In a precedent-setting deal, Chinese national broadcaster CCTV signed anagreement with Warner Bros. Intl. TV to start airing a 15-minute block ofLooney Tunes starting this summer. The program, which will run 7 days aweek, consists of two animated shorts a day. This marks the first timeLooney Tunes will be nationally broadcast as a regularly scheduled programin China; and signals a significant development in bringing U.S. TVprogramming to China, where it is virtually nonexistent on CCTV, thecountry's main broadcaster.
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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
The duos more wholesome festival, SPIKE & MIKES 1999 CLASSIC FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION, opens Friday, March 12 at the Ridge Theatre in Vancouver, B.C. (running through April 4).
Manga Entertainment has informed Animation World Magazine that they still have a shorts department and are actively looking for animated short films to market and distribute. Since their San Diego animated shorts operation closed down last year, submissions are now being accepted through their central Chicago division. While it is still unclear as to how the shorts will be packaged, films may be sent to:
Attn: Animated Shorts Division
727 N. Hudson #100
Chicago, IL 60610
Fox Kids Network is adding seven new animated series (146 new episodes) and nine returning series (121 new episodes) to its fall '99 slate of weekday afternoon and Saturday morning programming.
Major U.S. networks have been bitten by an animation bug and have recently announced a slew of primetime animated series. ABC has worked out a deal with Miramax and Touchstone TV for six episodes of CLERKS, based on director Kevin Smiths 1994 indie film of the same name. Slated for a midseason or fall 2000 launch, the show will be executive-produced by Smith and former SEINFELD supervising producer, Dave Mandel. Like the film, the TV series, only the second ever produced by Miramax, focuses on two young slackers who keep minimum-wage jobs in New Jersey.
Fox Kids will start airing WOODY WOODPECKER on May 8. The series, produced by Universal Cartoon Studios, features new adventures of Woody, Wally Walrus and Chilly Willy. It was originally scheduled to air during the fall '98 season. The show's supervising director and producer is animation veteran Bob Jaques.
* Thursday, February 25 - Wednesday, March 3. San Jose, California, USA.
The week-long Cinequest San Jose Film Festival IX takes place with numerous screenings and special events. Among the events are PDI Presents: The Making of Antz and a screening dedicated to recent animated shorts. For additional information visit www.cinequest.org or call (408) 295-3378 for tickets.
Burbank, California-based Rich Animation's upcoming animated feature THE KING AND I, slated for release March 19, utilized a unique production process by transferring animation scenes via the Internet between artists located in California, Europe, China, India, Korea and Canada. By avoiding the massive overhead costs associated with typical feature animation studios, Rich was able to compete with the big boys by delivering a theatrical quality feature on a budget.
* Tuesday, March 2. Glendale, California, USA.
Meet the Authors is a book signing and informal discussion with famed animation authors Charles Solomon (The Disney That Never Was, The Prince of Egypt: A New Vision in Animation) Jerry Beck (Warner Bros. Animation Art, I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat), Michael Mallory (Hanna-Barbera Cartoons) and Harvey Deneroff (The Art of Anastasia). The event which starts at 7:00 p.m. at Borders Books and Music in Glendale is free to the public. For additional details call (818) 241-8099.
* Monday, March 1. Glendale, California, USA.
As part of ASIFA-Hollywoods Animation Expo 99, An Evening of Hanna-Barbera, with special guests Joe Barbera and Iwao Takamoto, takes place at Kreider Hall in Glendale Community College. An informal discussion with Barbera and Takamoto moderated by Michael Mallory, along with a screening of Hanna-Barbera shorts, starts at 7:00 p.m. For admission information/reservations, call (818) 842-8330.
John McGrew, a layout artist for Chuck Jones Warner Bros. unit from 1938 to 1943, passed away on January 11, 1999 in France at the age of 88. McGrews contributions to the artform are often overlooked because of the short time he spent in the business, but his layouts and color stylings for THE DOVER BOYS, THE ARISTO-CAT, CONRAD THE SAILOR and SUPER RABBIT, among others films, were groundbreaking and revolutionary for their time. Chuck Jones has often said in interviews that McGrew helped introduce a more abstract and design-influenced background style.
