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Headline News 3Dlabs Grows German Office

3Dlabs, Inc., a professional graphics firm, has expanded its presence in

Europe with a new office near Frankfurt, Germany. 3Dlabs plans to use the

new branch as a base for expanding its market coverage in Central Europe,

one of the largest markets for its workstation graphics products. In turn,

3Dlabs announced the appointment of Frank Losch as country manager. Mr.

Losch brings many years of marketing and sales expertise to the new

position. "The ability to increase market penetration of Oxygen workstation

Headline News DEN Plays With $24M In Financing

The big kids at Digital Entertainment Network (DEN), a Gen-Y geared on-line

programmer, have received much-needed play money to the sum of US$24

million. The new round of financing includes investments from NBC, Chase

Capital Partners, Enron Broadband Services Inc. and Intel, among others.

Missing from this round of financing is former Warner Bros. chairman, Terry

Semel. However sources say he has separately invested $2 million in the

company. Santa Monica-based DEN has also restructured its management team,

Headline News Shareholders File Lawsuit Against CINAR

On Wednesday, February 23, 2000, CINAR Corp., the creator of the Emmy

Award-winning ARTHUR, had a lawsuit filed against the company alleging they

artificially inflated its financial results by lying about the use of

Canadian tax credits. As reported [AF 10/19/99], allegations surfaced last

fall that CINAR only pretended to use Canadian authors for its scripts in

order to obtain tax credits. Canadian officials are investigating but no

charges have been filed. The early rumors sent CINAR stock plummeting to

Headline News EA Acquires DreamWorks Interactive

Electronic Arts, one of the world's largest interactive entertainment

software companies, announced the acquisition of multimedia developer

DreamWorks Interactive, LLC. In terms of the deal, DreamWorks Interactive

will become a complete subsidiary of Electronic Arts. Financial terms were

not disclosed. Formed in March 1995 as a joint venture between Microsoft

and DreamWorks SKG, DreamWorks Interactive has produced such PlayStation

titles as LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK and MEDAL OF HONOR. Steven Spielberg,

Headline News Disney's Go A Sleeping Giant

On Tuesday, February 22, 2000, Disney chairman-CEO Michael Eisner made the

announcement: "With Go.com, I believe we are now the sleeping giant of the

Internet. Once streaming video is commonplace," he added, "Disney is ready

with a vast library and the ability to create new content." Added Go.com

chairman Steve Bornstein: "I see a time, in the next few years, or even

sooner, where nobody will talk about television or the Internet separately.

They will become one synergistic, fused media." In scheduled business,

Headline News German EM.TV Acquires The Muppets

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 23, 2000 at 12:00am

Munich-based EM.TV & Merchandising has acquired the Jim Henson Co. in a

cash and stock transaction valued at US$680 million. The German company now

owns the rights to the Muppets and Sesame Street characters. The purchase

gives EM.TV "some of the most powerful and enduring kids and family brands

worldwide and. . . access to the world's biggest and most important media

market," said Thomas Haffa, EM.TV CEO. "In addition, our investment in

Henson will give us a position in cable networks, which will open up new

Headline News Vivid Animation Stops Production

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 23, 2000 at 12:00am

Jeff Lotman, CEO of Vivid Animation and Virtual Celebrity Productions,

announced that the company has closed operations. "Vivid, which had just

completed its first commercial project, for MasterCard, will no longer

accept commercial projects," said Lotman who has decided to focus all of

his energies and resources on his two-year-old licensing and merchandising

company Global Icons. "Global Icons is growing faster than I had hoped and

the potential is so great that it demands all of my attention at this

Headline News AtomFilms Broadcasts USC Alumus' Films

On Tuesday, February 15, 2000, AtomFilms, a leader in next-generation

entertainment, announced that it has locked the first-ever, exclusive,

on-line distribution deal with the USC School of Cinema-Television to

broadcast student films from the illustrious film school's catalog. As part

of the deal, for the next 18 months, USC will provide AtomFilms with

exclusive on-line distribution rights to 100 student titles which includes

shorts from famed alumnus George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis. On February 15,

Headline News Fox Cuts 70% Of Its Animation Staff

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

After five years in existence, Fox Animation Studios is laying off nearly

70% of its Phoenix-based toon factory's staff. The restructuring of the

animation department will include more contract work outside the studio.

