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Headline News Toon In: Web Animation Guide For Friday, August 25, 2000

Toon In is AWN's guide to what's new on the Net. This week's installment features a short from Bill Plympton, a hilarious Webisode of BIRTHDAY PARTY and much, much more.

Get your Toon In: Web Animation Guide here!

Every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"

Rick's Pick For Friday, August 25, 2000!

Headline News So! Much Brings Back Vaudeville For MCI & Blockbuster

New York-based animation and design house, So! much, has created a 3D animated 30-second spot for MCI Worldcom and Blockbuster Video. The "FreeFlix Follies" campaign highlights the free movie bonuses of signing up for MCI with a send-up of vaudeville shows. The commercial reunites Abbott and Costello-like characters Seymour the Movie Ticket and Answer the Telephone, which were created for a previous spot by So! much three years ago. "Were really committed to marrying thoughtful, passionate design work with top-quality CG animation," says Jennifer Yeh, executive producer at So! much.

Headline News Quiet Man Plucks Penguin Striptease For Pepsi

Quiet Man unzipped the tuxes of some penguins for a new Pepsi ad "Zoo," which introduces new lemon-flavored Pepsi Twist (currently being test marketed in Texas and Minnesota), and has some plucky penguins strip down to their Speedos to take a cooling dip in a pool. Quiet Man creative director and the spots visual effects director Johnnie Semerad used Discreet Logic Inferno software to remove the black from the penguins' bodies, and tack on new arms to allow the movements of a simulated striptease. "The key was to determine how to make the penguins look naked," said Semerad.

Headline News The September Issue Of Animation World Magazine Is Coming Next Week!

This month: Feature Films & Education

and Training.

For feature films Martin Goodman is taking a look at this summer's

hits and misses. Gerard Raiti is figuring out why some cartoons don't

work as live-action adaptations and others do. Amid Amidi is

profiling feature films that have been released outside of the big

studios' theatrical machine. Plus, for a look into the Japanese

Headline News New Jobs: Animators, Digital Artists, Directors, Visual Artists And More...

Munich, Germany-based H5B5 Media AG is looking for 3D ANIMATORS, an

ASSISTANT VFX-PRODUCER, DIGITAL MATTE ARTISTS, MODELERS, TEXTURING

ARTISTS and CHARACTER ANIMATORS as well as ALLROUNDERS for various

documentary, fiction and science-fiction productions. . . San Rafael,

California-based Artmaze, Inc., producers of media types such as

still images, panoramas, walk through animation and real-time 3D, is

looking for a 3D MODELER and a 3D TECHNICAL DIRECTOR. . . Fremont,

Headline News The Professional: Golgo 13 Re-released On Video

The anime title, THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 will be re-released on video. Hitting stores on VHS August 29, 2000, THE PROFESSIONAL follows hitman Duke Togo who has the cross hairs turned on him after he assassinates the son of a notorious industrial tycoon, Golgo. The film is based on the popular comic book series of the same name. Osamu Dezaki directed the film. The new release from Urban Vision Entertainment will have an English dubbed and English subtitled version, selling for US$19.95 and $29.95, respectively.

Headline News Action Man, Europe’s Top-Selling Toy, Hits US Shelves

Europes top selling toy ACTION MAN has made it to American shelves. The entire Hasbro ACTION MAN toy line brings in US$300 million a year overseas and $1 billion in brand sales over the last five years. Various extreme sport versions of Action Man have hit the shelves along with his arch nemesis Dr. X. The figures range from $7.99 to $29.99. "Action Man has been huge overseas," said Perry Drosos, VP of U.S. marketing for ACTION MAN. "In fact, it has been the top-selling action figure line in Europe for several years. Right now, 80% of boys ages four to ten in the U.K.

Headline News Stan Lee Media Set To Launch Backstreet Boys Project

Highlighted by a gala bash at the Hard Rock Café in Orlando, Florida on August 27, Stan Lee Media will unveil their new Webseries, THE BACKSTREET PROJECT, featuring superhero-likenesses of the singing group sensation, the Backstreet Boys. The promotional push will also include a marketing campaign, featuring CDs and action figure toys, at the Burger King restaurant chain. "We are thrilled that the Backstreet/Burger King promotion will be one of the largest promotions ever to support an Internet entertainment franchise," said SLM president and CEO, Kevin Williams.

