The Jim Henson Co. has partnered with New Video, a leading digital aggregator of independent video content, to bring favorites from the company's TV programming and feature film library to the iTunes Store beginning Jan. 28, 2008. The launch will begin with episodes from the first seasons of the award-winning sci-fi series FARSCAPE and the endearing favorite FRAGGLE ROCK. TV shows are $1.99 (U.S.) per episode, and music videos and short films are $1.99 (U.S.) each. Both the FRAGGLE ROCK and the FARSCAPE series will be available in their entirety in the coming months.
ReelTime.com, the video-on-demand Internet television network, announced at NATPE that it has entered into an agreement with Nelvana Enterprises for the VOD rights to episodes from its extensive kids content library.
Nelvana is known for its library of well-loved classics, such as RUPERT, BABAR, FRANKLIN, ROLIE POLIE OLIE, and THE BERENSTAIN BEARS. Its shows have won over 70 major international awards and have been broadcast in over 160 countries.
VIZ Media has announced the availability of three of its most popular animated action series -- NARUTO UNCUT, DEATH NOTE and BLEACH -- for digital download from Amazon Unbox, Amazon's digital video download service. This service can be found at www.amazon.com/unbox.
Habbo and World Wrestling Ent. have teamed up to promote WWE's annual Royal Rumble in the Habbo virtual world. Though the actual Royal Rumble doesn't take place until Jan. 27, live on pay-per-view, the action on Habbo.com started earlier this week.
This week Nintendo is launching ENDLESS OCEAN for Wii, a game that lets users discover a vast undersea adventure at their own pace. It's like a virtual scuba vacation in the tropics that includes interaction with hundreds of different animal species, relaxing swims through coral reefs and exploratory dives on wrecks of ships and warplanes. With the game's intuitive controls and beautiful underwater visuals, every member of the family will want a chance to dive in.
Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound were nominated for six Academy Awards this morning. For the third year in a row, ILM pulled in two of the three vfx nomination spots with TRANSFORMERS and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END. Skywalker Sound also dominated the sound nominations taking three of the five slots in Sound Editing for their work on THERE WILL BE BLOOD, TRANSFORMERS and RATATOUILLE, which also received another nomination in the Sound Mixing category.
Autodesk and Electronic Arts have introduced a new project design workshop for Canada's first Masters for Digital Media (MDM) program at Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver, British Columbia.
As part of the 20-month MDM program, the workshop will equip students with techniques to plan and manage digital media projects in their academic and professional careers.
At the Digital, Life, Design Conference (DLD) in Munich, Electronic Arts unveiled BATTLEFIELD HEROES, an all-new Play 4 Free cartoon-style shooter. Available for download at www.battlefield-heroes.com this summer, BATTLEFIELD HEROES is EA's first title that is offered completely for free, and features a built-in matchmaking system to ensure that players of equal skill are paired for fair play. Developed by DICE in Stockholm, BATTLEFIELD HEROES is leading EA's new web-focused free-to-download, free-to-play business model, which generates revenue through advertising and micro-transactions.
Mobile media company Player X has been appointed by Virgin Mobile UK as its official aggregator for all its mobile games and video content. Player X will sign up all games, as well as video partners, on behalf of Virgin Mobile UK and execute all portal management including encoding, QA and deployment, as well as promoting the content across all platforms. Under the terms of the deal, Player X will source all entertainment and adult comedy mobile video content, as well as choosing games content for the Virgin Mobile portal from its range of content suppliers.
PBS is opening the beta test for a new Internet-based educational service designed to provide children 3-6 with a comprehensive early childhood curriculum. PBS KIDS PLAY!, which will be offered as a subscription service later this calendar quarter, uses interactive games and activities to provide a personalized learning experience at home. The PBS KIDS PLAY! Beta is currently available as a download from www.pbskidsplay.org and requires a high-speed Internet connection to use.
GDH K.K. has announced that GONZO Rosso K.K., its online game operation company, will start service of RAN Online in the Vietnamese market via its subsidiary GoldSky Access Sdn. Bhd.
Chuck Dages, who oversees Emerging Technology for Warner Bros., has been shifted from Technical Operations to Warner Bros. Home Ent. Group. He retains the title of EVP and continues to have oversight of Motion Picture Imaging (the studio's postproduction facility for film mastering, restoration and digital imaging for movies and television) and the Advanced Media Editorial department (which prepares feature films for distribution on airlines, cable networks and broadcast television).
