Although "Cars" didn't gather the most laurels, it did drive off with top honors at the 34th annual Annie Awards.
The Disney/Pixar film about enjoying life's journey was named the best animated feature by ASIFA-Hollywood on Sunday, Feb. 12 in Glendale's Alex Theater. "Cars," which beat out "Happy Feet," "Monster House" and "Open Season" for the honor, also snagged the best feature music award for Randy Newman's score.
It was "Flushed Away," however, that took home the most awards, five total, for Ian McKellen as the voice of Toad, animated effects, feature character animation, feature production design and feature writing. Nipping its heels was another DreamWorks product, "Over the Hedge," with its three prizes for feature directing, character design and storyboarding.
On the small screen, Cartoon Network was the big winner with "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" receiving awards for best animated TV production, music and production design, while "The Life & Times of Juniper Lee" won for character design. "Avatar's" directing and character animation combined with the storyboarding on "The X" gave Nickelodeon three wins.
The Disney Channel had one win for Eartha Kitt's voice acting on "The Emperor's New School," while on home video, "Bambi II" was named the best. FOX's "The Simpsons" took home the award for best writing.
The Winsor McCay career achievement awards went to shorts director Bill Plympton, Genndy Tartakovsky ("Dexter's Laboratory," "The Powerpuff Girls") and animator Andreas Deja ("The Little Mermaid," "The Lion King"), while Stephen Worth got the June Foray award for benevolent contributions to the art and industry of animation.
So far, the Annie winner for best animated feature has lined up with the subsequent Oscar winner in the same category, which bodes well for "Cars" going up against "Happy Feet" and "Monster House" at the Academy Awards.