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February 4, 2014 | By Jessica Gelt
Like the Seattle Seahawks, Animal Planet scored a massive victory on Super Bowl Sunday when "Puppy Bowl X" racked up a record 13.5 million viewers to become the No. 1 telecast in all of cable. The adorable show, which pits pound pups against each other in a furry-tastic game of faux-football, was also the most tweeted "Puppy Bowl" ever, generating more than 340,000 Tweets and trending on Facebook for much of the day. Its social media dominance extended to Instagram as an estimated 150,000 #PuppyBowl pictures were submitted to the network's inaugural "live Instagram integration," which featured viewers and their pets live on air. PHOTOS: Animal Planet's 'Puppy Bowl X' Ratings no doubt received a significant boost thanks to the star power on hand, which included President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with First Dogs Bo and Sunny, as well as Ricky Gervais, Rob Lowe, Lindsey Vonn, Pam Grier and Sean Astin.
February 1, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
The 15 short films nominated for Oscars each year, five in each category - live action, animation and documentary - usually feel completely untethered to their longer siblings. But this year, the shorts, like the longs, are a serious, substantial bunch, with a great many international contenders among them. Oh, a little cheek slips in here and there. In "Get a Horse," director Lauren MacMullan takes a satirical swipe at the animation form itself by waging a 3-D-versus-2-D, color-versus-black-and-white debate with a little help from Mickey Mouse.
February 1, 2014 | By Susan King
Walt Disney Animation Studio's box office blockbuster "Frozen" won the 41st Annie Award for animated flm Saturday evening at a ceremony at UCLA's Royce Hall. The film, which is nominated for an Oscar for animated feature, also won the honors for directing for Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee; music for Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez and Christophe Beck; production design; and voice acting for Josh Gad as Olaf. DreamWorks Animation's "The Croods" earned trophies for animated effects in an animated feature, character animation and character design.
January 31, 2014 | By Charles Solomon
Legendary Japanese animator Katsuhiro Otomo is known around the world for his work, particularly his groundbreaking cyberpunk action feature "Akira. " But Otomo doesn't spend time watching his own films. "The truth is, I don't read or watch my own creations," Otomo says. "When I'm creating something, I'm 100% immersed in that universe, so when I'm finished, I'm ready to journey to a different world. Once a work is completed, it belongs to the readers and viewers. " One of the most influential artists working in animation today, Otomo will receive the Winsor McCay Award for career achievement at the Annie Awards on Saturday.
January 30, 2014 | By Glenn Whipp
"Searching for Sugar Man," the absorbing investigation into the whereabouts of an elusive '70s singer-songwriter, won the Academy Award for feature documentary last year. It was the first time that the entire body of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences could vote on the category. In previous years, academy members had to attend special screenings of all five nominated documentaries, signing in at the theater in order to prove they were present. Did the feel-good "Sugar Man" win because it was the best documentary - or because it was the most publicized and thus the movie that the majority of academy members saw?
January 30, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
The five Academy Award nominees for animated short film this year split up into two disparate groups: happy meal and white tablecloth. Originally shown with the Disney feature film "Frozen," "Get a Horse!" is the best known and most seen of the bunch. As with "Saving Mr. Banks," Disney has mined its archives to bring us a 3-D meta update of 1920s Mickey Mouse cartoons. It's a blend of folly and nostalgia that won a nomination over "The Blue Umbrella," the whimsical Pixar short that ran before "Monsters University.
January 30, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A teenage boy and more than 100 animals - including rabbits, dogs, chickens, sheep and cows - were taken from the home of a Mendocino County woman who is expected to be charged with several counts of animal cruelty and neglect, authorities said. Patrice Elizabeth Phillips, 59, was arrested Tuesday on her property south of Ukiah in Northern California when she resisted as authorities tried to serve a search warrant, Mendocino County sheriff's officials told the Press Democrat . Authorities said animal control officers have been dealing with problems at the home for about a month.
January 30, 2014 | By Susan King
Animator Floyd Norman vividly recalled the first time he encountered Walt Disney. In early 1956, Norman was one of a few young animators hired for a one-month tryout at the Disney studio in Burbank. A few weeks into its training, the group was told to report to a screening room on the third floor of the Animation Building. Because the room was occupied, they had to wait in the hallway. "We saw this figure step out into the hallway moving toward us," Norman said. "As the figure moved closer, we suddenly realized - oh, my God - it was Walt Disney.
January 20, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
A fire and structural collapse at an animal feed processing plant killed some people and injured at least 10 workers, four critically, the Omaha fire chief said Monday.  Officials had said earlier that the fire at the International Nutrition plant may have been precipitated by an explosion. But at a televised afternoon news conference, interim fire chief Bernie Kanger said it was unclear whether there had been a blast.  “We are classifying this as an industrial accident that led to a structural fire,” he said.
January 16, 2014 | By Annlee Ellingson
Winter is coming to Oakton, the fictional city circa 1959 at the center of the new 3-D animated film "The Nut Job. " Unfortunately, the critters who occupy Liberty Park haven't been able to store enough food to survive the season. That's of no concern to the aptly named Surly (Will Arnett), a purplish squirrel who looks out for only himself. When Surly discovers a stash of snacks in a closed nut shop, he makes a deal with peacekeeper Andie (Katherine Heigl) to share the loot with the rest of the park.
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