'WALL-E' Blanked at Annie Awards as 'Kung Fu Panda' Takes Home 11

Photo: DreamWorks Animation

WALL•E is the certain frontrunner to win the Oscar Best Animated Feature at the 2009 Oscars as it competes with DreamWorks's Kung Fu Panda and Disney's Bolt for the award, but on Friday night at the 36th annual Annie Awards WALL•E's name was nowhere to be found when looking at the winner's circle. Instead Kung Fu Panda took home eleven Annie Awards including Best Animated Feature and all the way down to Best Animated Video Game. Outside of that, it's DVD counterpart Secrets of the Furious Five won four more Annie's for DreamWorks Animation.

I would love to tell you there is more to the story, but it was an absolute domination. I don't think this changes anything in terms of the Oscar race as WALL•E remains the likely winner, but it certainly adds a little more flavor to a rather weird award season.

The winners are featured below and you can look at the list of nominees right here.


Animated Feature
Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks Animation

Animated Home Entertainment Production
Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs, The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Animated Short Subject
Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, Aardman Animations Ltd.

Animated Television Commercial
United Airlines Heart, Duck Studios

Animated Television Production
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II, ShadowMachine

Animated Television Production Produced for Children
Avatar: The Last Airbender, Nickelodeon

Animated Video Game
Kung Fu Panda, Activision


Animated Effects
Li-Ming Lawrence Lee Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Feature Production
James Baxter Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks Animation

Character Animation in a Television Production or Short Form
Pierre Perifel Secrets of the Furious Five, DreamWorks Animation

Character Design in an Animated Feature Production
Nico Marlet, Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks Animation

Character Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Nico Marlet, Secrets of the Furious Five, DreamWorks Animation

Directing in an Animated Feature Production
John Stevenson & Mark Osborne, Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks Animation

Directing in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Joaquim Dos Santos, Avatar: The Last Airbender: Sozin’s Comet Pt. 3, Nickelodeon

Music in an Animated Feature Production
Hans Zimmer & John Powell, Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks Animation

Music in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Henry Jackman, Hans Zimmer & John Powell, Secrets of the Furious Five, DreamWorks Animation

Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
Tang Heng, Kung Fu Panda – DreamWorks Animation

Production Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Tang Heng, Secrets of the Furious Five, DreamWorks Animation

Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production
Jen Yuh Nelson, Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks Animation

Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Chris Williams, Glago’s Guest, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Dustin Hoffman, Voice of Shifu, Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks Animation

Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Ahmed Best, Voice of Jar Jar Binks, Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II, ShadowMachine

Writing in an Animated Feature Production
Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger, Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks Animation

Writing in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
Tom Root, Douglas Goldstein, Hugh Davidson, Mike Fasolo, Seth Green, Dan Milano, Matthew Senreich, Kevin Shinick, Zeb Wells, Breckin Meyer, Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II, ShadowMachine

  • Scott

    Wow, not only does it not win best animated feature, it doesn't win a damn thing. I can't lie, this definitely made me smile.

  • USC film 04

    The annie awards are a sham. It's surprise both Wall-E and Waltz with Bashir were shut out, Dreamworks was one of the top sponsors. This doesn't change a thing come Oscar night. All Dreamworks did was buy their way into the only Awards it can win.


  • Shawn

    I agree, it doesn't change a thing. I looked up annieawards.org and Dreamworks was indeed a higher sponsor. I guess that explains it all.

  • Janus

    Look at their official webpage ANNIEAWARDS.ORG, it will pretty much explain why both Wall-E and even Waltz With Bashir (the highest acclaimed animation of the year) were shut out. Way to go buying your way into the podium dreamworks.

  • Malcolm

    The most highly acclaimed animation in recent memory, one that has swept every animated award to date, one that also won a handful of actual Best Picture awards, one that was nominated for 6 Oscars in 6 different categories and made a serious run towards being a best picture nominee (which would've come to fruition imho had it not been for inherent genre-biases among many Oscar Voters), was SHUT OUT? Not to mention Waltz With Bashir which outside of the film describe above was the 2nd most highly acclaimed animation of the year was also SHUT OUT? Say hello to your new friend Annie Awards, his name is irrelevance.

  • Justin

    I guess Pixar should've opened up their pockets some more so they can be a "gold sponsor" rather than being a mere "silver sponsor"

  • Jeremy

    This doesn't change a thing. Wall-E's oscar along with Ledgers sup. win are pretty much the only sure bets come Oscar nite.

  • Chad

    I'm not one to subscribe to the theory that "awards can be bought", but this particular awards show lends strong argument to the contrary. For Wall-E to be shut out, I repeat, SHUT OUT of anything is flat out criminal. The technical accomplishments of Ben Burt, Thomas Newman, etc.. were all ignored, as if they and the film as a whole never existed?

    In the end it's ok, I don't think Pixar is losing sleep over this. We all know who will win the Oscars, and I do believe that the dreamworks people are resigned to just being "happy to be there" for the coronation.