President of animation at Fox, Chris Meledandri said a foundation of 65-100

of the now 320 employees will remain, including, of course, studio staples

Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. Fox will continue to perform pre-production

work including storyboarding, character design, production design and

Headline News Mondo Media Musters Up $20M In Financing

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Mondo Media, a leading creator and distributor of serial-based animated

content, announced Monday, February 14, 2000 that it has secured $20

million in its second round of financing. The newest round was led by

Macromedia and Foundation Capital. Additional funding partners in the round

included Sofinnova Ventures, Red Rock Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and

Phoenix Growth Capital. Mondo Media also added new syndication partners

that include Excite@Home, AltaVista, AtomFilms and washingtonpost.com.

Headline News Disney Will Close Canadian Doors

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 16, 2000 at 12:00am

Rumored since last fall, Walt Disney Animation Canada Inc. announced

Monday, February 14, 2000 it will close the doors of its animation studios

in Canada by the spring. Opened in 1996, the Toronto and Vancouver branches

of Walt Disney were created to produce primarily direct-to-home video films

in connection with Walt Disney Television Animation. The company slowly

started winding down production last fall and will completely close around

Headline News French Ellipse & Expand Form New Euro TV Company

Expand Images and Ellipse Programme, France's two leading television

production companies, announced on February 10, 2000 plans to merge. The

new studio, entitled Expand, will have an approximate revenue for 2000 of

FRF1.4 billion (US$210.2 million). The deal will enable both parties to

increase their international content output for the expanding European

market. As part of the deal, CANAL+ Images and Finexpand signed an

agreement solidifying their relationship as shareholders in the new studio.

Headline News AtomFilms & Blockbuster To Partner

AtomFilms, a pioneer and leader in next-generation entertainment, announced

that it has entered into an agreement with Blockbuster, the global leader

in rentable home entertainment, for selected, syndicated, short-form,

digital content from AtomFilms to be video streamed on a co-branded section

of blockbuster.com. Beginning Spring 2000 and lasting for 2 years,

AtomFilms will provide both content and streaming-related technologies for

the short-form content component of the Blockbuster Web site. The

Headline News DreamWorks Acquires Pacific Data Images

Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder of DreamWorks, officially announced on

February 9, 2000 that his company has acquired the majority of interest,

approximately 80%, in Pacific Data Images (PDI). As reported [AF 2/8/00],

this deal comes on the heals of PDI founder and Chairman, Carl Rosendahl's

departure from the company to pursue "other creative interests." However,

Rosendahl will remains as a consultant for the newly named company,

PDI/DreamWorks. Katzenberg said that Palo Alto-based business will remain a

Headline News Entertaindom Forms New Deal With Pulse

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 9, 2000 at 12:00am

Time Warner's Entertaindom.com and Pulse Entertainment have formed a

strategic relationship to bring interactive animated entertainment to the

Web. The partnership includes content produced by Pulse Entertainment as

well as an investment by Entertaindom in Pulse. The cash and content deal

strengthens Entertaindom's ongoing alliance with Pulse Entertainment as

home to its Pulse Comix page and as a major content provider for

Entertaindom Web shows like MARVIN THE MARTIAN, DR. SCIENCE and FLOOPS.

Headline News Macromedia Gains Time4 Development

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 9, 2000 at 12:00am

Macromedia, Inc. announced its acquisition of Time4.com, a

Minneapolis-based Net application development firm. The privately-held

business, which created a Web-based reservation system, was acquired for an

undisclosed amount. Time4.com's president and chief executive officer

Douglas K. Olson will become vice president of engineering for the

Macromedia eBusiness Solutions Group. In his new role, Olson will lead the

development of Macromedia's eBusiness Infrastructure, one of the first

Headline News Pixar's 4th Quarter Flies To Infinity & Beyond

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 9, 2000 at 12:00am

On February 3, 2000, Pixar reported financial results for its fiscal fourth

quarter and year ending January 1, 2000. For the quarter, Pixar posted

record profits of US$9.6 million, or $0.19 per diluted share. These results

are compared to profits of $1.1 million, or $0.02 per diluted share,

achieved in the 4th quarter of 1998. Revenues for the quarter were $24.9

million, compared with $3.1 million a year-ago. For the year, Pixar held

profits of $49.2 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, compared with $7.8

