‘Kung Fu Panda 2,’ ‘Puss in Boots’ and ‘Rango’ lead Annie Awards nominations

One Dreamworks Animation feature — “Kung Fu Panda 2” — leads with 12 nominations for the 39th annual edition of the Annie Awards while another — “Puss in Boots” — is tied with Paramount’s “Rango” with nine nods. All three are in the running for Best Animated Feature which has been expanded to 10 nominees. 

After last year’s withdrawal from the process by Pixar and Disney, their films are back in formal contention. Pixar’s “Cars 2” received eight nominations, including a Best Animated Feature bid, while Disney’s “Winnie the Pooh” is up for seven awards though it was snubbed in the top race. 

The other three studio nominees for Best Animated Feature are Amblin’s “The Adventures of Tintin,”  Sony’s “Arthur Christmas” and “Rio” from Blue Sky Studios with the European films “Arrugas,” “A Cat in Paris”  and “Chico & Rita” rounding out the field.  

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“Happy Feet 2” was completely shut out. Back in 2006, “Happy Feet” won the Oscar after losing the Annie to “Cars.” Three years ago,  “Kung Fu Panda” won 10 Annies while Pixar’s eventual Oscar champ “Wall-E” was shut out.

Last year, Dreamworks’ “How to Train Your Dragon” — which led with 15 nominations — was the big winner, taking 10 races, including the top one. Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” and  Disney’s “Tangled” received no recognition from these awards. Between them, these two high-profile pictures had managed only five write-in nominations, all of which they lost. 

Winners will be revealed on Feb. 4, 2012, during a ceremony at UCLA’s Royce Hall, in Los Angeles.

See the full list of nominations here

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