British audience flocked to theatres to catch the first Aardman Animation feature CHICKEN RUN. In its British premiere, the clay character cavalcade racked up an amazing US$5.8 million. The fearless free-rangers knocked seven-week champion GLADITOR into second in the U.K. The Roman romp tallied up an additional $38.8 million in its international showings. The box office blood bath has brought in $165.8 million outside the U.S. Slipping for the U.S. top ten, Disneys DINOSAUR, however, stomped over the competition in Brazil to the tune of $1.6 million.
AWN Headline News
Cambridge, UK-based Kelseus Limited, a software company, is looking
for 3D ANIMATORS and/or MODELERS to create character animation using
cutting-edge techniques. . . Venice, California-based Max Ink Cafe is
looking for a 3D MAX CHARACTER ANIMATOR and MODELER, a CG and LIVE
ACTION COMPOSITOR with experience in Digital Fusion, AfterEffects or
comparable applications and a SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR. . . Los Angeles,
California-based Phenix Touch, a start up company, is looking for 3D
In September 2000, Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada, will
celebrate the opening of the new Sheridan Centre for Animation &
Emerging Technologies. As part of the opening festivities, Sheridan
will stage an Animation Retrospective (September 1-10), a Digital
Media Innovations Conference (October 26-28) and the Premiere of the
Canadian Millennium Television Series. The Animation Retrospective
will celebrate Sheridan's successful, 31-year history in animation.
is Brazil's international animation Web competition.
The festival has pre-selected 10 animations for the official
competition. Now, you can be part of the international cyber jury and
vote for your favorites. The jury consists of the people that have
registered on the Anima Mundi Festival Web site. The winners will be
announced on the closing night of the Anima Mundi Festival in Rio de
L.A. locals, start your 4th of July weekend with DHIMA to celebrate
the completion of the Santa Monica-based DH Institute of Media Arts'
newly remodeled facility...
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book,
"Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
Creative Planet launched a brand new discussion forum:
Tools And Techniques, hosted by award winning animator and educator
Larry Lauria. Anyone who has been in the business long enough knows
that no two animated projects are ever alike -- that's the challenge
and fascination of the art form. The A T & T (uh-oh) forum is a place
to share your thoughts and expertise about animation. Whether you
Our July issue is focusing on Comics and Adult Animation. We are
featuring stories on Fox's upcoming feature film, "The X-Men," and
superstar Todd McFarlane...
The WB Network is adding their newest animated series BABY BLUES to their Friday night line-up. The new series, based on the newspaper comic strip of the same name, will air back-to-back episodes from 8 9 pm starting July 28. The series chronicles the everyday lives of a suburban couple, Darryl and Wanda MacPherson, and their highly energized baby daughter. Mike O'Malley and Julia Sweeney are voicing the two parents.
In the international box office, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 remained #1 in Australia by holding off newcomer DINOSAUR, while GLADIATOR gained the top spot in its debut in Japan. DreamWorks GLADIATOR claimed new territories in Japan, making $982,911 in its Japanese debut. Elsewhere, GLADIATOR remained at the top in Spain, the U.K., Brazil, Italy and Sweden. The Maximus money-maker grossed $1.89 million in Spain, advancing its three-week cume to $10.05 million.
After only six years in existence, Fox has closed the doors to its Phoenix, Arizona-based animation division, subsequently ending Don Bluth and Gary Goldmans relationship with Fox. The move comes after the recent resignation of Fox Filmed Entertainments chairman and CEO, Bill Mechanic, who had taken a big interest in animation and helped start the Fox facility in Phoenix. With the recent box office disappointment of TITAN A.E., the news is not much of a shock. In February, Fox laid off nearly 70% of its toon factory's staff.
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The Castle Museum and the organizers of the Annecy Festival have begun to gather a collection of animation artifacts. The museum is calling for filmmakers to contribute documents, drawings, artwork etc. from their productions to be preserved. The collection has many optical machines and toys from the early days of cinema. The museum started gathering objects of importance in the 1960s and wishes the continued support of filmmakers to protect and honor the rich heritage of the medium.