  • Daryl

    Has anyone viewed the criteria for these awards? I saw both KP and Wall-E (twice) with my kids. Half of KP lingered exhaustingly on one fight/action sequence after another. With its overemphasis on speed-zooms, flying characters, and flat characterization, I thought I was watching anime on steroids. This was at best an up-and-comer formula flick that even lulled one of my kids to sleep. Wall-E contains an original script about a hero far more unlikely and likeable than the panda. And, imagine this, takes the time to allow its non-human lead to both comically and seriously expose his personified vulnerabilities. At the same time, the film prophetically does the same for a culture fattening up on catastrophic consumerism---much of it now haunted by the idea of being homeless. This film speaks to the consciousness of young and old, egg-head and blue-collar. How it is not a Best Film candidate, I don't know.

  • Neil

    I don't doubt what most people are saying here has validity but at the same time I watched both films and the thing that struck me most was how Wall-E underwhelmed me and how Kung-fu Panda was fun. In other words the talk of both films and how they are this and that didn't live up to both the negative and positive hype. They are both good films but different. How you receive them is a matter of personal taste.

  • Chris

    I think it's awesome that someone finally got the balls to say Kung Fu Panda is better than Wall-E. I always thought it was better. Don't get me wrong, Wall-E is good, but highly overrated. I wouldn't even mind it beating Wall-E again at the Oscars, but I doubt that will happen.

  • Todd

    While Kung Fu Panda was good, it was pretty much another "routine" animated movie top to bottom. It may be the more kid-friendly animated film, but Wall-E by far IS the Better Film. Wall-E will still win The Animated Oscar (and a couple more awards on top of that), that's pretty much a given that I'm certain even Dreamworks Animation knows and has pretty much accepted.

  • Devean

    Reportedly, the majority of voters were affiliated with Dreamworks Animation. That says it all. KFP was fun and a solid film, but Wall-E is still the superior film and in no way is it overrated. It deserved all the honor and awards it has received so far, and it will deserve the awards it will undoubtedly receive come Oscar night.

  • Lee

    Wall-E and Bashir are both Superior to KFP. No knock on KFP, it was a good film-Dreamworks Animations' first in a long long time-but it is not in the same league as those two.

  • Roger

    Ridiculous and absurd. No need for me to get angry though, because like what the article pointed out, this does not change anything. Heck, even Slumdog Millionaire did NOT win every single best picture award by various film groups to this date. Wall-E will make that walk up the podium in a few weeks to accept his shiny Oscar.

  • Sallykie

    Way to lose all credibility, Biggest Sponsor Awards.

    At first, I thought this was a joke.

  • Jay Brooks

    ASIFA is 4000 animation professionals. Dreamworks can't buy the votes of 4000 professional animation artists who are notoriously independent minded and had to view clips of all nominees before voting. PANDA is simply a better film from an animation artist's point of view. Better directing, better design, better animation. Pixar is the "emperor's new clothes" of the animation world. The true experts have spoken. The rest of the audience should pay attention...

    • SIU

      Exactly, Jay! Thank you for throwing some knowledge on this board. Dreamworks is a sponsor, but that doesn't buy you votes. And no one stopped Pixar/Disney from being just as big sponsors. Panda was simply a better film from an artistic and animation point of view. And it had a lot of heart and a great story. WALL-E was incredibly overrated. Good solid Pixar film, but not nearly as exciting fun and technically achieved as Panda. The Oscars are also overrated. The actual best film rarely wins. All of these awards shows are really nothing more than popularity contests.

  • Cybele Anonymouse

    The Annie awards are voted on by members of ASIFA. You can buy membership for $50. DreamWorks buys each of it's 1200 employees a membership and requires that they vote for the Annies.

    DreamWorks also make sure to have as many as possible Chairs on the nomination committee - which explains why three DreamWorks artists were nomintated in the 'best animation' category and only two other studios received mention.

    The Annies will no longer reflect the true measure of industry excellence any more. The audience at the Awards ceremony was greatly saddened by the DreamWorks presence and manipulation of the once joyful event.

    Pixar showed up to be gracious - they already knew they were shut out.

    -An Insider

  • Jay Brooks

    ...sour grapes. You can't "force" people to vote - lol. When Pixar deserved the Annie, they got the Annie - last year being a case in point for "Ratatouille." Same 1200 Dreamworks members, same Dreamworks nomination chairs.

    Sorry: Pixar was in shock on Friday night: they showed up expecting to win. Lasseter accepted the McCay award because he expected to be in the middle of yet another Pixar sweep, instead of being bookended by Panda awards. Pixar folks were the only ones "saddened" by their loss. The reception went on very happily afterwards, thank you. I guess if it's not Pixar, then it's not a "true measure of industry excellence." Such self-delusion!

  • Jeremy

    Dreamworks won't be celebrating much after the Oscars

  • Jay Brooks

    LOL, LOL... Why all this obsession w. Dreamworks? I work in TV, but I just don't get the venom. I know people over there. They're the same as everywhere else in this biz. People there like the company. C'mon! PANDA's a good movie. They haven't won a best picture Annie since Shrek. Get over yourselves! Their success is everyone's success. It's the United States of Animation, after all. Did you guys all vote for McCain or what?