A scene from "Ratatouille."

LOS ANGELES — Rats, bees, ogres and penguins are among the stars of the 12 movies competing for the top animation prize at the 80th Academy Awards.

Contenders for the feature-length animation Oscar announced Thursday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences include the rodent story "Rata-touille," the bug tale "Bee Movie," the ogre sequel "Shrek the Third" and the penguin comedy "Surf's Up."

Also in the running are "The Simpsons Movie," "Beowulf," "Alvin and the Chipmunks," "Meet the Robinsons," "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters," "TMNT," "Tekkonkinkreet" and "Persepolis."

A committee of academy members will pick three nominees, which will be announced on Jan. 22. The entire academy membership will be eligible to vote on the winner for the Feb. 24 Oscars.