Walt Disney Co. Latin America has hired Marcos Rosset as managing director, Brazil. He will head all of the company's businesses in the territory, including the Portuguese language Disney Channel that debuts on April 5, 2001. For the past 15 years, Rosset served as managing director of CIC Video, a co-venture between Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures. There he oversaw all retail businesses, including interactive consumer products and rental/sell-through video.
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Visual effects powerhouse Tippett Studio has recently purchased 10 Silicon Graphics Octane2 visual workstations, 25 Silicon Graphics 230 and Silicon Graphics 330 Windows NT OS-based and Linux OS-based workstations, an SGI 2100 visualization server and a 2TB SGI TP9400 storage system. The company has been using SGI systems since opening its doors in 1983, and continues to choose Silicon Graphics machines to realize their award-winning work.
Visionary Media will offer 26 half-hour TV episodes of WHIRLGIRL, the Flash-animated Internet series, via Catherine Branscome of Branscome International. "WHIRLGIRL has been recreated for TV with more animation and greater frame rates than are seen online via FlashCast, a proprietary process developed in-house by Visionary," explained Visionary Media acting CEO Buzz Potamkin.
TriStar Pictures has announced that it will be putting the animated feature THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN into theaters for a limited release on May 11, 2001. Based on the novel by E.B. White, the film follows the adventures of Louie, a mute trumpeter swan who takes extraordinary steps to compensate for his lack of voice.
CartoonNetwork.com has announced that they have signed John Kricfalusi to a six short deal. Characters featured in his Web Premiere Toons will include the Jetsons, Yogi Bear and Fred and Barney of THE FLINTSTONES. John K's Spumco Inc. will produce the shorts. John Kricfalusi, creator and producer of THE REN & STIMPY SHOW, started his career at Hanna-Barbera. The first toon is scheduled to go live sometime in May. "John is considered one of the top creative forces in animation - online and on television," said Sam Register, senior vice president and creative director of Cartoon Network Online.
HANNIBAL held strong at the international box office with debuts of TRAFFIC topping charts in Australia and Italy. In France, however, HANNIBAL fended off the premiere of TRAFFIC, taking the top slot with a gross of US$3.17 million and raising its cume to $9.4 million. In second, TRAFFIC smuggled in $2.48 million. VERTICAL LIMIT climbed into the sixth spot, grossing $807,368, thus lifting its French total to $5.15 million. In the U.K., HANNIBAL hatched another $2.52 million in first, elevating its cume to $26.1 million.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment is releasing remastered versions of THE SWORD IN THE STONE and BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS on VHS and DVD on March 20, 2001. THE SWORD IN THE STONE is Disney's humorous rendition of the King Arthur tale directed by four of Disney's Nine Old Men Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnson, Milt Kahl and John Lounsbery.
Norma Macmillan, the voice of UNDERDOG's Sweet Polly Purebread, has passed away. She suffered a heart attack and died Friday afternoon at her home in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was 79. Macmillian also provided voices for Goo and other characters on THE GUMBY SHOW, Davey's sister Sally on DAVEY & GOLIATH and Kokette on MEAN MOE. During John F. Kennedy's presidency, Macmillan contributed voices to the popular Kennedy family parody album, THE FIRST FAMILY. She also appeared in such live-action features as HEAD OVER HEALS and BIG BULLY.
Berlin-based Greenlight Media and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein are about to launch the second Berlin Animation Film fund (BAF) to raise US$100 million for the production of up to five international animation features. Greenlight's COO Nickolaus Weil said that BAF II will fund two $30 million-budgeted features from U.S. studios and three $10 million-budgeted features from European-based companies. The studios working on the films have not yet been announced. However, Greenlight president Andre Sikojev said, "The U.S. partners with whom we are preparing the U.S.
Threshold Entertainment, a multimedia and intellectual property management company, announced that Dimension Films has acquired the project DUKE NUKEM: THE MOVIE. The film will be produced by Larry Kasanoff (TRUE LIES, MORTAL KOMBAT) and Threshold Entertainment. Based on the US$1 billion gaming franchise by 3-D Realms, NUKEM follows the politically incorrect title character as he travels into space to intercept an alien ship on a collision course for Earth.
The newly renamed AtomFilms and Shockwave combined company, AtomShockwave Corp., has announced the closing of its latest round of financing of US$22.9 million. Leading the round was Macromedia, parent company of Shockwave, along with Sequoia Capital, JPMorgan Entertainment Partners, Arts Alliance, Waterview Partners and affiliates and Intel Capital. The new company plans to retain its two distinct brands, AtomFilms and shockwave.com, as well as strengthening its offices in Tokyo and London.
* Saturday, April 21 Thursday, April 26, 2001. Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
The NAB Marketplace and Conference showcases the world of TV and Web convergence. The event allows people in the technology, television and Internet industry to meet and work out deals. The expo starts on April 23 with over 1,500 companies exhibiting. The conference will focus on the hot topics of combining the worlds of TV with the Internet. For more information contact NAB at: (202) 429-5419; or Web: www.nab.org.
* Thursday, July 19 Sunday, August 12, 2001. Glen Ellen, California, U.S.A.
Early Entry Deadline: April 1, 2001
Final Entry Deadline: April 31, 2001
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On Sunday Fox aired a rerun of THE SIMPSONS, which placed #34 for the week, pulling in a 7.7 rating/12 share. KING OF THE HILL climbed into 62nd place with a 5.6 rating/9 share. Fox aired two special episodes of THE SIMPSONS on Wednesday from 9 10 pm. The 9:30 pm broadcast finished 65th with a 5.4 rating/9 share and the 9 pm broadcast placed 71st with a 5 rating/8 share. FUTURAMA fashioned a 4.5 rating/8 share in the 76th slot. At 109th, THE PJS hocked a 1.5 rating/3 share.
* Friday, May 24 Sunday, May 26, 2001. Hornu, Belgium.
Entry Deadline: May 10, 2001.
The 8th Edition of the Festival Synthesis is a festival dedicated to CG movies and animations. Last year the event had 10,000 visitors. This year's Synthesis will feature a retrospective on the work of ILM. The event will also include screenings, discussions, company presentations and product demos. For more information contact the festival at: 360 Amphitheatre d'Hades, 7301 Hornu, Belgium; or E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Numerical Design Ltd. (NDL) has announced NetImmerse 4.0, the latest version of its 3D game-development toolkit. The new version will boast support for Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube, a new tool for previewing keyframe animations, new rendering capabilities and performance increases for the core product and free plug-ins. Already two titles for the much hyped Microsoft Xbox are in development: ODDWORLD INHABITANT'S MUNCH'S ODDYSEE and an as yet unannounced title from Totally Games.
U.K.-based Criterion Software recently announced its new RenderWare Platform - a middleware solution offering game studios a tightly integrated game development framework incorporating 2D/3D graphics, audio and physics modules. The RenderWare Platform builds on Criterion's highly successful 2D/3D graphics toolkit RenderWare3 to provide developers with a powerful, truly multi-platform development environment. Built on an open and flexible architecture, the RenderWare Platform initially incorporates 2D/3D graphics, audio and physics modules, with additional modules to follow.