Headline News Animation World Network Gets More Creative

Animation World Network is excited to announce that it has been acquired by

Creative Planet (www.creativeplanet.com), a network of business-to-business

Web sites for creative professionals. Dan Sarto, COO and co-founder of AWN

said, "This transaction will afford AWN the opportunity to continue its

aggressive growth strategy and sustained position as the leading Internet

site for the animation profession." AWN brings to Creative Planet its vast

Headline News Fox Kids Fires Up In Italy

In the spring, Fox Kids Europe will launch a local TV affiliate in Italy

and initiate a fully localized Web site to coincide. The new channel will

be distributed by cable and direct satellite to about 400,000 subscribers

via the Stream pay television system. The channel will broadcast entirely

in Italian 15 hours a day with such well-known shows as X-MEN, MIGHTY

MORPHAN POWER RANGERS and INSPECTOR GADGET. The scheduled launch date for

the new net will be April 1, 2000. Following the Italian launch, Fox Kids

Headline News Nick's Net Nozzle Closes

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 2, 2000 at 12:00am

Nickelodeon has recently closed the San Mateo branch of its on-line unit

announced Nick On-line Pres. Fred Seibert. The office had been doing

research and development for "Project Nozzle" -- a re-launch of Nick.com as

a children's Web portal. To help strengthen the re-launch Viacom, owners of

Nick, bought San Mateo-based Web development house Nvolve, which turned

into the now de-funked San Mateo branch of Nick.com. This decision comes on

the heals of the suspension of "Project Nozzle's" main component My

Headline News Funkmation Floats Into Brooklyn Navy Yard

Funkmation Studios, an animation house providing services for film,

television, CD-Rom and the Web, has floated into a new home in Brooklyn's

Navy Yard. The animation house will share the new space with New York

Studios' film and television sound stage. Funkmation's credits include:

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH CD-Rom; storyboard and background design on

COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG; Flash animation on Partner Re's screen savers;

and a 2D animation pilot with C&C Films entitled MAXIMUM BLACK. The new

Headline News Disney's Go.com Goes In A New Direction

On Thursday, January 27, 2000, Disney announced their decision to change

the direction of their Go.com from an all purpose portal and search engine

like AOL.com, Lycos and Yahoo! to strictly an entertainment and leisure

destination. This announcement comes on the same day as The U.S. Court of

Appeals for the Ninth Circuit repealed the stay [AF 12/7/99] on a previous

injunction that bans the use of Go.com's green and yellow traffic light

logo. Disney was given the stay to allow them the chance to remove the logo

Headline News CINAR Settles Wimzie Lawsuit

CINAR Corporation, makers of ARTHUR and THE BUSY WORLD OF RICHARD SCARRY,

have settled the lawsuit filed last year against them by the Jim Henson

Company. The lawsuit claimed that CINAR's WIMZIE'S HOUSE features puppets

that violate Jim Henson's copyright and trademark rights on their puppets.

In the settlement, CINAR and its licensees Eden LLC and Carson-Dellose

Publishing Company denied and continue to deny wrongdoing or liability for

infringement. The agreement, the terms of which are confidential, allows

Headline News "Independent" Disney's First Quarter Results

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 26, 2000 at 12:00am

The Walt Disney Company has announced its financial results for its

operations excluding its Internet business, GO.com. Disney pro forma

diluted earnings per share excluding GO.com were $0.25 for the quarter

ended December 31, 1999, a 9% increase over the prior year. Disney revenues

increased 5% to $6.8 billion and operating income increased 8% to $1.1

billion. Excluding the retained interest in GO.com, net income increased 7%

to $515 million. Broadcasting results for the quarter were driven up by

Headline News digitalcharactergroup Celebrates First Anniversary

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 26, 2000 at 12:00am

SOUTH PARK producer David Niles White and SPACE JAM's producer Ron Tippe

are celebrating the first year anniversary of their digital animation

house, digitalcharactergroup. Previously White was the vice president of

digital animation at Film Roman. Working in the industry for over 20 years,

White has designed the multi-media projects that have brought Mattel's

Barbie to life and played a key role in bringing SOUTH PARK to the small

screen. The 27-year industry vet, Tippe, produced Disney's Academy

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