Happy Feet ends Oscar drought

Australian director George Miller has won the best animation Oscar for his penguin musical Happy Feet, breaking a drought after three nominations in 14 years.

Australian director George Miller has won the best animation Oscar for his penguin musical Happy Feet, breaking a drought after three nominations in 14 years.

"Oh gosh," a shocked Miller said as he walked on stage at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood to collect his Oscar.

"I asked my kids what should I say. They said 'Thank all the men for wearing penguin suits.'

"They gave me a lucky coin, a lucky penguin, but my real good luck was to work with hundreds and hundreds of amazing people, a wonderful cast, great artists, computer whizzes, a studio that were passionate, people who cut trailers, dubbed the movie, got it into the theatres and on their behalf I thank the Academy for this.

"Thank you."

The win broke Miller's Oscar drought.

He has been nominated for Oscars three times before.

The first time was in 1993 for writing the screenplay for the drama Lorenzo's Oil, starring Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte, but he went home empty-handed.

In 1996 Miller's barnyard fantasy film, Babe, was nominated for the best picture and screenplay Oscar nominations, but he failed to win either.

The Happy Feet Oscar win is also a monumental victory for the Australian film industry.

Happy Feet was made at Sydney's Fox Studios with a largely Australian crew of more than 500 and used the voices of Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Steve Irwin and other Hollywood stars, including Robin Williams and Elijah Wood.

Animal Logic, the Australian special effects house based at Fox Studios, built an animation studio from scratch to make Happy Feet.

Bookmakers did not believe Happy Feet could win.

The overwhelming favourite for the animation Oscar was Cars, the blockbuster made by San Francisco-based, Disney-owned animation house Pixar, which had won two of the previous three Oscars for The Incredibles and Finding Nemo.

The other animated feature film nominee was Sony's Monster House.
Source: AAP

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