panda" dominated the competition and won the top prize, shutting out eventual Oscar winner "Wall-E" from Pixar.

Speaking with THR before this year's Annie presentation, "Coraline" director Henry Selick enthused: "This is the golden age of animation. It is no longer one technique that everyone is getting behind. Hand-drawn, 3D, CG, stop-motion -- I'm sure someone could move sand on glass, and if it were funny or clever, people would go to see it. It is the best time I've ever experienced."

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg received this year's Winsor McCay Award for career achievement, and commented to THR about the number of honored stereoscopic 3D films in the mix this year. "This is the beginning of the revolution," he said. "To see here tonight what this amazing new tool -- in the hands of great artists -- is capable of, to see what someone like Jim Cameron has done with it, really takes the ceiling off. Anything is possible."

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Among the special awards, Tim Burton and Bruce Timm were also Winsor McCay recipients, although neither was able to attend the ceremony. Tom Sito earned the June Foray honor. The Ub Iwerks Award went to William T. Reeves. Special Achievement Awards were presented to Martin Meunier and Brian McLean. Myles Mikulic, Danny Young and Michael Woodside received certificates of merit.

William Shatner hosted this year's ceremony, which is presented annually by ASIFA-Hollywood, the Los Angeles chapter of the International Animated Film Society.

A complete list of winners can be found on the next page.

Winners of the 37th Annual Annie Awards

Best Animated Feature
"Up" -- Pixar Animation Studios

Best Home Entertainment Production
"Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder" -- The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Best Animated Short Subject
"Robot Chicken: Star Wars 2.5" -- ShadowMachine

Best Animated Television Commercial
"Spanish Lottery 'Deportees'" -- Acme Filmworks, Inc.

Best Animated Television Production
"Prep and Landing" -- ABC Family/Walt Disney Animation Studios

Best Animated Television Production for Children
"The Penguins of Madagascar" -- Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation

Animated Effects
James Mansfield, "The Princess and the Frog" -- Walt Disney Animation Studios

Character Animation in a Television Production
Phillip To, "Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space" -- DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Feature Production
Eric Goldberg, "The Princess and the Frog" -- Walt Disney Animation Studios

Character Design in a Television Production
Bill Schwab, "Prep and Landing" -- Walt Disney Animation Studios

Character Design in a Feature Production
Shane Prigmore, "Coraline" -- Laika

Directing in a Television Production
Bret Haaland, "The Penguins of Madagascar: Launchtime" -- Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation

Directing in a Feature Production
Pete Docter, "Up" -- Pixar Animation Studios

Music in a Television Production
Guy Moon, "The Fairly OddParents: Wishology: The Big Beginning" -- Nickelodeon

Music in a Feature Production
Bruno Coulais, "Coraline" -- Laika

Production Design in a Television Production
Andy Harkness, "Prep and Landing" -- Walt Disney Animation Studios

Production Design in a Feature Production

Tadahiro Uesugi, "Coraline -- Laika

Storyboarding in a Television Production
Robert Koo, "Merry Madagascar" -- DreamWorks Animation

Storyboarding in a Feature Production
Tom Owens, "Monsters vs. Aliens" -- DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in a Television Production
Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob), "SpongeBob SquarePants: Truth or Square" -- Nickelodeon

Voice Acting in a Feature Production
Jen Cody (voice of Charlotte ), "The Princess and the Frog" -- Walt Disney Animation Studios

Writing in a Television Production
Daniel Chun, "The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XX" -- Gracie Films

Writing in a Feature Production
Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" -- 20th Century Fox