Go.com, Inc., the Internet group of the Walt Disney Co., has changed its name to the Walt Disney Internet Group. The name change was made to better reflect the new direction of the Internet company, which has moved its focus away from a Yahoo-like portal to a more Disney-geared entertainment destination. The Disney arm has been plagued with problems from the start. In the last quarter, the company reported a net loss of US$272.1 million, including amortization of intangible assets.
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In July, Nickelodeon saw the most-watched month ever in its 21-year history. The numbers were the biggest on a total-day basis in household delivery, total viewers (persons 2+) and among kids 2-11. According to the Nielsens, Nickelodeon's 24-hour average in July was a 1.7 coverage rating/5 share/1.3 million HH (1.7 million average total viewers). During Nickelodeon's Kids Day programming, the net posted its highest-rated month among kids 2-11 since January '98 and delivered its largest kid audience ever. In addition, Nick crushed its closest competitors.
ThinkBox, a leading Internet provider of education and family-focused media, and The Harvey Entertainment Company have teamed to bring Harvey's classic characters, like Casper, to the Net. ThinkBox will incorporate Harvey characters into classic comic, interactive, video and series content on the first Web site, Kindle Park, which will be an interactive, educational Internet portal for 2-6 year olds and their families. As part of the deal, Harvey will receive an equity position in ThinkBox.
The company that syndicates the live-action TV series XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, Studios USA Domestic Television (SUDT), and Brilliant Digital have signed a deal to syndicate the 3D animated Web series XENA to sites around cyberspace. This new deal marks the first major television syndication firm that has delved into Web syndication. The XENA Web series debuted on July 14 at SciFi.com, USANetwork.com and StudiosUSA.com. SUDT executive VP sales and new business Arthur Hasson, said, "I am excited about expanding our syndication business into the on-line world.
Bankruptcy officials are investing Digital Entertainment Networks (DEN) possible fraudulent below-market sale of assets and executive salaries. As reported in the LA TIMES, court-appointed officials are investigating allegations that three weeks prior to filing for bankruptcy, DEN sold off assets to insiders far below market price.
Icebox.com has signed a deal to transform its STARSHIP REGULARS into a live-action series. The show chronicles the lives of ordinary men and women aboard a military spaceship. The animated short will nod at Icebox and Showtime on August 11, 2000. REGULARS was created by Icebox co-founder Rob LaZebnik (co-exec producer of THE SIMPSONS), who will produce the live-action show. After the first five Webtoons air on Icebox, the next installment will be broadcast on Showtimes site, www.sho.com. The first episode of the TV series will debut next June.
The Chinese Administration of Radio, Film and Television has instituted a new regulation cutting the airtime of imported cartoons. Starting on June 1, TV networks in China must air six Chinese toons for every four imported ones. Before the new rule two-thirds of the cartoons broadcast in China were from foreign soil and with their domestic production only reaching 6,000 minutes (roughly 272 twenty-two-minute episodes) a year there is little for Chinese programming to choose from.
Raymond Eugene "Gene" Portwood Jr., a one-time Disney animator and the co-creator of the ground breaking computer game, WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARMEN SANDIEGO?, has passed. On July 17, 2000, Portwood died of a heart attack in the Windsor, California convalescent center, where he was staying to recover from a stroke 18 months earlier. He was 66 years old. In 1950, Portwood skipped college and went directly to work at Disney. He eventually helped draw scenes for LADY AND THE TRAMP, SLEEPING BEAUTY and CAPTAIN HOOK.
Our August issue, Internet And Compuer Animation, features a
number of special articles. In the Internet animation section we
feature a theoretical look at what might have happened if animation
legends such as Tex Avery had the freedom of the Internet at their
disposal. Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman sends that one our way.
Plus, we have professionals currently working in the
Internet animation field give you tips on the latest equipment and
Chelsea, Massassuchetts-based Indimi, Inc., an Internet company that
operates several top-rated consumer sites, is looking for 2D PIXEL
ART ANIMATORS who have some emphasis on character animation and
experience working with Web-based constraints...
