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).
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)