Disney is marking Winnie the Pooh's 80th anniversary in 2005/2006 with an 18-month celebration to be commemorated with new Winnie the Pooh entertainment from Disney Live!, Buena Vista Home Ent. and Walt Disney Records; special edition product from Disney Consumer Products; and international support in all major regions leading to the 2007 premiere of Disney Channel's learning-focused 3D-animated series for preschoolers, MY FRIENDS TIGGER AND POOH. Winnie the Pooh's 80th Anniversary kicked off this week with the New York premiere of DISNEY LIVE!
The government of the U.K. announced a new tax credit system this week designed to support the British film industry, which was applauded by the UK Film Council. In the Pre-Budget report, the Chancellor of the Exchequer confirmed the new rate of tax relief for low budget films (films budgeted up to £20 million) would be a net 20%. For big budget films (£20 million and above), the rate will be a net 16%. Both rates apply to the U.K. spend of a films budget, capped at 80%.
Fortitude Ent. Group and Mumbai-based animation company Maya Ent. have joined forces to form Fortitude Maya, reports VARIETY. The company will combine a host of computer animation talent for cost-efficient features and television projects.
To help those who were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Blue Sky Studios is hosting an auction of original concept art from their two recent films ICE AGE and ROBOTS. The auction will be held through eBay, and all of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Red Cross or the American Humane Society. The auction will run from Dec. 9-19, 2005. For more information, visit www.blueskystudios.com/auctions.
Animation production is one the rise in Mindanao, Philippines with a recent increase in outsourcing to the country and the growing pool of highly-skilled information and communication technology (ICT) workers, an animation advocacy group told the SUNSTAR.
In her presentation at the 4th Mindanao ICT Congress, Ma. Lourdes Gopalan, board member and education committee head of the Animation Council of the Philippines Inc. (ACPI), said that based on current trends, demand for animation services from the Philippines would grow further.
March Ent., the company behind the animated series CHILLY BEACH, announced it will hire 50 more people in the immediate future, reports NorthernLife.com.
Dan Hawes, president of March Ent., says the offices in downtown Sudbury, Canada will house more than 100 employees in the new year to tackle new animation projects that have attracted international attention.
Fuji Television Network and Production IG have partnered on a jointly owned digital post-production studio, reports VARIETY. Opening its doors in January, Fuji IG Laboratory for Movies, aka FILM, will work on animation, live-action and, in conjunction with Skywalker Sound, sound design.
"This is our second endeavor in feature animation following the production of BRAVE STORY, Fuji TV's first animated feature," said Chihiro Kameyama, head of Fuji TV's motion picture department.
A group of seasoned gaming veterans have formed Hyboreal Games as a new development studio on Nov. 28, 2005. Hyboreal Games was founded by Eric Sexton, Michio Okamura and Steven Woo, all industry veterans and former developers for Blizzard North, where their contributions were essential to the success of the highly acclaimed DIABLO franchise, which has sold well over 13 million copies worldwide. The Hyboreal Games mission is to make best-selling game franchises by applying the proven formula of mass accessibility, addictive game play and longevity through re-playability.
The Algoma, Canada city council will look into the feasibility of building an adjacent Animation Centre to the Art Gallery Of Algoma, reports LTV.com. Gallery curator, Michael Burtch has championed the idea of a gallery of donated animation cels worth several million dollars from several cartoon series including SUPER DAVE OSBORNE and other successful Canadian productions. A study conducted in March said that a center of sufficient size and scale could draw tourists to the city. Councilor Steve Butland has put forth a resolution to create a task force to help develop a plan for the center.
Cisco Systems Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Scientific-Atlanta Inc. Scientific-Atlanta is a leading global provider of set-top boxes, end-to-end video distribution networks and video system integration. The combined entity creates a world-class universal digital communicator for watching video, making phone calls and shopping online.
Paramount Pictures has entered into a three-year first look deal with SOUTH PARK creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, setting them up as ceos of their new company Trunity. Trunity, a Mediar company, a division of True Mediar, a Unity Corpbopoly, will be based on the Paramount lot.
Tonronto-based companies Comet Ent. Inc. & BBI Computers Telecommunications have signed a joint venture for the development of several business opportunities including:
* Distribution of Olympic licensed products for the upcoming Olympic games.* Distribution and promotion of sports events merchandise.* Promotion of Olympic athletes.* Promotion of Greek participation in AMERICAS CUP.* Marketing campaign for the promotion of the Greek Film industry.* Creation and development of the animation industry in Greece.
Is the animation industry in Australian on its last legs? In a report on SMH.com, the head of Walt Disney Co.'s Australian operations thinks this may be the case with the closing of DisneyToon Studios Australia (DTSA).
