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ACADEMY AWARDS: And the Oscars go to…

With no clear cut winners, the 77th Annual Academy Awards presented more than a few surprises this year, dishing out awards to a very varied selection of movies, though when it came to animation, most will be pleased to hear that Brad Bird’s The Incredibles won the Best Animated Feature gong, while the acclaimed Ryan took Best Animated Short. Check out some of the “thank-yous” and other big wins here:

Best Animated Feature: The Incredibles

Accepting the award, director Brad Bird thanked the “holy trinity of Pixar: my good friend, John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs for making the greatest studio on the face of the earth”, adding praise for “producer John Walker, and Dick Cook, and the great Disney marketing team”. Bird said: “I don’t know what’s more frightening, being watched by millions of people or the hundreds of people that are going to be annoyed with me tomorrow for not mentioning them tonight. You know, animation is about creating the illusion of life. And you can’t create it if you don’t have one. So, I want to thank my wonderful crew for the creation. And I want to thank my mom, my dad, my wife Liz, and my kids Jack, Michael and Nick, for giving me my life. I love you. And thank you”.

Best Animated Short: Ryan

Director Chris Landreth said that “I am here tonight because of the grace and humility of one guy watching from Montreal. Ryan Larkin, I dedicate this award to you”. He also mentioned Steve Hoban and Mark Smith for Copper Heart Entertainment who were, he said “with me from the very beginning”. The National Film Board of Canada’s Marcy Page also received thanks, with Landreth describing them as “visionaries in Canadian filmmaking” and going on to praise The Canada Council for the Arts, Seneca College Dave Baas, his crew and “darling Jody”. He finished up with words for the Academy in their “continuing to support short filmmaking in all its forms. I cannot tell you how cool that is”.

Best Sound Editing: The Incredibles

Picking up the award, sound designer Randy Thom made a point of saying that “certain Academy Awards like Sound, Visual Effects and Editing are sometimes referred to as technical awards. They’re not technical awards. They’re given for artistic decisions. And sometimes we make them better than others, and I guess we made a couple of good ones on this one”. He thanked director Bird, his team at Skywalker Sound, as well as “Lisa and Austin, this is for you”. Co-award winner Michael Silvers added “I’d like to share this with my superheroes, the sound editing crew. Lois, Rebecca, Emma and Bonnie, I love you. Thank you, everybody”.

Other Awards

Not a very memorable year for animation-related awards, other prizes went to John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara and John Frazier for Spider-Man 2‘s Visual Effects, Valli O’Reilly and Bill Corso’s Make Up for Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Charlie Kaufman for his Screenplay (from a story by Kaufman, Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth) for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, and to Jan AP Kaczmarek for his lyrical Score to Finding Neverland.

Often associated with animated films, this year’s Best Song was another surprise, winning instead for Al Otro Lado Del Rio from The Motorcycle Diaries, while more surprises were in store with a trio of big awards: though Jamie Foxx took away the expected Best Actor gong for Ray, it was Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby which swept Best Actress (Hilary Swank), Director (Eastwood) and Best Picture, meaning that, once again, Martin Scorsese walks away empty handed, despite being the popular choice and his film The Aviator picking up a number of earlier awards in the ceremony.

Host Chris Rock was tamed enough to keep proceedings moving along nicely, if a little flatly, and his trademark risque humor only touched near the mark once or twice in the show. With some twists and turns, though oddly no real suspense or any memorable speeches, it wasn’t an Oscar telecast that will go down in history, but rather an enjoyable enough show that, as with the movies it helped promote, was slickly produced and hit all the right buttons.

For a full list of winners, plus video clips and red carpet photos, check out the official {{link http://www.oscar.com Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences}} website.

Join us in our own {{link http://animatedviews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2755#2755 Animated News Forum}} to post on what you thought of this year’s awards. And we’ll see you right here next year!

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Shrek joins Charlie Chaplin in the opening montage.

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Edna Mode and Pierce Bronson present for Best Costume Design.

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