'Cars' moves into the driver's seat

Times Staff Writer

If history repeats itself, whoever takes home the most coveted Annie will also wind up with an Oscar.

So even though the Academy Award nominations don't arrive until Jan. 23, a possible preview came Monday with the International Animated Film Society's nominations for best animated feature of 2006.

Leading the pack for the Annie Awards for film, television and home video animation was DreamWorks Animation SKG, with 17 nods for two features, "Flushed Away" and "Over the Hedge."

But Disney-Pixar's "Cars" was the biggest film nominee. The sentimental story of a cocky race car who winds up stuck in a Route 66 town filled with eccentric individuals garnered nine nominations, including best animated feature and best director for John Lasseter, who helped put Pixar on the map when he directed "Toy Story."

"Flushed Away," the story of an uptown rat who gets flushed down the toilet from his penthouse apartment, ending in the sewers of London, earned eight film nominations, including voice acting for Ian McKellen. It also got a nomination as best animated video game, a category unrelated to the movie.

Also nominated for the top animated feature were "Monster House" and "Open Season" from Sony Pictures, "Happy Feet" from Warner Bros., and "Over the Hedge," the animated version of the comic strip.

"Over the Hedge" earned eight nominations, including best animated feature and voice acting for Wanda Sykes.

The winner of the best feature Annie has claimed the Oscar for animated feature every year since the Academy Award for animation was created in 2002.

The society will present the 34th annual awards on Feb. 11 in Glendale.

The nominees:

Animated feature: "Cars," "Happy Feet," "Monster House," "Open Season," "Over the Hedge."

Home entertainment production: "Bambi II" (DisneyToon Studios); "The Adventures of Brer Rabbit" (Universal Animation Studios); "Winnie the Pooh: Shapes & Sizes" (DisneyToon Studios).

Animated short subject: "Adventure Time" (Nickelodeon); "Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot" (Thunderbean Animation); "No Time for Nuts" (Blue Sky Studios); "Weird Al Yankovic: 'Don't Download This Song' " (Acme Filmworks).

Animated television commercial: "Candy Factory" (Kachen/Screen Novelties); "ESPN 'Believe' " (Laika/house); "Hilton 'Dancing Couple' " (Acme Filmworks); "St. Louis Zoo 'Giraffe' " (Z Animation); "United Airlines 'Dragon' " (DUCK Studios).

Animated television production: "Charlie and Lola" (Tiger Aspect Productions); "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" (Cartoon Network Studios); "King of the Hill" (20th Century Fox TV); "The Fairly OddParents" (Nickelodeon); "Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!" (Film Roman, a Starz Media Co.).

Best animated video game: "Flushed Away the Game" (D3 Publisher of America Inc.); "Monster House" (THQ Inc.); "SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature From the Krusty Krab" (THQ Inc.).

Animated effects: Scott Cegielski, "Flushed Away"; Keith Klohn, "Cars"; David Stephens, "Open Season"; Erdem Taylan, "Cars"; John David Thornton, "Ice Age: The Meltdown."

Character animation in a feature production: Line Andersen, "Flushed Away"; Carlos Baena, "Cars"; Gabe Hordos, "Flushed Away"; Bobby Podesta, "Cars"; Kristof Serrand, "Over the Hedge."

Character animation in a television production: Joshua Jennings, "Moral Orel"; Eileen Kohlhepp, "Family Guy"; Sihanouk Mariona, "Robot Chicken"; Yu Jae Myung, "Avatar" ("The Blind Bandit").

Character design in an animated feature production: Peter DeSeve, "Ice Age: The Meltdown"; Carter Goodrich, "Open Season"; Nicolas Marlet, "Over the Hedge."

Character design in an animated television production: Ben Balistreri, "Danny Phantom" ("King Tuck"); Mike Kunkel, "The Life & Times of Juniper Lee" ("Party Monsters"); Carlos Ramos, "The X's" ("Homebody"); Eric Robles, "The X's" ("You Only Sneeze Twice").

