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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 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 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

Headline News Outlook 2000 For Acclaim

Acclaim Entertainment Inc., a leading worldwide developer, publisher and

mass marketer of software for use with interactive entertainment, reported

its results for the first quarter of fiscal 2000 ended November 30, 1999.

Net revenues for the quarter were $101.2 million, compared with $104.8

million in the first quarter of the prior year. Net earnings for the

quarter were $0.4 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, compared with net

earnings of $10.3 million or $0.16 per diluted share for the same period in

Headline News New Visual To Impact The Web

New Visual Entertainment, Inc., a 3D production company specializing in 3D

product development and distribution for special venue theaters, home

video, broadcast, and theatrical markets, has announced its completed

acquisition of Impact Pictures, Inc., a small San Diego-based multi-media

production house specializing in Web animation, streaming media and

high-end CD-ROM corporate presentations, in a stock for stock transaction.

New Visual plans to utilize the creative hardware and staffing assets of

Headline News Disney's Imagine Finds New Home At Fox

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 19, 2000 at 12:00am

Imagine Television, the makers of THE PJS, is leaving Disney for its new

home at Fox. The three-year collaboration between the small screen arm of

production house Imagine Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television will

take effect at the end of April 2000. Worth up to $30 million, the deal

also includes a two-year option extension. Imagine TV had been based at

Walt Disney Television since it was formed in 1997 by Imagine Entertainment

Headline News Disney Channel With A Latin Touch

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 19, 2000 at 12:00am

On Friday, January 14, 2000, Walt Disney International-Latin America

announced the launch of the Disney Channel Latin America and an exclusive

satellite television distribution agreement with Galaxy Latin America, LLC

for DIRECTV service in Spanish-speaking Latin America. "Launching the

Disney Channel in Latin America in 2000 is an exciting initiative for the

Walt Disney Company," said Diego Lerner, president and managing director,

WDI-Latin America. "As we have in other parts of the world, we will now

Headline News Mill Film & Magic Camera Morph Into One

In December 1999, Mill Film announced that they united operations with

sister company Magic Camera. The combination will create a formidable

start-to-finish London-based feature film facility mixing Mill's visual

effects talent and technical strengths with the digital effects, miniature

construction and photography of Magic Camera and Magic Models. Antony Hunt

will serve as managing director of Mill Film and will take charge of day to

day operations of the combined companies. Hunt has been at the helm of

Headline News Santiago Studios In Search Of U.S. Co-Prod.

Several animation studios in Santiago, Chile, including Arce Studios, EMU

Ltd., ROOS Film S.A., and Trimedia S.A. have formed a partnership to

promote the animation business in Santiago. The partners are looking for

co-producers and/or investors for their products. Alvaro Arce, President of

Arce Studios, worked in the animation industry in the United States for

many years at Hanna-Barbera, The Walt Disney Company, and others. Alvaro

has several original series currently in development. Arce Studios is now

Headline News AOL & Time Warner Merge Into New Media Giant

On Monday, January 10, 2000, America On-line, the leader in on-line

services, has announced their acquisition of Time Warner, the world's

largest media and entertainment company. Valued at approximately US$180

billion, the stock for stock merger is what will be the biggest corporate

merger ever. America On-line's chairman and chief executive, Steve Case

will serve as chairman of the merged company entitled AOL Time Warner. AOL

and Time Warner will each name half of the board of directors of the new

Headline News Holland's ComicHouse Moves Into The Wild

Over the holiday break Holland-based ComicHouse started its move to a new

home. After spending fifteen years in Amsterdam, the animation house has

taken root in Holland's largest nature reserve "DeVeluwe." The new base of

operations will give ComicHouse the needed workspace and client

accessibility that was lacking in the confines of the city. The company

will re-open again in Ooserbeek on January 10, 2000. For more information

contact ComicHouse at: Stationsweg 20, 6861 EH Oosterbeek, The Netherlands;

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