How to Train Your Dragon, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet
Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich (WINNER)
The challenge here isn't to pick the winner Toy Story 3, last year's top-grossing movie and a Best Picture nominee to boot but to write enough words so the text goes around the picture. Because not enough animated features were released last year, the category has only three finalists instead of last year's five. Too bad, Tangled; quel dommage, Despicable Me. The animators, who often cast a wide net, nominated a nearly wordless foreign art film, The Illusionist, along with DreamWorks' Dragon. But on Sunday night, their directors will be in the same spot as other animators the past three years, when Ratatouille, WALL-E and Up won this prize. They'll applaud sportingly as one of John Lasseter's lads picks up another gold-plated toy. There, that should cover it.