Headline News Playboy TV Disrobes New CGI Series

Playboy TV is ready to unveil its newest TV series, the completely CGI animated satire/adventure, DARK JUSTICE. Debuting on September 3, 2000 at 10 pm, the 3D toon chronicles the exploits of Justina, a vigilante vixen who must dodge the pursuits of the law as she fights Metro Citys most dangerous villains. Adult filmmaker Michael Ninn directs the series. "Playboy's Dark Justice is the ideal animated series for Playboy TV," said Jim English, president, Playboy TV Networks Worldwide.

Headline News Fantasia DVD To Feature Cut Scene

In conjunction with the DVD and VHS release of FANTASIA/2000 on November 14, Disney will release FANTASIA on DVD with never-before-seen footage. The FANTASIA DVD will include the original intermission, narration and cut animated scene "Clair de Lune." An additional feature on the FANTASIA/2000 DVD will be a special showcase of Disneys highest digital video and audio quality to date. Also, Disney will offer a three-disc FANTASIA anthology set.

Headline News Digital Coast 2000 Explores The New Internet Economy

* Tuesday, September 12 Thursday, September 14, 2000. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Digital Coast 2000 will explore the digital transformation of entertainment and Southern Californias ever expanding Internet economy. Presented in association with the Directors Guild of America and NATPE, the event will bring together Southern Californian senior executives, artists and technologists to discuss the evolution of entertainment in the digital age. For more information: Tel.: (800) 628-7346; or Web: www.natpe.org.

Headline News Robin Allen Discusses Europe's Influences On Disney

* Tuesday, September 12, 2000. San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Robin Allen will discuss his book EUROPEAN INFLUENCES ON WALT DISNEY and the images that influenced Disney artists. Dr. Allens research is based on interviews with the artists who created the features and short films made by Disney. The event gives a rare chance to discuss the influences on Disney films from SNOW WHITE to THE JUNGLE BOOK. For more information contact Karl Cohen at: (415) 386-1044.

Headline News planetLingo Lands Three Former Disney Execs

planetLingo, an Internet-based language learning company, has hired three former Disney executives John Feenie as president and CEO; Cedric Astor as executive VP and CFO; and Greg Probert as executive VP and head of content and curriculum. Previously, Feenie served as executive VP, China Affairs for Disney, in which he was responsible for all of the companys activities in China. For planetLingo, Feenie will help establish markets around the globe. Most recently, Astor served as senior VP for Disney consumer products in Europe/Middle East/Africa.

Headline News Portugal’s A Suspeita Takes Anima Mundi Top Prize

Serving as the major animation festival in South America, Anima Mundi has rolled out its list of winners for the 2000 competition in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The festivals goal of highlighting different styles and points of view was achieved with a list of winners from around the world. From Portuguese director José Miguel Ribeiro, A SUSPEITA took home the top prize in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The five-day event drew 16,000 people.

Headline News Dora The Explorer Debut Sets Nick Ratings Record

Nickelodeons newest series DORA THE EXPLORER debuted as the highest rated show in Nick Jr. history. The Monday, August 14 11 am airing scored an 11.22/43 rating/share (1.3 million viewers) among kids 2-5 years old. To top its own success the second airing of DORA at 11:30 am scored a 12.85/48 rating/share (1.5 million viewers) among kids 2-5 years old. The new series beat out the September 9, 1996 premiere of BLUES CLUES, which scored a 10.68/48 rating/share among the same demographic.

Headline News Quincy Jones Revs Engines On New Looney Tunes Feature

Quincy Jones Media Group and Gerber Pictures have teamed with Warner Bros. to bring the Looney Tunes characters back to the big screen in a feature film currently known as "untitled Looney Tunes car project." According to the DAILY VARIETY, the pic will use classic characters, like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, in live-action sequences much like the 1996 film, SPACE JAM. Ken Kaufman, co-writer of Warners SPACE COWBOYS, has been brought on to write the script. Quincy Jones president Joel Simon and Gerber head Billy Gerber are set to produce the film. Overseeing the project for Warner Bros.

