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Parties and panels to pay tribute to Oscars' past & present

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Parties and panels to pay tribute to Oscars' past & present

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So how did the directors of "Toy Story 3" and "How to Train Your Dragon" react to their respective films being nominated for the Academy Award in the Animated Feature Film category?

Leave it to Lee Unkrich to use his moment in the spotlight to  acknowledge the competition as well as pay tribute to the other feature-length cartoon that he wished had received some love from Oscar voters.

In an interview with Lane Brown for New York Magazine, Unkrich said:

Copyright Sony Pictures Classic. All rights reserved

I was disappointed that Tangled didn't get nominated for Best Animated Film. But it was a ruthless category this year, because there were only three slots. My disappointment is really more that we didn't have five spots. Tangled absolutely deserved to be there. But I'm happy for The Illusionist. It's a beautiful film.

As to where he got the news that "Toy Story 3" had also received a Best Picture nod, Lee admitted that ...

I was in bed with my wife and my 13-year-old daughter climbed in with us and we all watched the announcement, with our hearts pounding. It was pretty amazing.

Lee Unkrich at Pixar Animation Studios. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

Speaking of getting Oscar news in unusual places, Dean DeBlois (i.e. the co-director / co-writer of "How to Train Your Dragon") learned about this DreamWorks Animation release's nomination while he was literally on the road.

"What an honor it is to be nominated for an Academy Award!  I'm actually on my way to the Van Nuys immigration and naturalization office for a biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment.   I'm looking at the Oscar nom as a good sign!  Maybe they'll let me stick around and become a citizen now!"

As for Dean's collaborator on "Dragon," Chris Sanders ... Well, Chris wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary when he got the news. But - that said - Sanders was still thrilled to hear that Oscar voters thought that this DWA production was worthy of recognition.

(L to R) Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois at the world premiere of "How to Train Your
Dragon." Copyright DreamWorks Animation LLC. All rights reserved

"To be nominated in the animated feature film category is is an unbelievable thrill and honor.  I honestly couldn't sleep last night in anticipation of the announcement.  When I was a kid I watched the Oscars with my grandmother - we never missed a broadcast.  I could never have imagined that as a kid growing up in Colorado I would have a chance to be a part of this amazing thing.   DreamWorks gave us a place where we were free to create and pushed us to never ever stop short of the best we could do."

By the way, if you'd like to hear directly from DeBlois, Sanders and Unkrich about what it was like to work on these Oscar-nominated animated features, then you should definitely make plans to be in Beverly Hills, CA on Thursday, February 24th. Where noted author & animation historian Tom Sito will be hosting this year's Oscar-Nominated Animated Features Symposium. Schedules permitting, Dean, Chris and Lee are expected to be onstage in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater that evening to discuss "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Toy Story 3" 's development. Not to mention screening clips from each film.

(L to R) John Musker, Henry Selick, Pete Docter, Tomm Moore & Ron Clements, the 2009
nominees who took part in last year's Oscar-Nominated Features Symposium.
Copyright The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. All rights reserved

Now please keep in mind that seats are expected to go fast for this Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences event. So if you'd really like to attend this year's Oscar-Nominated Animated Features Symposium, you'd best swing on over to www.oscars.org today and purchase your tickets ASAP.

And speaking of Oscar-related events that are expected to sell out ... On February 20th, The Walt Disney Family Museum will be rolling out the red carpet for "Reel Glamorous with Jan Wahl."

At this one-night-only event, guests will gather in WDFM's Special Exhibition Hall. Where - as you sip on wine from Silverado Vineyards and nibble on gourmet nibblies from Wolfgang Puck Catering - you'll get to hear KRON's entertainment reporter talk about the history of the Academy Awards.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

I mean, where else can you spend an evening with fellow movie fans in a room where clips from Disney Academy Award-winners from "Flowers and Trees" straight through to "Mary Poppins" are being screened while you get to dine on Disney-themed cuisine.

"What sort of Disney-themed cuisine?," you ask. Well, to help celebrate "Three Little Pigs," you can sample some pork sliders and slaw. And if you're a "20,000 Leagues" fan, you can channel your inner Captain Nemo by netting some shrimp cocktail. And if you're a sucker for "Snow White," you can pay tribute to "The Fairest One of All" by dining on some apple salad. Which (hopefully) won't be poisoned.

Speaking of "Snow White" ... As you're making your way into "Reel Glamorous with Jan Wahl," be sure to swing into the Walt Disney Family Museum first and check out that Special Award for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" that Shirley Temple presented to Walt back in February of 1939.

Walt Disney and Shirley Temple at the 11th Academy Awards ceremony. Copyright
the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. All rights reserved

Even though tickets to this Academy Award-themed event are pretty pricey (i.e. $60 for adults, $40 for children ages 17 and under) and this party isn't come-as-you-are (attendees are being encouraged to wear elegant  outfits), "Reel Glamorous" is expected to go clean quickly. So if you'd like to actually attend this Oscar celebration, you'd best head on over to the Walt Disney Family Museum website today and make some reservations today.

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  • I love the special Snow White Oscar. Or shall I say: Oscar's. I've had the privledge of seeing it numerous times both at the WDFM and at Disneyland. If you haven't seen it, all I can say is, photos don't do it justice. If you haven't seen it, then deffinately do when you can. The "fairest one of all" truly has the fairest Oscar of all.

  • I think it's pretty much a given that the Oscar for Best Animated Feature will go to Toy Story 3. I mean, if it's nominated as Best Picture while the other two were not, it's pretty much a guarantee.

  • Party like a rockstar?  WHY?  You feel terrible the next day, love your perspective

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