Chris Williams, raised in Kitchener, wins Oscar for Big Hero 6

Kitchener-raised director Chris Williams has won the Oscar for best animated feature for Big Hero 6.

Craig Mann, also from Ontario, wins sound mixing Academy Award

Roy Conli, from left, Don Hall, and Chris Williams accept the award for best animated feature film for Big Hero 6 at the Oscars on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (John Shearer/Invision/The Associated Press)

Kitchener-raised director Chris Williams has won the Oscar for best animated feature for Big Hero 6.

The animator collected the trophy along with co-director Don Hall and producer Roy Conli.

It was the second Oscar nomination for Williams, who also earned a nod for his directorial debut on the 2008 film Bolt.

Williams faced competition from two other Canucks: Dean DeBlois of Aylmer, Que., the director of the boy-and-his-dragon sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Graham Annable of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., co-director of the intricate stop motion film The Boxtrolls.

All three studied at Sheridan College in Oakville, but did not cross paths until later in their careers.

Williams says he met DeBlois roughly 20 years ago when both worked at Disney, and they became fast friends.

"For both of us it's very strange and surreal and kind of funny that we are competing in this category. I was just in his wedding party a few months ago ... we watched the Super Bowl together," Williams said last week.

It was the second Oscar nomination for Williams, who also earned a nod for his directorial debut on the 2008 film Bolt.

Williams said his second run at Oscar was even more exciting than the first.

"It seems even bigger this time — there are more events, there's more press, seemingly more coverage this time around than even what I experienced five years ago, which even at the time was pretty overwhelming."

Canadian sound mixer Craig Mann won for his work on intense drumming film Whiplash. The 38-year-old claimed the sound mixing Academy Award along with co-nominees Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley.

"Thank you Academy for this honour. We're thrilled to be here," Mann said as he clutched the gold statue, turning his attention to the film's director, Damien Chazelle, in the audience.

"Under extremely difficult conditions you showed us the meaning of leadership and under that leadership a creative collaboration blossomed. And that creativity is really what helps us do our job, so thank you."

They beat out teams from the films American Sniper, Birdman, Intersteller and Unbroken.

Mann was born in Oakville, Ont., and raised in the Toronto-area cities of Pickering and Burlington.

Now L.A.-based, Mann spent years assisting the industry's top sound mixers in Canada and the United States before deciding to become a mixer himself years ago.

Mann and his colleagues collected a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award earlier this year, when he expressed surprise at the film's success.

"It's frankly kind of a miracle that this is getting the recognition that it's getting."

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