It's 'toon time at Golden Globes.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the folks behind the Oscar-previewing award show, have announced plans to add a Best Animated Feature Film category beginning with next year's ceremony.

"Animated features have become an important component of the studio lineup, so there was an overwhelming consensus that this new category be added," Philip Berk, the HFPA's president, said in a statement.

To be eligible for the Globe, animated flicks must be feature length--that is, 70 minutes or longer--and comprise no more than 25 percent live action. If fewer than eight 'toons qualify in a given year, then the category will not be implemented, a policy similar to the one instituted in 2002 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

If a dearth of cartoon features fails to trigger the category, animated movies can still score nominations in the Globes' Best Picture, Musical or Comedy category. Such films as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and Shrek made the cut in that higher-profile category, with both Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story 2 winning.

Most recently, Disney-Pixar's Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004) earned nods for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy. While neither took home the Globe, both went on to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

With the addition of the animated category, the total number of competitive Golden Globes awarded annually will be 25. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association also bestows the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement, which this year went to Anthony Hopkins.

The Globe announcement came as nominations were announced for the 78th Annual Academy Awards. Up for Best Animated Feature: Aardman Animation's Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and the Japanese animé entry, Howl's Moving Castle. Left on the sidelines were the 'toon hits Madagascar Chicken Little and Robots.

The Oscars air live on ABC Mar. 5.

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