Atari Inc. announced that DRAGON BALL Z: BURST LIMIT is in development for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The next-gen title is being developed by Namco Bandai Games Inc. and is slated for a 2008 release.
DRAGON BALL Z: BURST LIMIT will feature online battles and advanced 3D graphic effects. The immensely popular DRAGON BALL Z series features more than 30 different games, with over 11 million units sold since May 2002. For more information, visit www.atari.com/dragonballz.
Sundance Institute and Sundance Channel announced today the program of 2008 Sundance Film Festival short films that will be available for free on www.sundance.org/watch and for sale on the iTunes Store, Netflix and Xbox 360. Premiering Jan. 18 and running all 10 days of the festival, the films will be shown one at a time for 24 hours.
ADV Films presents three new titles for Jan. 15, including volume two of VENUS VERSUS VIRUS, the third volume of XENOSAGA, and the massive GET BACKERS Seasons 1 & 2 Collection.
From veteran director Shinichiro Kimura (MABURAHO, BURN UP EXCESS) and the production team at Studio Hibari (NERIMA DAIKON BROTHERS) comes VENUS VERSUS VIRUS: EPIDEMIC, which first aired on Japanese television in Jan. 2007.
CartoonResource.com is providing a central Internet location for comic strip fans, collectors and professional communicators to find what they need. CartoonResource.com provides online access to all cartoons and comics: single-panel and strip syndicated comics; cutting-edge teen and children's comics; political cartoons; manga comics; and animated feature stills.
Also, CartoonResource.com has partnered with IllustrationBase to offer an exhaustive illustration database for those who want a quick, simple way to search the vastness of the Web for the perfect illustration.
MGM will launch a full promotional campaign for the hit reality show AMERICAN GLADIATORS, including a cartoon series being developed with Flor-Jon Films Inc. The media blitz also includes a broadband website that will pay homage to the original series and a special U.S. cross-city tour.
"The new series and multimedia promotional campaign truly fulfills my dream and vision for AMERICAN GLADIATORS," said Johnny Ferraro, Flor-Jon owner and creator of the original series. "It's truly exciting to see the GLADIATORS franchise grow and continue to succeed on all levels."
Hip-hop artists from the U.S., U.K., Japan and Europe have collaborated on a one-off music video to protest the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq. The video was released today online, with additional broadcasts planned for other cross-channel digital media platforms.
Vicon Ent.'s Los Angeles-based House of Moves has launched a new state-of-the art motion-capture studio at the University of Central Florida on the grounds of the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, UCF's graduate video-game development school. The 3,500-square-foot studio, one of the largest on the East Coast, is described by House of Moves executives as a "world-class facility" for industry professionals and academia.
SEGA Corp. announced an exclusive partnership with International Sports Multimedia (ISM), exclusive licensee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to develop BEIJING 2008 - THE OFFICIAL VIDEO GAME OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES. The game is being developed by Eurocom Ent. Software for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the PC. Additionally, BEIJING 2008 -- THE OFFICIAL MOBILE PHONE GAME OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES is also in the works and will be available summer 2008.
Majesco Ent. Co. and Sandlot Games announced CAKE MANIA 2 for the Nintendo DS. Developed by Digital Embryo, CAKE MANIA 2 is the follow-up to the award-winning CAKE MANIA game that originally debuted on PC and has achieved more than 50 million downloads worldwide and sold over 280,000 units worldwide on the DS.
Leading youth entertainment and Internet video network GoFish Corp. announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership to offer premier video content from several MTV Networks brands for ad-supported viewing on GoFish.com. GoFish is one of a select group of third-party video platforms that will distribute content online from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, CMT, Logo, The N, Spike TV, AtomFilms and GameTrailers.
SilverBirch Studios and Breakthrough New Media announced that they have signed an agreement to develop two games based on the upcoming animated kids television series JIMMY TWO SHOES, to be broadcast on Teletoon Canada and Jetix Europe.
The makers of the live-action feature RED PRINCESS BLUES have launched the seven-minute animated prequel, RED PRINCESS BLUES ANIMATED: THE BOOK OF VIOLENCE. Alex Ferrari is the creator, writer and producer of the film with Dan Cregan serving as director and producer.
The prequel follows a 12-year-old girl who finds herself in a strange country looking for her father. She is taken in by a unique-looking man by the name of Nino. She soon discovers the "Book of Violence" and slowly begins her journey that one day will lead to vengeance.