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Headline News

Cookie Jar Ent. Closes DIC Transaction

Cookie Jar Ent. has closed its previously-announced merger transaction with DIC Ent. Effective immediately, DIC will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cookie Jar.

Stockholders on Monday voted to approve the $87.6 million deal.

Cookie Jar and American Greetings also announced that all litigation involving DIC, the licensing agreement between American Greetings and DIC for STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, and Cookie Jar's acquisition of DIC has been dismissed.

Television Headline News

Entertainment One Expands

Entertainment One has acquired three television content suppliers: Blueprint Ent., Barna-Alper Productions, Maximum Films and Oasis International.

As a result, Blueprint is now part of a public company trading on the AIM exchange in the U.K. and operating as a fully integrated film and television production and distribution company with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, London, Holland and Belgium.

Headline News

House Of Cool Studios Acquires Red Rover Studios

Toronto-based animation and commercial house Red Rover Studios has been acquired by House of Cool Studios, combining the two company's creative talent.

"We are very excited about the melding of the two creative teams," says House of Cool Co-owner Ricardo Curtis. "The majority of the artists who made Red Rover one of the leading CG commercial houses in the country, have joined forces with the designers, story artists, and directors from House of Cool, to make a Canadian animation studio, capable of everything from high end 3D commercials, to full length feature film."

Animation Headline News

MyToons Secures Venture Funding has completed its second round of funding led by Syncom Venture Partners and Barshop Ventures. The capital will be used to support MyToons' continued technology infrastructure development and revenue growth, as well as expanded global partnerships. Launched in spring of 2007, provides global content creators with a platform to promote and share their original animations, artwork, and games with animators, enthusiasts and fans world-wide.

Home Headline News

SMPTE To Establish 3-D Home Entertainment Task Force

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is establishing a task force to define the parameters of a stereoscopic 3-D mastering standard for content viewed in the home. Called 3-D Home Display Formats Task Force, the project promises to propel the 3-D home entertainment industry forward by setting the stage for a standard that will enable 3-D feature films and other programming to be played on all fixed devices in the home, no matter the delivery channel.

Headline News

Imagi Looks To Add More U.S. Investment

Imagi International Holdings, Limited has entered into an agreement with Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. whereby the bank will serve as Imagi's Principal American Liaison (PAL) on the International OTCQX, a U.S. listing service representing some of the best companies listed outside the United States.

Imagi's listing on the International OTCQX will enable the Hong Kong CG animation company to gain access to a currently untapped pool of U.S. investors.

Imagi's secondary listing on the International OTCQX is scheduled to become active in September.

Million Headline News

DIC Voting Today On Cookie Jar Merger

C21MEDIA reports that DIC Ent.'s stockholders met today to vote on the proposed merger with Canadian Cookie Jar Ent., which is worth $87.6 million.

The stockholder meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m. to discuss the proposed merger, which was first announced June 20.

DIC has suspended trading on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) pending the outcome of the meeting. If the shareholders approve the merger, it will be submitted to the Delaware secretary of state on or around July 21, with a withdrawal from AIM on July 23.

Studio Headline News

Foundation 9 Game Studios Rename, Refocus

Foundation 9 Ent. is clarifying the branding for its three Amaze Ent. studios. The move comes as a result of the company's studio-focused strategy to foster individuality and studio autonomy within the company.

The Austin, Texas, USA studio is reinstating its original name, Fizz Factor, and the handheld studio in Kirkland, Washington, USA is also reinstating its original name, Griptonite Games. The console studio in Kirkland will be keeping the Amaze Ent. name.

Media Headline News

Sale of EM Entertainment Unit To Belgian Studio 100 Completed

The sale of the entertainment unit of EM.Sport Media AG to Studio 100, a Belgian media company, was completed today.

The sale was approved by the antitrust authorities in charge, as well as the Bavarian Regulatory Authority for Commercial Broadcasting and the Commission on Concentration in the Media.

Production Headline News

VIZ Starts Production Company

Japanese manga and graphic novel publisher VIZ Media is starting a production company to create films from their catalogue, including NARUTO, BLEACH and DEATH NOTE.

Jason Hoffs, former production exec at Amblin and DreamWorks, will head up the company, based in Hollywood.

Japanese publishing houses Shogakukan, Shueisha and Hakusensha are the parent companies. Those three publish almost half of all manga that comes to the U.S.

Imax Headline News

IMAX To Install Four Theatres In Japan

IMAX Corporation and Tokyu Recreation, the owner of 109 Cinemas, one of Japan's largest exhibition chains, have entered into a joint venture agreement to install up to four IMAX theatres in Japan. The agreement marks IMAX's second international joint venture deal, as the Company aligns itself with top exhibitors worldwide with its new IMAX Digital theatre system. To date, IMAX has signed contracts for more than 180 IMAX Digital theatre systems, with approximately 50 expected to be installed by the end of 2008.

Motion Headline News

Perspective Studios Opens In Los Angeles

Perspective Studios, a leading creator of animation and motion capture for feature film, television, commercials and video games, announced Tuesday the opening of a West Coast studio in Santa Monica, California.

