Nickelodeon has announced a new endeavor tentatively titled "ProjectNozzle." This initiative will transform the Nick.com website from itscurrent TV-centric position into a full, free online service for kids.Project Nozzle, which will compete with Walt Disney's Disney Blast andDisney Channel's Zoog Disney services on the Disney.com site, will havesuch features as guided Web tours, auditoriums, bulletin boards, moderatedchats and e-mail, along with kid content from a wide range of content
Category: Internet and Interactive
Cartoon Network.com debuted two original interactive on-line cartoon series on February 22. As each cartoon unfolds, users can make choices about which direction the story will take. PINK DONKEY AND FLY, created by pop culture icon Gary Panter, is the unlikely love story between a pink donkey and a fly as they try to keep clear of The Ol' Coot and his troublesome wife, Maw. B. Happy, from renowned underground satirist Mark Newgarden, follows the bluebird of happiness, B. Happy, who wants to rid the world of misery.
Showtime Network's Internet service Showtime Online has acquired the on-line rights to the futuristic Web-based animated sci-fi strip, "WhirlGirl," in a multi-year pact with WhirlGirl parent Visionary Media LLC. "WhirlGirl" will debut on the site on February 26 with a complete season of 28 new weekly episodes. Chronicling the adventures of a sassy, 21st century superheroine, Kia Cross (a.k.a. WhirlGirl) fights to save the world from an evil, mediatech empire. "WhirlGirl" is Showtime's first original series developed exclusively on the Web.
Mondo Media, a leading developer of digital content, has received a $2 million investment from venture capital firm, Sofinnova. The investment will fund the development of a line of Mondo Mini Shows - a series of animated and personalized, interactive, web-based cartoons. The shows will mirror the syndication model of newspaper comics where popular properties attract broad audiences on a repeat basis. "The syndication model is novel for the web, a proven success in other media," explains Randy Komisar, Mondo Media's Virtual CEO.
Film Roman Inc, the producer of The Simpsons and King of the Hill, has struck a deal with Launch Media Inc. under which Film Roman will provide content for the Launch CD-ROM - a monthly interactive guide to music and movies that is sold in retail stores and available by subscription. The Launch CD-ROM currently reaches an estimated 1 million users monthly with approximately 300,000 subscribers.
Atomic Vision Animation and Tub Studio have premiered their first episode of the innovative and stylish on-line animated comic book at www.jonninitro.com. The animated series follows the adventures of Jonni Nitro, an English superspy and heroine living in the near future. The animation is viewable using an Internet browser (i.e. Navigator, Explorer) and Macromedia's Flash 3.0 plug-in. "We've worked hard to create a new style of on-line animation," says Alex Ogle, Atomic Vision founder. "There has never been animation this realistic on the Internet before."
Acclaim Entertainment has released the highly-anticipated "South Park" video game for Nintendo 64 with a PC version that will be available in January 1999. The adventure game features original dialogue recorded by Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and Issac Hayes and can be played in a single or multi-player mode. The game unfolds as a mysteriously evil comet approaches South Park causing much mayhem. It is left up to Kenny, Kyle, Stan and Cartman to save the day. All the perennial "South Park" characters pop up throughout the game including Mr. Hankey, Chef, Terrance and Phillip, and Big Gay Al.
E-greetings Network (http://www.egreetings.com), a provider of internet-based electronic greetings has unveiled the new E-greetings Animations. The free digital greetings can be personalized and sent to anyone by e-mail. "When we started our company nearly five years ago, we saw that e-mail had the potential to become a multimedia entertainment and communications medium that could provide far more than the limited capabilities of standard text-only e-mail," says E-greetings Network's co-founder Tony Levitan.
The life of Walt Disney has been the subject of many unofficial biographies and articles with allegations accusing him of being everything from a fascist to a bigot. Now for the first time the record can be set straight with a new interactive CD-ROM narrated by Disneys first child, Diane Disney-Miller. Walt Disney: An Intimate History of the Man and His Magic, was produced to present an accurate account of his life and celebrate his accomplishments.
Bandai's AnimeVillage.com is the first video releasing company in the US that enables consumers to purchase Japanese animation directly through the Internet. The site also features the latest animation news from Japan, real-time chats, games, message boards, and contests. AnimeVillage.com's initial release slate includes the "Gundam" series and "The Vision of Escaflowne" with plans to expand their library up to 200 titles by the end of 1999.
HotWired's Animation Express (http://www.hotwired.com/animation/) is a new site that showcases the latest animation from both professional and independent animators. The animation can be viewed using plug-in technologies like Quicktime 3, Shockwave's Flash 3 and Director 6 and a "plug-in tester" will help you download the right plug-ins if you don't already have them. Currently, the site features selections from Pixar's Oscar-winning short "Geri's Game" and highlights from Spike and Mike's 1998 Festival of Animation.
Spumco, the studio that brought us the first web cartoon series, The G@*&!$ George Liquor Show, has teamed up with Electric Communities to present the Internets first 3D cartoon chat event. The chat, scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m. on November 6, and run through November 9, 1998, will take place on the web site cartoonsforum.com port 9994.
Broderbund Software has released the first of its "Rugrats" CD-Roms: "The Rugrats Movie Activity Challenge," "Rugrats Adventure Game" and "Rugrats Print Shop." Aimed at kids aged 6-12, the activity-based games include creative activities, problem-solving stories and story-based adventures.
Humongous Entertainment has released the first two CD-Roms based on Nickelodeon's animated/live-action series, "Blue's Clues." "Blue's ABC Time Activities" is available for U.S. $19.99 and "Blue's Birthday Adventure" is $29.99. Both titles are Windows and Macintosh compatible, and feature games and educational activities aimed at 3-6 year-olds. The games are the first releases to come out of an exclusive, five-year worldwide deal with Nickelodeon.
Coinciding with the U.S. tour of The Spice Girls, Psygnosis has released "Spice World," a PlayStation console video game. The game, aimed at pre-teen girls, gives users a chance to choreograph dance routines starring animated versions of Ginger, Scary, Baby, Posh and Sporty Spice. While it may not be rocket science, the Spice Girls game does address a need for games designed for girls. "Spice World" for PlayStation is $35.95.