However, DTSA gm Philip Oakes is bit more positive. He plans to launch a new animation house in Sydney.
Walt Disney Television Animation (DTVA) has been folded into Disney Channel Worldwide with a corresponding new departmental structure for the division. Rich Ross, president, Disney Channel Worldwide, made the announcement today, (Nov. 15, 2005) on the heels of the resignation of Barry Blumberg, former president, Walt Disney Television Animation, yesterday.
Look Effects, the Hollywood-based visual effects company whose credits include THE LIFE AQUATIC, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, INTO THE BLUE, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE and CSI: NY, is expanding and relocating to state-of-the-art facilities inside Hollywoods historic El Capitan Theatre: 6834 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 300 Hollywood, California, 90028.
Christie Digital Systems now has a competitor, as Thomsons Services division has reached digital cinema usage agreements with DreamWorks, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. to accelerate the deployment of digital cinema systems in North America. In addition, the company is in late stage negotiations with Twentieth Century Fox, New Line Cinema, and The Weinstein Co., and expects these studios to be part of the initial deployment.
China and South Korea have signed an agreement to help each other promote and develop China's Changsha Cartoon Art Festival (CCAF) and the Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival (SICAF) into the largest animation festivals in China and South Korea, according to CHINA KNOWLEDGE PRESS.
The agreement was signed Nov. 10, 2005, at the fourth Changsha Cartoon Art Festival (CCAF) in Hunan province.
The NBC Universal Entertainment Associate Program is now accepting new candidates for the 2006 class that offers career development opportunities for external and internal applicants interested in creative entertainment programming.
Jeff Zucker, president, NBC Universal Television Group, said, "We are extremely proud of the Entertainment Associate Program and the top creative executives it has produced throughout the years and we look forward to recruiting talented future programmers for our 2006 class of Entertainment Associates."
Artist-owned-and-operated Brickyard VFX announced the launch of a CG division, extending the companys on-site visual effects capabilities to include character modeling, animation and rendering in full 3D. The move, which includes the hiring of industry talents Jay Lichtman, Robert Sethi and Yafei Wu, is already allowing the bi-coastal effects studio to complete more and different types of client work.
Sony Pictures Ent. (SPE) has created a new department, Corporate Alliances, to maximize collaboration with other Sony groups.
Toshino Yuhaku has been named vp, Corporate Alliances. Yuhaku is an 11-year Sony vet with experience in Sony offices in Japan and America. Yuhaku will report to Beth Berke, evp/cao for SPE, who announced the departments creation.
The move reflects SPEs support of the initiative recently presented by Sir Howard Stringer, Sony Corp. chairman/ceo, called Sony United.
IDT Ent. today (Nov. 3, 2005) agreed to acquire a major Australian-based independent distributor of theatrical, video and DVD product, Imagine Ent. This increases Imagines offerings with the assets of IDT Ent.s home entertainment subsidiary, Anchor Bay, an established leader in the field that boasts an expansive selection of theatrical films, television series and childrens and fitness titles.
Faced with a revenue slowdown and budget tightening, Warner Bros. Ent. plans to layoff 400 employees companywide in Burbank, 250 of which were notified on Wednesday, VARIETY reports. There are currently 4,550 employed at the Burbank studio.
Each of the studios four divisions is affected: Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group, Warner Bros. Television Group and Warner Bros. Consumer Products in addition to the studios new specialty division, Warner Independent Pictures, which was slashed by 10%, including production head Michael Andreen.
Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Co. and Comcast Corp. announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to sell Susquehanna Communications (SusCom), the cable television and broadband services division of Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff, to Comcast. Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff announced earlier this year that it would sell the business, citing changes in corporate and family circumstances.
Universal Pictures became the third major movie studio to support digital distribution with Christie/AIX, following similar agreements with Twentieth Century Fox and The Walt Disney Co.s Buena Vista Pictures.
Universal will make its future feature films available to the DCI-compliant digital projection systems deployed by Christie/AIX, the subsidiary of Access Integrated Technologies Inc. (AccessIT), which is launching a nationwide rollout of 4,000 systems. Christie/AIX expects to install the first 150 systems in multiple exhibitor locations by Dec. 31.
Leaders from Asian countries gathered for a high-level seminar which opened Oct. 28, 2005, in Tokyo to enhance Asia-wide cooperation to produce animated movies, games and other cultural products, reports KYODO NEWS. Ministers from Japan, China, South Korea, India and the 10 members of the Assoc. of Southeast Asian Nations are gathered to recognize the importance of movies and animation produced and widely circulated in the region.