Following the Asian programming markets DICON / BCWW in South Korea and Asia Television Forum (ATF) in Singapore, Germany's EM.TV & Merchandising AG has reported strong sales of children's programming across Asia for both home video and broadcast. EM.TVs animation portfolio proved popular in China, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. EM.TV sold television and home video rights of the second season of MAYA THE BEE and the first two seasons of TABALUGA to Kiet Tuong Advertising in Vietnam.
Tokyopop Releases Two New Cine-Manga Based On Disney Series. U.S. manga publisher TOKYOPOP continues its relationship with Disney with the release of two new Cine-Manga series for Disney's original television series LIZZIE MCGUIRE and KIM POSSIBLE. Each will launch as part of TOKYOPOP's developing Cine-Manga family, which currently includes CARDCAPTORS and the forthcoming AKIRA.
Raven Moon Entertainment, a producer of childrens programming based in Orlando, Florida, is offering U.S. network affiliates and independent television stations the opportunity to telecast up to six airings of 13 episodes of its preschool series GINA DS KIDS CLUB at no charge. In addition, Raven Moon will make participating stations profit participants in all licensing and merchandising revenue.
U.S. manga publisher Tokyopop, in association with Disney Publishing Worldwide, will bring one of TV's hottest animated series to the world of graphic novels with the publication of an authentic DIGIMON manga. The DIGIMON animated series currently airs in the U.S. on the ABC Network, and follows seven ordinary kids who gain "digivices" that transport them into the Digital World. Once there, they make companions called Digimon, and must battle evil Digimon monsters.
Corus Entertainment's Nelvana put the wrap on MIPCOM 2002 with a number of new sales and renewals for its kids' brands and programs. BEYBLADE continued to be a popular property for the company and was snapped up by the UK's terrestrial broadcaster Five TV (formerly Channel 5), which licensed 51 episodes of the series for debut in November 2002. BEYBLADE currently airs in the UK on Cartoon Network UK. Nelvana also completed video and DVD deals for BEYBLADE and MEDABOTS in the UK with Contender Entertainment Group, which set the titles for a release date of December 2, 2002.
Latin American distribution specialist Salsa Entertainment returned from MIPCOM 2002 with a slate of program sales for the Latin American region. The Salsa Entertainment catalogue features award-winning products from well known international producers and distributors including TV-Loonland, Scholastic Entertainment, Decode Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company.
peppermint, the worldwide distribution company that has recently undergone a management buy out from Germany's Helkon Media AG, has signed a deal with Spanish production and distribution company BRB to distribute over 230 hours of programming to all Asian territories. peppermint, who will also handle Australia and New Zealand for BRB, will have exclusive distribution rights for 20 different series, each consisting of 26 x 26-minute episodes, plus 14 related features each with a running time of 75 minutes.
Cinar's library of over 2,200 half-hours of family programming will soon be traveling to new territories thanks to a distribution agreement with VGI Entertainment Ltd., a UK-based distribution company. Under the terms of the deal, VGI will distribute Cinar titles such as CAILLOU, ARTHUR, MONA THE VAMPIRE and THE BUSY WORLD OF RICHARD SCARY in sub-Saharan Africa. "We are very pleased to add VGI's expertise and knowledge to the Cinar team," said Louis Fournier, head of distribution for Cinar. "We are confident that our fascinating cast of characters will find a welcome home in Africa.
4Kids Entertainment has signed an agreement with DreamWorks Records to release an album based upon the music in the YU-GI-OH! animated television series. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the album, titled YU-GI-OH!: MUSIC TO DUEL BY, will be available at retail on October 29, 2002. The album will contain the YU-GI-OH! theme songs as well as orchestral passages and other songs from the television series. Also on the album will be some new music scheduled to be included in future episodes of YU-GI-OH!
Buena Vista International Television has licensed its 'Classic Treasures' package to a number of key broadcasters across the Asia Pacific region for telecast on terrestrial television for the first time. The collection, which includes A BUG'S LIFE, MULAN, POCAHONTAS, TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2 will air on the Seven Network in Australia, TVNZ in New Zealand and on the Media Corp-owned Channel 5 in Singapore.
Nickelodeon has agreed to license several of its popular cartoon properties to niche-market peripheral company KidzMouse. Several new KidzMouse computer mouse designs, sold under the "Nickelodeon by KidzMouse" name and based on Nick cartoon series, will debut in time for the holiday 2002 retail season. KidzMouse, is a "Kid-Friendly Computer Mouse" about half the size of a regular computer mouse with a squeezable "head" that replaces normal mouse buttons. The product is designed to make computers accessible and enjoyable for young computer users.
Egmont Imagination has signed an exclusive worldwide direct marketing agreement with Readers Digest to distribute THE FAIRYTALER on video and DVD. Launched this week at MIPCOM Jr., THE FAIRYTALER is a 26 x half-hour animated series that newly illustrates Hans Christian Andersens classic tales, which include THE UGLY DUCKLING, THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES, THUMBELINA and THE LITTLE MERMAID. The series is a co-production between Magma Film, Egmont Imagination and fellow Danish companies A. Film and Danmarks Radio, as well as Germany's Super RTL.
