Disney's 36th animated feature, "Mulan," is released on video on February 2 at $26.99. It will receive a simultaneous release in Disney's Spanish-language collection, Disney En Espanol. As a special bonus, the video will feature an exclusive five-minute behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney Pictures' upcoming animated film, "Tarzan." DreamWorks will release "Antz" on home video on February 9 only four months after its theatrical release at $26.98.
San Francisco-based (Colossal) Pictures collaborated with Blockbuster Video to create two Christmas-themed spots promoting the new Holiday GiftCards at the national U.S. video chain. The 15- and 30-second spots update Santa Claus for the 21st century utilizing an "anime" style complete with a "super heroic" Santa, ultra-modern cybor-reindeer and a futuristic cityscape. The ad's talented crew consisted of creative director/designer Mike Smith, director George Evelyn, animation director Chuck Gammage, and was created by the Doner agency in Detroit.
Bandai's AnimeVillage.com is the first video releasing company in the US that enables consumers to purchase Japanese animation directly through the Internet. The site also features the latest animation news from Japan, real-time chats, games, message boards, and contests. AnimeVillage.com's initial release slate includes the "Gundam" series and "The Vision of Escaflowne" with plans to expand their library up to 200 titles by the end of 1999.
* Friday, October 9 - Sunday, October 11. Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Anime Weekend Atlanta, the largest Japanese animation event in the Southeast U.S., takes place at the Marriott North-Central Hotel. Scheduled guests include Amy Howard, the voice of Nova on Star Blazers; George Lowe, the voice of Space Ghost and C. Martin Croker, the voice of Zorak and Moltar, from Cartoon Planet; Tim Eldred, artist and animator and Steve Bennett and Kuni Kimura from Studio Ironcat. For information visit www.anime.net/~awa/.
* Friday, October 2 - Sunday, October 4. Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.A.
The Neko-Con anime convention takes place at the Holiday Executive Center. Guests of honor include director Hiroki Hayashi ("Bubblegum Crisis"). For information visit www.eskimo.com/~nekocon/.
* Saturday, October 3 - Sunday, October 4. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The third annual Teen Comic Art & Animation Festival takes place at the Los Angeles Public Library in downtown L.A. Saturday's events include workshops, portfolio reviews and company presentations. Sunday is "Anime day" with screenings of Japanese animation from 1 to 5 p.m. For information call (213) 228-7510.
* Friday, September 18 -Sunday, September 20. Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.A.
Anime Iowa, a convention for fans of Japanese animation, takes place at the Radisson Highlander Inn. For information visit http://omocha.shc.uiowa.edu/animeiowa.
Fall is upon us, and so is the season of many video releases. Following is a list of upcoming U.S. video releases of Japanese anime films. A.D.V. Films and their label Urban Vision will release "Tekkamen Blade II - Stage 3: Final Encounter" (9/22/98), "Dark Warrior" (10/06/98), "MAPS 1 & 2" (10/06/98), "Dark Warrior - First Strike" (10/06/98), "Cutey Honey Volume 2" (10/13/98), "Delinquent in Drag" (10/20/98), "Ruin Explorers 2" (10/27/98) and "Slayers: Dragon Slave!" (11/10/98).