U.K.-based Astley Baker has just finished up their new series for the BBC, THE BIG KNIGHTS. The new show is created by Mark Baker (JOLLY ROGER) and Neville Astley (TRAINSPOTTER). The series chronicles the tales of two knights: one the best swordsman in the world and the second is at least the most enthusiastic swordsman in the world. Along with the armor-clad pet dog and hamster, the two knuckle-headed knights leave the Castle Big on search for adventure.
Italy-based Crackartoon is currently in production on three new series BAR BONES, JACOB and ANIME SOULS. Giorgio Bellasio and Terry Amanini created BAR BONES with Carlo Cordella penning the project. The series chronicle the tale of several dogs that live out surreal dreams in an old run down caravan/bar. JACOB was also created by Giorgio Bellasio and Terry Amanini and is scribed by Alex Crippa. The show is a spoof of John Carpenters HALLOWEEN series, where the murderer, dawning a panda mask, steps over everyone in his way to obtain the sweets (ie candy) that he desires.
The Zagreb Animation Festival was held in the Croatian capital on June 21 25, 2000 for the fourteenth time. The atmosphere was literally hot; the sun shined more than enough during the whole festival, raising the daily temperatures easily to 35 centigrade (approximately 90+° F). No wonder the daily festival newspaper reported about the festival picnic with the headline "A hell-hot picnic". On the positive side, however, is that an effective air conditioned inside drew a large audience for the films. The four competition-screenings were very popular among the local audience.
Despite finishing in second place, CHICKEN RUNs U.S. opening gross was the highest animated debut in DreamWorks history. With Jim Carreys ME, MYSELF & IRENE taking the top spot in its premiere, CHICKEN RUNs US$17.51 million gross was more chicken feed than ANTZ $17.2 million debut stock piled. The future box office glory isnt bleak for the British beaks. With next weekends July 4th holiday and wonderful word of mouth, pun-squawking poultry may slip in the ranks behind big holiday new comers, but might out gross its debut with strong family attendance.
In a 22-page decision filed Friday, June 23, 2000, L.A. Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige ruled that the Walt Disney Co. willfully destroyed documents regarding the long-running litigation over royalties on WINNIE THE POOH. The judge ruled that plaintiff Stephen Slesinger Inc., owner of the rights to late author A.A. Milne's WINNIE THE POOH characters, is entitled to monetary sanctions and that the jury in the upcoming trial be instructed that Disney willfully suppressed evidence to prevent it being presented.
In August, Germany-based director Heinrich Sabl will start production of MEMORY HOTEL, which will feature puppets animated against live-action backgrounds. The main difficulty in filming the feature is that the filmmakers only have seven seconds to set up the new frame before it needs to be shot. This short time frame to adjust the puppets into their new position is due to continuity of the live-action environment (ie clouds, grass, trees, etc).
Folioscope's catalog, "L'Equipée de Folimage Studio de Films
d'Animation," now includes an English insert for non-French speakers!
The catalog is a companion for the exhibition on Folimage, the
creators of the 1999 Cartoon d'Or winner, "L'Enfant Au Grelot"
(Charlie's Christmas), among other award winning productions. The
Folimage exhibition will be presented at the Annecy Museum, Annecy
France, June 3-October 31, 2000.
Alexander Petrov's "The Old Man And The Sea" won the coveted Grand
Prix at the International Festival of Animated Film at Annecy. The
paint-on-glass Imax short also won the audience prize. Petrov worked
for 2 1/2 years on the 20 minute animated film. A Canadian, Japanese
and Russian co-production, the film has been financed 95% by private
investments from Canada, and in part by NHK, the largest TV network
in Japan. The film is an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novel "The
Sylmar, California-based VCE, Inc. is looking for 2D EFFECTS ARTISTS
for work on a high profile motion picture. . . Visual Book
Productions, a company producing animated e-books, is looking for 3D
ARTISTS. . . Santa Clarita, California-based College of the Canyons
is seeking ANIMATION INSTRUCTORS for a tenure-track position in
Animation for the Fall 2000 semester. . . Homewood, Illinois-based
StarToons, a privately-owned, animator-owned studio, is looking for