LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda” fought off stiff competition to earn 16 nominations -- the most for a feature -- for the International Animated Film Society’s 36th Annual Annie Awards.
That includes a nomination for best animated feature, a category in which it is competing with Pixar Animation Studios’ “WALL-E” -- considered the front-runner for the Oscar -- which earned seven nominations. “Panda” and “WALL-E” also earned one additional nomination each in the best video-game competition.
The top category is rounded out by nominations for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Bolt,” a 3-D release that earned five nominations; Sony Pictures Classics’ “Waltz With Bashir,” Israel’s award-winning documentary, which took four nominations; and Sherman Pictures/Lama Films’ “$9.99,” a stop-motion title that earned two nominations.
Blue Sky Studios’ “Dr. Suess’ Horton Hear a Who,” a Fox release, also had a strong showing with five nominations.
All of these features are short-listed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for this season’s animated feature Oscar competition.
DreamWorks Animation earned a total of 27 nominations. Those for “Panda” included direction, animated effects, character design, music and writing. The film’s total of 16 nominations encompasses double and triple mentions in the fields of character animation, production design, storyboarding and voice acting.
Nickelodeon leads the pack in the television categories with 12 nominations, including two for best animated television production produced for children: “Avatar:The Last Airbender” and “The Mighty B!”
Nominees for best animated television production are “Phineas and Ferb” (Disney Television Animation), “The Simpsons” (Gracie Films/Fox TV), “King of the Hill” (20th Century Fox TV) and “Moral Orel” and “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II,” both from ShadowMachine.
During the awards ceremony, Mike Judge, John Lasseter and Nick Park will receive Winsor McCay honors for career contributions to the art of animation; Bill Turner will be recognized with the June Foray Award for significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation; and Amir Avini, Mike Fontanelli, Kathy Turner and Alex Vassilev will receive certificates of merit.
The Annie Awards will be presented January 30 at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles.