Cartoon Network and VIZ Media announced a joint venture called Toonami Jetstream, a new broadband service that will provide on-demand, full-length streaming episodes of a number of hit anime and action series, including NARUTO and SAMURAI JACK. In addition, users will also be able to watch full-length episodes of series like HIKARU NO GO, MÄR and THE PRINCE OF TENNIS that are not offered on U.S. broadcast or basic cable television. In this joint venture, Cartoon Network and VIZ Media will jointly manage and administer acquisitions and programming.
THQ Inc. announced its 2006 videogame lineup based on Nickelodeon's top brands for kids. Games based on the TV series SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER, DANNY PHANTOM and UNFABULOUS, as well as a new installment of Nicktoons, are anticipated to ship across multiple game systems in 2006. THQ is also scheduled to release BARNYARD based upon Paramount Pictures'/Nickelodeon Movies' upcoming summer theatrical release.
AOL has launched KOL Jr. (www.koljunior.com/), a website for kids 2-5. The site contains original cartoons, games, music, bedtime stories and other fun, interactive features designed to help parents introduce the Internet to their young children. The launch of KOL Jr. also marks the debut of a brand new cartoon called PILAR'S ADVENTURES, which covers topics that engage preschoolers' imaginations while helping them deal with everyday life experiences.
Columbia Pictures and Google have partnered on THE DA VINCI CODE Quest on Google a 24-day online puzzle adventure themed to THE DA VINCI CODE. Players will discover new puzzles on Google daily at www.google.com/davincicode. THE DA VINCI CODE Quest runs through May 19, 2006 the worldwide release date of the film.
Vivendi Universal Games' Sierra Ent. has announced the development of MIAMI VICE THE GAME, a third-person action shooter inspired by the Universal Pictures crime drama, MIAMI VICE, directed by Michael Mann, in theaters July 28. Set in present-day Miami, players will go deep undercover as narcotic officers Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) in the rich, glamorous and decadent world of Miami Vice, a place where badges don't count.
London-based Entertainment Rights Plc. (ER) has appointed award-winning, interactive media company, Magic Lantern, to develop new media content. ER hopes to maximize interactive opportunities based on its library of characters and programs across non-traditional broadcast platforms. ER will work with Magic Lantern to develop original content from existing brands, as well as develop new properties for initial distribution on web and mobile.
In addition, ER is working on a number of online and web initiatives, such as the globalization of the Postman Pat website.
The Right Stuf Intl (TRSI) announced it has launched the 12th episode of ANIME TODAY, the first ever commercial podcast aimed at anime and manga enthusiasts.
Consistently ranked in the top 100 TV & Movie podcast subscriptions on Apples iTunes vying against podcasts by corporate moguls such as Cartoon Network, Fox and HBO, ANIME TODAY fans have been raving about the show since its initial debut last November.
JibJab Media, known for its entertaining Internet political animation satires GOOD TO BE IN DC! and THIS LAND, have launched JokeBox a place for people to get together online and share laughs, sort of a Comedy Central meets MySpace.
"We think of JokeBox like MySpace meets Comedy Central," said JibJab brother and co-founder, Grevan Spiridellis. "We have over 25,000 video, picture and written jokes at JibJab.com and our community is over 640,000 people strong. We're thrilled that so many people are making JibJab the place to come and share laughs."
Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. announced 300: MARCH TO GLORY, based on Warner Bros. Pictures' film 300 and developed by Collision Studios, for PSP (PlayStation Portable) system simultaneously with the film in 2007.
Electronic Arts and Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. announced they have secured an all-star cast for the voices in SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME. The game will feature the voice and likeness of Brandon Routh (Superman/Clark Kent) as well as the voices of Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane), Parker Posey (Kitty Kowalski) and Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen), all reprising their roles from the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film directed by Bryan Singer.
Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) announced it is bringing the fantasy-adventure ERAGON to the PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PSP and the PC in November 2006. Developed by Stormfront Studios for consoles and PC, and Amaze Ent. for handhelds, the game is based on the upcoming Twentieth Century Fox feature film inspired by Christopher Paolini's best-selling fantasy novel, featuring Edward Speleers, Djimon Hounsou and Robert Carlyle.
Nickelodeon today (April 17, 2006) announced the launch of Nick Mobile on select Sprint multimedia phones. Nick Mobile on Sprint offers a combination of short video clips, vignettes and music videos. From the Nick Jr. library, music videos are approximately two minutes in length with clips from favorite programs, such as DORA THE EXPLORER, BLUE'S CLUES, THE BACKYARDIGANS, LAZYTOWN and the recently launched Nick Jr. series, THE WONDER PETS!, TV's first operetta for kids.
Frederator Studios has launched ReFrederator (www.refrederator.com), the worlds first daily vintage cartoon video podcast.
ReFrederator will feature classic cartoons from the public domain such as Bugs Bunny, Mighty Mouse, Daffy Duck, Betty Boop, Little Lulu, Porky Pig, Donald Duck and Felix the Cat, as well as fairy tales and musicals. Every 7-9 minute podcast will feature a short-form classic cartoon and promotional packaging and branding from ReFrederator. New episodes will appear daily Monday through Friday, grouped into weekly themes.
Following its recent success in the portable community with the release of its anime titles on UMD, Geneon Ent. has expanded into the ever-growing world of podcasting. Featuring trailers and television commercials that include the popular superhero series VIEWTIFUL JOE and the gritty samurai series SAMURAI CHAMPLOO, Geneon Ent. will be adding three new podcast streams each week on iTunes, and will soon expand the content to include behind-the-scenes features, sneak previews and exclusive footage only available through the podcast.
Ubisoft announced that the OPEN SEASON videogame, based on Sony Pictures Animation's first feature-length 3D-animated movie (opening Sept. 29), will ship mid-September on all available videogame platforms. Developed by Ubisoft's award-winning Montreal studio, OPEN SEASON will allow gamers to relive the humor and adventure of the movie by creating a fun and immersive interactive world that conveys the same comedic storyline, zany characters and artistic images projected in the animated film.
Comedy Central is partnering with IFILM to launch," Comedy Central's Test Pilots," an online competition in search of the next big broadband show. Would-be show creators will get the opportunity to submit one to five-minute pilots to comedycentral.com with the winner receiving a development deal on Comedy Central's broadband channel, "MotherLoad." Live action, animation, sketch or hidden camera any format is acceptable.
Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. has launched the new JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES site www.justiceleagueheroes.com.
The highly anticipated Xbox, PS2 and PSP game features the all-time most popular super hero group from the DC Comics universe including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Zatanna.
From CTIA Wireless 2006 in Las Vegas, Verizon Wireless has announced content deals for its V CAST service with Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) as well as AtomFilms.
For the Turner deal, V CAST customers can view content from Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) on their V CAST-enabled phones.
Airborne Ent. announced the summer release of FAMILY GUY: AIR GRIFFIN, the newest addition to the FAMILY GUY suite of mobile content. The game centers around Peter Griffin, the patriarch of FOXs Emmy-nominated animated series, who has just spent Meg's college fund on a medieval catapult in an attempt to break the record for the longest freeform human flight. Peter's counting on friends like Quagmire, his family members like Stewie, Brian, Meg and Lois, and players to help him reach his goal.
BroadRelay Inc. announced that it has signed a one-year deal with Films By Jove (FBJ) to broadcast FBJ's Russian animation online. The animated series will be added to BroadRelay's existing slate of online programming under the SIVOO brand name (www.SIVOO.com).
Gameloft announced an agreement with Sony Pictures Digital to develop, publish and distribute mobile games based on OPEN SEASON, the first CG animated feature from Sony Pictures Animation, as well as future Sony releases.
Buena Vista Games Inc. announced Walt Disney Pictures Presents THE WILD for the Game Boy Advance is now available at retail outlets across North America. A videogame adventure that will test kids' animal instincts, THE WILD is inspired by the upcoming animated feature film of the same name from Walt Disney Pictures, which hits theaters on April 14, 2006. The game features Samson the Lion and Benny the squirrel, who must leave their pampered lives and set out on an adventure to save Samson's son, Ryan, who accidentally gets shipped from the New York City Zoo to the wild.
American kids on the AOL KOL service will now get the chance to watch Nelvana's JACOB TWO-TWO. As its first English-language U.S. distribution deal for this property, Nelvana took an unconventional approach by tapping the growing online medium to showcase its popular cartoon.
Casual gaming leader gameLab has entered into an agreement with Curious Pictures to partner on the creative development and production of downloadable online games. Their first joint project will be a game tentatively titled BRENDAS BRAIN, which combines a playful and contemporary visual look with the more adult subject matter of neuroses and psychological quirks.