Oscars: 'Kung Fu Panda 2,' 'Rango' among films vying for animation prize
Two movies from DreamWorks Animation -- "Kung Fu Panda 2" and "Puss in Boots"-- topped the list of nominees in the animated feature category at the 84th Academy Awards.
Those films will compete for the Oscar against Paramount's "Rango," the Gore Verbinski-directed tale of a lizard (voiced by Johnny Depp) who becomes a sheriff in an Old West town, and the international entries "Chico & Rita" and "A Cat in Paris." The latter two nominees unseated favorites "The Adventures of Tintin" and Pixar's "Cars 2" for nominations in the category.
Verbinski, a director who typically works in live action, made a fan of Depp in his handling of the animated production that won over critics and moviegoers last year. "Gore amazed me right away with his technical ability," Depp told The Envelope last fall. "He knows cinema backwards and forward and he’s completely unafraid. When I saw ‘Rango’ I was pretty stupefied -- it was unlike anything I had ever seen before.”
The Oscars will be handed out Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. ABC will broadcast the ceremony, and Billy Crystal will host.
-- Gina McIntyre and Geoff Boucher
Photo: A scene from "Kung Fu Panda 2." Credit: DreamWorks Animation