Rango” wins with flying colors at Annie Awards

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Gore Verbinski’s chameleon West­ern “Rango” crawled off with four wins — includ­ing best fea­ture — Sat­ur­day night at the 39th annual Annie Awards.

The Oscar-nominated Paramount/Nickelodeon release also gar­nered hard­ware for writ­ing (John Logan, Verbin­ski and James Byrkit), edit­ing (Craig Wood) and char­ac­ter design (Mark “Crash” McCreery).

Nick­elodeon had the most wins of any stu­dio with seven, fol­lowed by Dis­ney with six and Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion with five.

The Dis­ney spe­cial Prep & Land­ing: Naughty vs. Nice tied with Rango for the most Annies. It won among tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions for char­ac­ter ani­ma­tion (Tony Smeed), char­ac­ter design (Bill Schwab), music (Grace Pot­ter and Michael Giacchino) and sto­ry­board­ing (Brian Kesinger).

Mean­while, the Annie for direct­ing in a fea­ture pro­duc­tion went to Jen­nifer Yuh Nel­son for DWA’s Kung Fu Panda 2, an Acad­emy Award nom­i­nee for best ani­mated fea­ture. This marked the first time since 2007 that a fea­ture direct­ing award didn’t go to the direc­tor of the win­ner for best fea­ture. That year, Tim John­son and Karey Kirk­patrick won for best direc­tors for DWA’s Over the Hedge, while the win­ner for best fea­ture was Pixar’s Cars, directed by John Lasseter.

Kung Fu Panda 2 picked up a sec­ond Annie for pro­duc­tion design (Ray­mond Zilbach).

Another Oscar nom­i­nee for ani­mated fea­ture film, Amblin’s The Adven­tures of Tintin, won Annie Awards for music (John Williams) and ani­mated effects in an ani­mated pro­duc­tion (Kevin Romond).

The three other Oscar nom­i­nees for ani­mated fea­ture, Puss in Boots, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita, were left with­out a sin­gle win.

Among other fea­ture films, Rio won for char­ac­ter ani­ma­tion (Jeff Gabor), Win­nie the Pooh for sto­ry­board­ing (Jeremy Spears) and Bill Nighy as Grand­santa in Sony/Aardman’s Arthur Christ­mas for voice acting.

Gra­cie Films’ peren­nial The Simp­sons received three Annies, includ­ing its 13th for best gen­eral audi­ence TV pro­duc­tion. This marked its first win in the cat­e­gory since 2003, the last of 12 con­tin­u­ous wins since 1992. The Simp­sons also won for direct­ing (Matthew Nas­tuk) and writ­ing (Car­olyn Omine, “Tree­house of Hor­ror XXII”).

The Pen­guins of Mada­gas­car (Nick­elodeon and Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion) received two tele­vi­sion awards: voice act­ing (Jeff Ben­nett as Kowal­ski) and edit­ing Ted Machold, Jeff Adams, Doug Tiano and Bob Tomlin).

Juried awards went to Walt Pere­goy, Borge Ring and the late Ronald Searle (Win­sor McCay Award); Art Leonardi (June Foray Award); and Depth Analy­sis (Spe­cial Achievement).

Other win­ners at Sat­ur­day night’s Annies:

Best Ani­mated Spe­cial Pro­duc­tion: Kung Fu Panda — Secrets of the Mas­ters (Nick­elodeon and Dream­Works Animation)

Best Ani­mated Short Sub­ject: Adam and Dog (Minkyu Lee)

Best Ani­mated Tele­vi­sion Com­mer­cial: Twin­ings “Sea” (Psyop)

Best Ani­mated Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­tion — Preschool: Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates (Dis­ney Tele­vi­sion Animation)

Best Ani­mated Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­tion — Chil­dren: The Amaz­ing World of Gum­ball (Car­toon Net­work in Asso­ci­a­tion with Dan­de­lion Stu­dios, Boul­der Media & Stu­dio Soi)

Best Ani­mated Videogame: “Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet ” (Shadow Planet Prods., Gagne/Fuelcell)

Ani­mated Effects in a Live-Action Pro­duc­tion: Flo­rent Andorra — Trans­form­ers: Dark of the Moon (Indus­trial Light & Magic)

Char­ac­ter Ani­ma­tion in a Live-Action Pro­duc­tion: Eric Reynolds — Rise of the Planet of the Apes (20th Cen­tury Fox)

Pro­duc­tion Design in a Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­tion: Mark Bod­nar, Chris Tsir­gi­o­tis, Sue Mondt and Daniel Elson — Secret Moun­tain Fort Awe­some (Car­toon Net­work Studios)

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