Headline News CGI Actress In Pacino Drama An Incorrect Report

Aspiring actors can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The news item, originally reported in the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER and then trickled down through many media sources, that director Andrew Niccol had chosen to create a CGI lead for his next dramatic film, SIMONE, is incorrect. Apparently, the REPORTER confused production information with the plot, which tells the story of a producer (Al Pacino) whose lead actress walks off the set. He then replaces her with a life-like CGI actress which he tries to pass off as real.

Headline News CDIS Helps Aliens Blow Up Vancouver Landmark!

The first commercial for the Center for Digital Imaging and Sound (CDIS) includes a clip from VANCOUVER UNDER ATTACK, created by CDIS Visual Effects and Digital Animation (VEDA) Program graduate Sean McQuarrie. The excerpt shows a monstrous alien space craft hovering above Vancouver Science World before unleashing a laser beam that blows up the centre. "It involved two days of filming in DVC Pro and miniDV formats," said McQuarrie. "To get the mix right, I used Maya, Maya Live and the Discreet Station for building up 20 layers of visual effects in total.

Headline News TOPIX/Mad Dog Charts Good Health For Kellogg’s Canada

TOPIX/Mad Dog has wrapped up the 3D animation and design elements for the new 30-second spot for Kelloggs All-Bran Buds. "Chart" features an anatomical poster of the insides of a healthy woman, who leaps from the wall when no one is around to enjoy a bowl of Kelloggs All-Bran Buds. TOPIX/Mad Dog producer Diana D'amelio said the 3D character "began as a real woman shot on set, wearing a body-stocking, actually going through the actions in a series of takes. We then recreated her as a glass figure, with a skeletal structure and a stylized heart and circulatory system.

Headline News Tigger Movie Bounces Onto Home Video

Disneys delightful feature, THE TIGGER MOVIE, has bounced into homes. The adventures of the orange cat and his pal, Roo, hit video stores on VHS and DVD on August 22, 2000. The film was directed by Jun Falkenstein and the legendary Sherman Brothers provided the songs. On a lonely day when no one in the Hundred Acre Wood has time to bounce with Tigger, the swing-tailed tiger decides he will set out to find other Tiggers to play with. The VHS tape will sell for US$24.99 and the DVD for $29.99.

Headline News X-Men Invade Overseas: Patriot Gone In 60 Seconds

This weeks international box office saw big premieres for X-MEN and GONE IN 60 SECONDS and the quick disappearance of THE PATRIOT. In the U.K., X-MEN hit it big with a stellar US$7.08 million three-day take. The mighty mutants had the second highest opening of the year behind TOY STORY 2 and the eighth highest in the countrys history. Holding on at #2, STUART LITTLE landed another $1.11 million, lifting its British cume to $20.24 million. GONE IN 60 SECONDS slipped from first to third, with a gross of $952,847, raising its British cume to $7.95 million.

Headline News Animation Stock Ticker For Tuesday, August 22, 2000

AWN's stock ticker features the most prominent publicly traded companies in the world of animation. AWN, Inc. makes available certain financial information from third party information providers. AWN does not give advice in any such fields, and has not reviewed, and in no way endorses the validity of such data. This information is provided solely as a means to keep our readers informed of the market performance and trends of certain companies. AWN strongly suggests that one seek advice from a competent professional regarding any investment or financial issues.

Headline News Fraiser Star Signs Net Deal With MediaTrip

FRAISER-star Kelsey Grammer and his production company, Grammnet, has signed an exclusive deal with MediaTrip to develop and distribute original content. The first series coming from the new pact will be the toon GARY THE RAT. The Webtoon will chronicle the trials of a lawyer turned giant rat and his death-defying run-ins with exterminator Johnny Bugz. Mark Cullen (writer/producer of HITZ) and his brother Rob created RAT. Grammer and the Cullen Brothers will executive produce, while MediaTrip will produce and finance the project. Both companies will share in the profits.

Headline News Winder Winds Up VP At Fox Animation

Catherine Winder has been named VP of 20th Century Fox Animation. Winder will oversee physical production and creative development for the divisions projects. She will be based in Los Angeles and will help Blue Sky during its transformation from a special effects and commercials house into a 3D-animation feature studio. Previously, Winder served as an independent producer and consultant for Fox Animation, Disney Television Animation and Warner Bros. Television Animation.

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