By Dave Karger
February 08, 2010 at 04:50 PM EST

I’m intrigued by the results of this weekend’s Annie Awards honoring the top animated films of the year. Up took home the two biggest prizes, for Best Animated Feature and Best Director, which was certainly to be expected. But it’s interesting to note that two other entries topped Up in overall wins with three: The Princess and the Frog (Animated Effects, Character Animation, and Voice Acting) and Coraline (Character Design, Music, and Production Design). Meanwhile, Fantastic Mr. Fox won the writing award.

Given that Up, Princess, Coraline, and Fox are all also nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar (along with surprise nominee The Secret of Kells), does this mean that this year’s Academy contest is actually closer than we think? I’m not so sure. It’s true that in the last two years, the Annies were dominated by one film (Ratatouille won 9 of the 10 feature-film categories two years ago, while Kung Fu Panda swept all 10 last year). But the Academy does seem to have a Pixar bent as of late: The company won the Oscar four out of the last six years, including last year, when WALL*E scored the trophy after going 0 for 7 at the Annies. Though the animation community was more divided this year, I fully expect the Academy (which nominated Up for Best Picture, after all) to hand Pixar its fifth win.

Image credit: Disney/Pixar