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Headline News

AtomFilms to Launch Digital Cable Channel

AtomTelevision, a new joint venture between Internet short film provider AtomFilms and Global Media Holdings, has announced it will launch a digital network in early 2003 using its extensive library of short films and animation titles. As part of AtomTelevision's debut, the company is announcing the launch of its VOD (video-on-demand) initiative, Atom on Demand.

Disney Headline News

Disney Earnings Down; Warnings On Fourth Quarter Revenue

Despite the strong box office performance of recent hits LILO & STITCH and THE ROOKIE, The Walt Disney Company has reported lower than expected earnings for the quarter and nine months ended June 30, 2002. Referencing the downturn in the international and domestic travel and tourism industry as well as the economy as a whole, Disney cited in particular the drop-off of attendance at its domestic theme parks and resorts, and the lack of television advertising dollars at the ABC television network.

Headline News

Pork And Beans Gets Flashy With Yakkity Yak

Vancouver, Canada's Pork and Beans Productions recently moved to a brand new 5000 square foot studio in the Yaletown district of Vancouver. The company is expanding to accommodate a growing staff as they prepare to start Flash animation production on the series YAKKITY YAK, in association with Studio B Productions. Distributed by MTV Networks International, YAKKITY YAK was created by Australian company Kapow Pictures and follows the life of a yak that longs for his big break into show business. It is scheduled to broadcast on Teletoon and Nickelodeon Australia in 2003.

Artists Headline News

A.D. Vision Forms Alliance With Japan's CoMix Wave

NorthAmerican anime distributor A.D. Vision, Inc. (ADV), has partneredwith CoMix Wave, Inc., a Japanese anime and manga management andproduction company, to promote and popularize CoMix Wave's creativetalent and holdings. CoMix Wave manages more than 50 of Japan's topmanga artists and illustrators, and works to discover and promote newtalent within the industry. The company also manages production --both in Japan and overseas -- of a variety of anime projects,

Headline News

Pixar Animation Studios And Exluna Settle Lawsuit; NVIDIA Acquires Exluna

Pixar Animation Studios has settled its lawsuit againstsoftware developer Exluna, Inc. The settlement resolves all pendinglitigation and any other disputes between the two companies. Exluna,a privately held software company specializing in softwaredevelopment technology for film quality graphics rendering, wascharged with the misappropriation of trade secrets, copyrightinfringement and patent infringement. In a separate announcement,NVIDIA Corp. announced the acquisition of Exluna, Inc. as part of

Series Headline News

Lilo & Stitch Inspires Video Sequel, Television Series

Disney has already announced plans to capitalize on the success of its 2D animated summer hit LILO & STITCH with a direct-to-video sequel and a television series. Thomas Schumacher, head of Disney Feature Animation, made the announcement. The video sequel, currently entitled STITCH! -- THE MOVIE, is slated for release in 2003 and will serve as a bridge between the feature film and the television series, currently under development with the working title of STITCH! -- THE TV SERIES, and set to launch on Disney Channel in fall 2003. In STITCH!

Headline News

Nelvana Lays Off 65

On July 9, 2002 children's television producer Nelvana laid off 65 staff in its production department across all positions. According to a Nelvana spokesperson, the move was part of a strategic reorganization of the department to shift towards a team-based production unit with a smaller full-time staff, allowing the incorporation of more contract positions. Some of those laid off were given call-back dates for employment on future Nelvana projects. Nelvana is owned by Corus Entertainment, a Canadian-based media and entertainment company.

Films Headline News

Fred Films Signs With Local 839 For Union Representation

Studio City, California-based animation studio Fred Films has signed an agreement with the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees and its Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839 IATSE (Local 839). Fred Films and Local 839 have been in negotiations since the union received representation cards from a majority of the company's staff.

Company Headline News

RTV Family Entertainment Writes Off 100M Euros

German animation company RTV Family Entertainment has written off 100 million Euros in a bid to keep the company alive, after the collapse of the Kirch Media Group and other precipitating factors led to a near collapse of RTV last month. RTV has returned all shares in Dutch documentary production company Off the Fence to Ellen Windemuth, former owner and previous managing director. In return, Windemuth releases RTV from its financial obligations. In addition, RTV has written off Sydney, Australia-based subsidiary Energee Entertainment in its entirety.

Animated Headline News

Spanish Production Companies MSL And Grupo Trimagen Join Forces

Spanish production companies MSL and Grupo Trimagen have recently signed a joint venture agreement to create animated programming. The new international company, MSL-TRIMAGEN, will develop, produce and market a wide range of animated series and feature films. The company is currently working at the head offices in Madrid and Barcelona on several projects, including BUNNIBAL, a 26 x 13-minute animated series currently in pre-production.

Comedy Headline News

Mondo Media Announces Content Agreement With Comedy Central

Internet animation provider Mondo Media has entered into a contentagreement with cable network Comedy Central for "Cartoon of the Day,"featuring the best of Mondo Mini Shows on comedycentral.com. Theshows will be culled from Mondo Media's library of over 3,000 minutesof original animation, including series such as THE GOD & DEVIL SHOW,HAPPY TREE FRIENDS and HEAVY METAL GUY. As part of the agreement,Mondo will also supply Comedy Central with the best material fromother third-party Internet animation creators, including several

Company Headline News

Sextant Entertainment Put Into Receivership

With no staff and no senior management, it seems as though Vancouver-based Sextant Entertainment Group Inc., co-producers of THE MR. HELL SHOW!, is no longer in business. A press release issued by Sextant announced that the company has been put into receivership after it was unable to come to an arrangement with creditors pursuant to the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) that Sextant had been granted in early June.