The M.P.S.C. Local 839 IATSE, the labor union for screen cartoonists
and CGI artists and technicians in southern California, has updated
their AWN page with the July 2000 edition of their newsletter, "The
Peg-Board," and with the American Animation Institute's fall semester
The 5th International Animated Film Festival/I Castelli Animati will
take place in Genzano, Italy, October 4-8, 2000. I Castelli Animati
highlights animation in all its forms from commercials to features
films. The international competition features the following prizes:
grand prize "I Castelli Animati," special jury prize, best debut
short film, best European short film, audience prize, the Fabrizio
Bellocchio prize and best non-narrative short film. The Italian
After having announced the entries for the Independent Film
Competition, the Ottawa 00
International Animation Festival has
released the selections for the Panorama section - Commissioned,
Canadian and Computer categories. For a complete list of competitors,
please visit the Ottawa 00 Web site. The competition will take place
September 19-24, 2000 with the awards ceremony being held on Sunday,
Bill Plympton has updated his appearances page. In the upcoming
months, his films will be appearing in various festivals and other
events, including the Hiroshima Animation Festival, Japan, August
24-28, 2000; the Macau Urban Council art carnival, Macau, August 19,
2000; and the Atlantic Film Festival, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada,
September 15-23, 2000. In addition to Hiroshima, Bill will be
attending the KROK Animated Film Festival Moscow, Russia, August
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book,
"Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
There is no doubt about it, Macromedia Flash is the industry standard
for Internet animation. It's utilized by over half a million Web
authors worldwide to create animated vector-based Web sites.
Macromedia just announced revenues of $94.8 million for the first
quarter ended June 30, 2000, an 85% increase over a year ago. With
these results, the company has achieved record revenue results for
the tenth consecutive quarter. During the quarter, Macromedia
With MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 still holding on in many countries, PERFECT STORMs debut in Hong Kong and the U.K. shook up the international box office. Finishing at the top spot in the U.K., STORM grossed US$2.86 million over the weekend and $3.25 million since its Wednesday nod. Slipping to #2, STUART LITTLE grossed $2.08 million, advancing its British cume to $9.59 million. The U.K. sensation, CHICKEN RUN, amassed another $1.82 million in third, bringing its cume to $28.85 million.
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Pulse Entertainment has signed a deal with Paris-based digital post-production company, Exmachina, which will have the French post house resell Pulse technology to developers, designers, agencies and corporate clients in Europe. Exmachina first utilized the Pulse software to create a Web character, Akinia, who helps on-line gamers solve riddles in a treasure hunt. "We are making Pulse technology one of the cornerstones as we build our Web business," said Pierre Noizat, general manager of Exmachina.
Over at Wildbrain.com, the new JOE PARADISE is simply great. The slick and interesting design creates a visually impressive piece of toonage. Created by Roque Ballesteros, this action/comedy is one of the smartest, coolest and most innovative series on the Net. Watch for the subtle visual metaphors. Theres not much action in this episode, but if you havent seen this series before I highly recommend you check out the archives.
hey!, a design and production studio, finished new opens, bumpers and background elements for five History Channel shows. The firm created an open for SPY WEB, revised opens and bumpers for HISTORYS GREATEST BLUNDERS and WEAPONS AT WAR, and opens for MOVIES IN TIME and HARDCOVER HISTORY. For SPY WEB, hey! used a mainly gray palette and added bits of color to evoke a feel of coded messages. "We had this coding going on in a textured background, with letters that cycle and change and evolve into the SPY WEB logo," said creative director Laura Tolkow.
Ring of Fire finished the visual effects for two 30-second commercials for Unisys. "Pigeons" starts with a man sitting down on a park bench next to a Unisys specialist. As the ad progresses, the female specialist gets wrapped up in telling the man all about e-business, and her head becomes encased in a monitor. When she calms down the monitor disappears and the tag line says, "At Unisys, we eat, sleep and drink this stuff!" Again in "Golf," Bob, the Unisys specialist, has his head encased in a monitor as he tells his friends about e-business on the golf course.