In a significant expansion for the company, which also has state-of-the-art motion capture and production facilities in New York, the new facility will provide top-quality 3-D animation and motion capture on the ground in Los Angeles and support Perspective Studios' rapidly expanding portfolio of clients, production attachments and original IP.

Visual Headline News

VES Publishes First White Paper

The Visual Effects Society (VES), the entertainment industry's only official organization representing the extended community of visual effects professionals, has published its first ever white paper, entitled "The State of Visual Effects in the Entertainment Industry."

Headline News

Vivendi and Activision Complete Transaction To Create Activision Blizzard

Vivendi and Activision have completed their transformation to create Activision Blizzard, which was first announced in December 2007.

Activision Blizzard was formed by combining Activision, one of the world's leading independent publishers of interactive entertainment, and Vivendi Games, Vivendi's interactive entertainment business, which includes Blizzard Ent.'s WORLD OF WARCRAFT, the world's #1 subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Activision Blizzard will continue to operate as a public company traded on Nasdaq under the ticker ATVI.

Digital Headline News

New Deal Studios Expands Digital Division

Award-winning New Deal Studios, best known for design and production of miniature and practical effects for feature films, has expanded the company's digital effects division, positioning itself as a full service visual effects studio.

New Deal provides clients with comprehensive visual effects services from design and pre-visualization through practical and digital effects production to a state-of-the art DI suite; making NDS one of the few studios in the world with this full range of capabilities.

Headline News

Game Maker Ubisoft Buys VFX Studio Hybride

Ubisoft has acquired Hybride Technologies, a Montreal-based vfx studio specializing in film, TV and advertising.

Created more than 15 years ago, Hybride employs 80 team members. The studio's many projects include such innovative films as 300, SIN CITY and the SPY KIDS series.

Dreamworks Headline News

Intel, DreamWorks Animation Form Alliance To Revolutionize 3-D Filmmaking

Intel Corporation and DreamWorks Animation have formed a strategic alliance aimed at revolutionizing 3-D filmmaking technology, beginning with MONSTERS VS. ALIENS, which is slated for a domestic release date of March 27, 2009. As previously announced, DreamWorks Animation has committed to producing all of its feature films in stereoscopic 3-D beginning next year.

The strategic alliance will take advantage of Intel's visual computing products and tools and DreamWorks Animation's expertise in content creation to advance the in-theater entertainment experience.

Media Headline News

New Investor Cashes In On Imagi

Animation studio Imagi International Holdings is selling $40 million in shares to Singapore-based Oxley Spring Media to fund their slate of films.

Imagi will use the money to complete their next full-length CG animated feature, ASTRO BOY, due out in 2009. Imagi's first feature, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, was released last year. The studio has branches in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Dreamworks Headline News

Spielberg, Reliance Still Talking

Representatives for Steven Spielberg and Indian conglomerate Reliance are continuing to speak daily about the terns of a proposed $1.5million deal that would create a privately-owned DreamWorks and produce some 30 films over the next five years, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Headline News

EM.Entertainment, Your Family Ent. End Distribution Co-Operation

EM.Entertainment and Your Family Ent., based in Munich, will end the distribution co-operation agreement they've had since March 2004 by mutual agreement on September 30, 2008.

Furthermore, the exclusivity granted to EM.Entertainment was nullified effective June 30, 2008. Therefore, the program portfolio is distributed on a non-exclusive basis by both EM.Entertainment and Your Family Ent. until the agreement expires on September 30.

Headline News

DIC/Cookie Jar Merger Looks To Move Ahead

Ohio district court judge Solomon Oliver has put a July 7 expiration date on American Greetings' temporary restraining order that has so far blocked the $87.6 million sale of DIC Ent. to Cookie Jar that was announced on June 20, according to KIDSCREEN DAILY.

The expiration should free any obstacles to the planned July 21 merger, which is subject to stockholder approval.

However, Oliver also set a preliminary injunction hearing date, based on American Greetings' action, for July 24 and 25.

Show Headline News

Deadline Hollywood: WGA Writers Pen Letter To Sit Down, Shut Up Scribes

Nikki Finke's DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY reprinted a letter on Tuesday evening from 19 WGA animation writers to the striking writers over at embattled Sony show SIT DOWN, SHUT UP:

"July 1, 2008To Our Fellow Writers,

Games Headline News

Creators And Founders Of Neopets Launch Meteor Games

Adam Powell and Donna Williams, the original creators and founders of the online social networking and gaming phenomenon NEOPETS, have launched Meteor Games, a new independent game studio based in West Hollywood, California.

Meteor Games is an innovative game development studio committed to creating interactive experiences that bridge the gaps between the engaging nature and broad appeal of web-based gaming, the community-focused elements of today's exploding social networks, and the fun and depth of traditional massively multiplayer online games.

Work Headline News

Not To Scale Signs With Yellow House Paris In A Dual Representation Deal

London-based animation studio Not To Scale has signed an exclusive dual representation deal with Yellow House Paris for them to represent most of their U.K. roster in France. National TV, Coan & Zorn, Ubik, Chris Ketchell and other Not To Scale directors will now be available for work locally in Paris.

Similarly, Not To Scale will have access to produce work with Yellow House's eclectic roster in the U.K. Adding the work of the surreal and enigmatic DouDouBoy and Laurent Bebin to the U.K. roster.