The U.S. Supreme Court now has the task of determining the legality of the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), a 1998 law that extended millions of existing copyrights by an additional 20 years. On Wednesday, October 9, 2002, the court will hear arguments in the matter of Eldred v. Ashcroft, which seeks to overturn the act on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. At the time of its enactment, the CTEA became known as the "Mickey Mouse Extension Act" because of aggressive lobbying by Disney.
In a major promotional licensing development, the Nelvana-distributed action series BEYBLADE will be promoted via all Kelloggs childrens cereal brands in the UK. Set to launch October 1, 2002, the Kelloggs UK campaign will place 12 million BEYBLADE spinning top toys in all leading Kelloggs cereals. The first of numerous global BEYBLADE promotions planned for 2002-2003, Kelloggs will support the BEYBLADE campaign with a comprehensive media program involving television and print.
Nickelodeon has extended its licensing agreement with Centrum Kids to launch a line of Centrum Kids Jimmy Neutron multivitamins. Centrum originally partnered with Nickelodeon to offer RUGRATS chewable multivitamins for kids, and will now present a new line featuring the characters Jimmy, Carl, Cindy and Goddard from the Oscar-nominated film JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS and the Nickelodeon series THE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY NEUTRON, BOY GENIUS. Animated characters have always featured prominently in the kids vitamin arena.
Family entertainment company Raven Moon Entertainment, Inc. hassigned a multi-faceted development deal with Pangea Corporation, astrategic marketing and content development entity, which specializesin the kids entertainment and toy industries. Pangea will assistRaven Moon in the further development of its intellectual properties,while also establishing licensing and cross-promotional opportunitiesfor Raven Moon's GINA D'S KIDS CLUB brand, a series oflive-action/animated videos for children. Pangea has worked with DIC
Target Stores have announced that they have struck a deal with Gullane Entertainment to carry an exclusive array of THOMAS & FRIENDS merchandise including apparel, toys and home entertainment. One Target exclusive will be a series of pocket-sized, die-cast, portable THOMAS & FRIENDS trains called "Take Along Thomas & Friends," which will be accompanied by all-in-one play sets. Target will also carry exclusive lines of THOMAS & FRIENDS apparel for toddlers and young children, and will introduce an exclusive line of children's footwear.
McFarlane Toys and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have joined forces to create action figures based on Warner Bros. Pictures' highly anticipated second and third installments of THE MATRIX Trilogy -- THE MATRIX RELOADED and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, both slated for release in 2003. Action figures based on the films will debut in conjunction with each film's release. McFarlane Toys is working closely with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to determine which characters will become action figures.
In a considerable licensing deal, Cartoon Network has acquired over 600 half-hours of programming from Warner Bros. International Television Distribution to air on Cartoon Network UK. "In a fiercely competitive market, this is a major boost for Cartoon Network. With these titles added to our formidable library plus other Cartoon Network productions, co-productions and acquisitions, we have an unbeatable line up," said Finn Arnesen, vice president of programming, acquisitions and development for Cartoon Network, Europe.
Barcelona-based Grupo Neptuno has completed a major deal with Basque television producer Euskal Irrati Telebista (ETB) for the distribution of its catalogue worldwide, excluding Latin America and Spanish-speaking stations in the United States. ETB's complete line up of more than 1,000 hours of documentaries, entertainment, animation, feature films and live-action series will join Grupo Neptuno's existing catalog, which includes the preschool series CONNIE THE COW, distributed by AAC Kids and TV-Loonland, and the Flash animated series 2020, a co-production with Megatrix.
Manga publisher Tokyopop has acquired publishing rights to the highly popular manga series LUPIN THE 3RD and the movie books for Katsuhiro Otomo's AKIRA. Tokyopop plans to publish the LUPIN THE 3RD series in its original right-to-left format, while AKIRA will join the company's growing catalog of "Cine-Manga" titles (digitally captured screen stills laid out in a storyboard format). With titles in its catalog including SAILOR MOON, GUNDAM WING, INITIAL D, REAL BOUT HIGH SCHOOL and COWBOY BEBOP, Tokyopop also publishes several hit properties based on popular Cartoon Network and Kids!
Gullane Entertainments popular childrens property THOMAS & FRIENDS, has now been translated into Spanish and Portuguese and will be seen in eighteen countries across Central and South America including Argentina, Chile, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico, and throughout The Caribbean. The series launched in early July 2002 on Discovery Kids Latin Americas newly expanded pre-school block.
British animation producer, tv4c, has seen its pre-school animation series, BUSY BUSES, picked up by two regional terrestrial broadcasters in Japan for their autumn schedules. The 26 x 5-minute series is also currently airing daily on Kids Station, Japans biggest childrens satellite broadcaster and is enjoying its second run on EBS, Korea and ABC, Australia. BUSY BUSES will return to Living TV in the UK in September 2002 for a six month run.
Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products and Mattel, Inc. have announced a comprehensive, multi-year agreement that grants Mattel the master toy licenses for several of Warner Bros. core franchises including LOONEY TUNES, BABY LOONEY TUNES, BATMAN, SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Mattel will develop and market products such as vehicles, action figures, playsets, plush, games, puzzles, dolls, adult collectibles and other categories based on the properties.