Digital Headline News

Lucasfilm's THX Goes On Its Own

Lucasfilm Ltd. has spun off itsTHX digital cinema division as an independent company, THX Ltd.Lucasfilm remains an investor in the newly formed, privately heldcompany, along with other corporate and private investors. Theformation of THX Ltd. will allow the company the opportunity toexpand into markets outside of Lucasfilm's core areas. THX Ltd. willreorganize its programs and services into five key areas: THXStudio, THX Cinema, THX Home, THX Mobile and THX Games. In the

Software Headline News

NXN Software Opens Office In Tokyo

Digital Production Management(DPM) systems provider NXN Software has expanded its Japaneseoperations by opening a new subsidiary in Tokyo and appointingindustry veteran Shigemitsu Ejiri as vice president of sales, Japan.Ejiri comes to NXN Software from Borland, Japan, where he served asthe vice president of sales. Prior to Borland, Ejiri spent 16 yearsat Nichimen Corporation, holding the position of executive directorand head of sales for four years. NXN DPM solutions are used to

Game Headline News

How Much Does A Game Developer Make?

Thinking about a career inthe game development industry? Well, pick up a copy of GAME DEVELOPERmagazine's July 2002 issue to read the results of its annual gamedeveloper salary survey. The survey indicates that the gamedevelopment industry has remained healthy despite the downturn in theoverall U.S. economy. According to GAME DEVELOPER, the average gameprogrammer's salary is $66,000 and a technical director with six ormore years experience earns an average of $104,000. On average, game

Headline News

RTV Secures Temporary Financial Reprieve

German children's television producer RTV Family Entertainment has received a temporary reprieve from its financial woes in the form of a bridge credit line issued by a banking syndicate. The funds are backed by a letter of credit from RTV's majority shareholder Ravensburger AG, and will enable the floundering company to cover all current and past due liabilities. RTV still needs approximately 4 million Euro (US$3.7M) to continue operations through the end of the year.

Festival Headline News

The Brussels Animation Festival Becomes Anima 2003

The 2003edition of The Brussels Cartoon and Animation Festival will have anew look, with a poster created by Spanish artist Carles Porta, and anew name -- Anima 2003. Since 1982, Brussels has hosted the annualevent devoted to animation and welcomed such animation luminaries asTim Burton, Paul Grimault, Kihachiro Kawamoto, John Lasseter, RenéLaloux, Peter Lord, Moebius, Yuri Norstein and Nick Park. Over thepast five years the festival organizers have initiated a

Company Headline News

Just Group Merges With Rights Management Company Target

JustAction Group, international distributors for BUTT UGLY MARTIANS, hasrecently merged with rights management and distribution companyTarget. Just Group, which collapsed last year after CEO WilfShorrocks and commercial director Paula Shorrock were dismissed, duein part to a revision of expected revenue from BUTT UGLY MARTIANSplus a less than successful purchase of publishers MediaKey, has hada recent cash infusion of 1.85M pounds (US$2.7M) from itsshareholders, who have agreed to acquire a majority shareholding in

Headline News

RTV On Brink Of Insolvency

German animation producer RTV FamilyEntertainment has announced that the recent collapse of Kirch Mediaand co-production partner Phenomedia, as well as losses from baddebts with foreign partners, has led to a rapid deterioration of thecompany's financial situation. A May 2002 cancellation of a 5 millionEuro (approximately US$4.7M) credit line from a major Austrian bankhas added to the company's dire financial straits. According to apress release issued by RTV, the company needs between 6 and 7

Anime Headline News

Viz Communications And Shueisha To Launch Manga Magazine

U.S. producer of anime and manga Viz Communications, Inc. has partnered with manga publisher Shueisha Inc. to launch a new mass-market boys' magazine. Viz currently produces Japanese animation and comics in English with over 20 monthly titles. The new monthly magazine, to be launched in November 2002, will be patterned after Shueisha's magazine SHONEN JUMP and will feature the manga from which many of the world's most popular anime properties such as DRAGON BALL Z and YU-GI-OH were derived. "U.S. kids know all about anime due to exposure on television," said Yamaji.

Million Headline News

NewKidCo Announces First Quarter Results

Children's videogame publisher NewKidCo International Inc. has announced that the company's first quarter 2002 results were in line with its budget. The net loss of $1.8 million versus net income of $.3 million for the same period last year was a result of increased selling and marketing expenditures as part of the overall plan by NewKidCo to support its broad product rollout for the year (selling and marketing costs have been expensed as incurred).

Animation Headline News

Nicktoons TV Launches On AT&T Digital Cable

Nicktoons TV, the newly launched 24-hour network devoted to Nickelodeon animation, will be available on AT&T Digital Cable beginning July 1, 2002. The channel offers an ongoing mix of current and past Nicktoons such as SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, THE WILD THORNBERRYS, THE REN AND STIMPY SHOW, DOUG, RUGRATS and AHHH! REAL MONSTERS. In addition, Nicktoons TV will feature acquired Warner Bros. contemporary classics such as PINKY AND THE BRAIN, TINY TOON ADVENTURES and ANIMANIACS.

Studios Headline News

Film Roman And Mongadillo Studios Swim With Shawks

Film Roman, Inc. has announced an agreement with Portland, Oregon-based animation house Mongadillo Studios to develop the original web cartoon SHAWKS into a television series. SHAWKS details the struggle of four eight year olds to rid the world of its most evil foe -- sharks masquerading as people.

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