McFarlane Toys, SPAWN creator Todd McFarlanes toy company, has created a set of YELLOW SUBMARINE action figures based on the animated cult classic Beatles film. The toys bring back John, Paul, Ringo and George in all their glory along with the Blue Meanie, and will be available later this year when the film is finally re-released.
ToyBiz announced at ToyFair 99 that they have acquired the license to produce toys based on MTVs CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH.
Anime fans will soon be able to acquire SPEED RACER toys. ReSaurus is producing 12 Speed Racer and Trixie action figures, as well as Mach V and Shooting Star action playsets.
CINAR Corporation has entered into a new alliance with Viacom Consumer Products, in a move that will broaden the merchandising rights associated with stories and characters created by Richard Scarry. Under the terms of the agreement, CINARs role is expanded from producer of the animated series, THE BUSY WORLD OF RICHARD SCARRY, to a licensing and entertainment partner with Viacom Consumer Products and the Estate of Richard Scarry.
Famed animation director and educator Richard Williams will present his acclaimed Animation Masterclass at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London, England, May 21st-23rd. This intensive three-day workshop teaches the solid principles behind classical animation that apply both to traditional and computer animators. Triple Oscar winner Richard Williams has won over 250 international awards including numerous Hollywood and British Academy Awards. His films include Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Christmas Carol, and the original Thief and the Cobbler animated feature.
The Crested Butte Reel Rest taking place August 12-15 in Crested Butte, Colorado is seeking short films under 60 minutes for numerous categories including animation. Animated entries must be submitted by May 1, 1999 with a $30 fee while Student Entries can be submitted until June 1 with a $20 entry fee. For more information visit www.crestedbuttereelfest.com or call (970) 349-7487.
Disney's HERCULES has its world television premiere on Saturday, February 27th, on the Disney Channel at 7 p.m. (ET/PT)
Comedy Central has promoted advertising executive Larry Divney to president and chief executive. Hereplaces Doug Herzog, who left the channel last month to become chief ofFox Broadcasting. Divney has directed Comedy Central's advertising salessince the network's inception in 1991, and has worked at CNN, MTV and theA&E Network. With Herzog's initiative, the network has found tremendoussuccess with original animated programming like SOUTH PARK, BOB ANDMARGARET and DR. KATZ: PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST.
Disney Interactive has appointed Frank Evers to vice president of product development andproduction. Evers assumes overall responsibilities for the development ofall Disney Interactive products. In this role, he will oversee staffing,long range product planning and the development of policies, processes andquality assurance procedures for product content. He will report to JanSmith, Senior VP and general manager of Disney Interactive worldwide. Priorto joining Disney, Evers was VP of production at Activision, spearheading
Chicago-based TRICKY PICTURES has added Frank Anderson to its roster of directors and will be repped exclusively by the company.Anderson, a 17-year veteran of the commercial production business, hasworked on animation campaigns for McDonalds, Unicef World Fund and Procter& Gamble. Anderson's diverse styles range from "photo-mation," a techniqueemploying cutout photographs animated like stop motion puppets, to pixilation (animating humans frame by frame). "Frank shares our philosophyof integrating a variety of production techniques, manipulating textures
Boston-based LOCONTE GOLDMAN DESIGN hasnamed five-time Emmy Award-winner Scott Pressler to Senior Design Director.Pressler has worked as an independent designer for the last 10 years with anumber of high-profile clients. Pressler was a broadcast designer for NBCSports from 1989-1996. While at NBC, he was the creative director andsenior designer of the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, and designer andcreative director for the 1992 summer Olympic games, Wimbledon '92-'94, NFL
Mattel and Nickelodeon have partnered to create toys for the Nicktoon series, CATDOG. The two-headed toys hit storesin March '99. The line includes Pull and Pose CatDog ($19.99), a plushstretchable and posable toy; Toon Team Packs ($14.99), six-inch mini-plushdolls with accessories; CatDog Ride-On Bicycle ($10.99), a bicycle for thewacky duo; and Stretchy CatDog ($7.99).