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Britain's Channel 4 Launches Animation Week

From September 23 - 29, 2000, the British terrestrial station Channel 4 is screening a veritable deluge of animation, ranging from the far-flung universe of FUTURAMA to the sharply-observed mundane world of POND LIFE. The only catch is most of it's being shown in the small hours, so set your video recorders. Saturday is the main night, kicking off at 9 pm with Channel 4 regular SOUTH PARK, followed FUTURAMA with a special introduction from creator Matt Groening. This is the series first time airing on British terrestrial TV. Later in the evening, celebrities discuss their favourite childhood cartoons, from CAPTAIN CAVEMAN to Yuri Norstein's HEDGEHOG IN THE FOG. ADAM AND JOE'S WORLD OF ANIMATION is an irreverent tour of all areas of the medium, with many special "guests" - beware of the Eastern European Animators! That's followed by four British comedy pilots, including CAPTAIN SARCASTIC, written/directed by Aardman Animations Peter Peake (HUMDRUM). The next three and-a-half hours are given over to a range of shorts, including recent British success THE WOLFMAN, plus a screening of Bill Plympton's feature I MARRIED A STRANGE PERSON. Animated interstitials are provided by cantankerous gameshow host Gary Spangle. Sunday night is devoted to Japanese animation, with a special X-rated documentary, MANGA EROTICA (expect OVERFIEND to figure prominently), and the anime SHADOW SKILL. Monday sees Britain's own SF comedy animation, DOMINION air at 7:55 pm, about a hapless alien abductee. The series was designed by cartoonist Andy Watt, with further ten-minute segments over the next three days. Monday also sees another documentary, CARTOONS KICK ASS: A GUIDE TO SUBVERSIVE ANIMATION. This promises to cover everything from Betty Boop to The Simpsons, via Avery, Bakshi and European animation. The rest of the week is filled with more animated shorts, including recent titles from Channel 4's joint schemes with the Arts Council and the Museum of Moving Image. Add to that new episodes of Candy Guard's neurotic sitcom POND LIFE; a look at pop-video animation on Wednesday; three magazine programmes covering computer games, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS and other topics; and "Sick Night" Friday rounding everything off. To coincide with Animation Week, the Barbican in London is running "Animation: A Passionate Obsession," showcasing the animation and artwork of Paul Bush (HIS COMEDY), Petra Freeman (JUMPING JOAN), Oliver Harrison (LOVE IS ALL), Ruth Lingford (DEATH AND THE MOTHER), Kayla Parker (SUNSET STRIP) and Simon Pummell (BLINDED BY LIGHT). Channel 4 is also launching a new Website on September 23 including a vote page, forum and links sections, and details of British animation courses.