39th Annual Annie Awards Pit Pixar Against DreamWorks Once Again
The nominations for the 39th annual Annie Awards, which recognize excellence in animation, were released today and perennial combatants Disney/Pixar and DreamWorks are once again butting heads as "Cars 2" and "Kung Fu Panda 2" are battling Paramount's "Rango" in the Best Animated Feature category.
Other strong contenders for the top prize include Steven Spielberg's "Tintin," Aardman's "Arthur Christmas," Blue Sky's "Rio" and the DreamWorks hit "Puss in Boots," while small studio films "A Cat in Paris," "Arrugas," "Chico & Rita" round out the field.
But it's the nomination of "Kung Fu Panda 2" that is likely to give animation fans flashbacks of the most unpleasant variety, as the Annie Awards have yet to fully recover from the controversy surrounding their 2009 awards. That year, "Kung Fu Panda" won an astonishing ten awards, while Pixar's "Wall-E" -- which many critics deemed one of the greatest achievements in animation history and which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature -- was completely shut out, leading to widespread accusations of voter fraud and ballot stuffing and prompting Disney/Pixar to boycott last year's awards in protest.
This year, Disney/Pixar has returned to the fold following a number of changes to the voting procedures. Ironically, though, both companies may be shut out, as "Cars 2" is generally considered to be Pixar's weakest effort yet, a belief further bolstered by the fact that "Rango" won the National Board of Review's Best Animated Feature award last week.
Still, "Kung Fu Panda" landed the most nominations with 12, while "Rango" and "Puss in Boots" earned nine each and "Rio" earned eight. Disney's "Winnie the pooh," meanwhile, earned eight nominations overall despite being snubbed in the Best Animated Feature category, which is more nominations than top contenders "Cars 2" (seven), "Arthur Christmas" (six) or "Tintin" (five).
A full list of nominees in all 29 competitive categories can be read on the official Annie Awards website. The 39th annual Annie Awards are scheduled to be presented on February 4.
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