Directing in an animated feature production: David Bowers & Sam Fell, "Flushed Away"; Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick, "Over the Hedge"; Gil Kenan, "Monster House"; John Lasseter, "Cars"; Carlos Saldanha, "Ice Age: The Meltdown."

Directing in an animated television production: Shaun Cashman, "The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy" ("Hill Billy"); Craig McCracken, "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" ("Bus the Two of Us"); Guy Vasilovich, "Growing Up Creepie" ("The Tell-Tale Poem"); Giancarlo Volpe, "Avatar" ("The Drill").

Music in an animated feature production: John Debney, "The Ant Bully"; Gordon Goodwin, "Bah Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas"; Laura Karpman, "A Monkey's Tale"; Randy Newman, "Cars"; John Powell, "Ice Age: The Meltdown."

Music in an animated television production: Brad Benedict, Mark Fontana & Erik Godal, "Squirrel Boy" ("A Line in the Sandwich"); John King, "Shorty McShorts' Shorts" ("Boyz on Da Run Part 1"); Steve Marston, "Jakers!" ("The Gift"); James L. Venable & Jennifer Kes Remington, "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" ("One False Movie").

Production Design in an animated feature production: William Cone, "Cars"; Andy Harkness, "Open Season"; Michael Humphries, "Open Season"; Paul Shardlow, "Over the Hedge"; Pierre-Olivier Vincent, "Flushed Away."

Production design in an animated television production: Martin Ansolabehere, "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" ("Good Wilt Hunting"); Alan Bodner, "The Life and Times of Juniper Lee" ("Water We Fighting For"); Bob Boyle, "Wow! Wow! Wubbzy" ("Tale of Tails"); Dan Krall, "My Gym Partner's a Monkey" ("Grub Drive"); Sue Mondt, "Camp Lazlo" ("Hard Days Samson").

Storyboarding in an animated feature production: Thom Enriquez, "Over the Hedge"; William H. Frake III, "Ice Age: The Meltdown"; Gary Graham "Over the Hedge"; Kris Pearn, "Open Season"; Simon Wells, "Flushed Away."

Storyboarding in an animated television production: Troy Adomitis, "American Dragon: Jake Long" ("Breakout"); Ben Balistreri, "Danny Phantom" ("Urban Jungle"); Li Hong, "The X's" ("You Only Sneeze Twice"); Shaut Nigoghossian, "Danny Phantom" ("Reality Trip"); Adam Van Wyk, "Hellboy" ("Sword of Storms").

Voice acting in an animated feature production: Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Monster House"; Sam Lerner, "Monster House"; Spencer Locke, "Monster House"; Ian McKellen, "Flushed Away"; Wanda Sykes, "Over the Hedge."

Voice acting in an animated television production: Keith Ferguson, "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" ("Squeeze the Day"); Eartha Kitt, "The Emperor's New School" ("Kuzclone"); Mila Kunis, "Family Guy" ("Barely Legal"); Russi Taylor, "Jakers!" ("Mi Galeon"); Patrick Warburton, "The Emperor's New School" ("Kuzclone").

Writing in an animated feature production: Rich Burns, "Brother Bear 2"; Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais and Chris Lloyd & Joe Keenan and Will Davies, "Flushed Away"; Dan Harman, Rob Schrab & Pamela Pettler, "Monster House"; Dan Fogelman, "Cars"; George Miller, John Collee, Judy Morris & Warren Coleman, "Happy Feet."

Writing in an animated television production: Kirker Butler, "Family Guy" ("Barely Legal"); Ian Maxtone-Graham "The Simpsons" ("The Seemingly Neverending Story"); Tom Sheppard, "My Gym Partner's a Monkey" ("Nice Moustache"); Dan Veber, "American Dad" ("American Dad Afterschool Special"); John Viener, "Family Guy" ("The Griffin Family History").



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