AWN Headline News
* Saturday, March 24, 2001. Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Larry Lauria will be conducting a "hands on" interactive animation fundamentals and character design workshop. The event will be taking place at the Gibbs School. For more information contact Kara DePalma at: Tel.: (973) 744-6962 x 3037.
Want to learn more about Larry Lauria and his workshops? Then visit his Website at: Toon Institute.
* Saturday, March 24 Sunday, March 25, 2001. Overland Park, Kansas, U.S.A.
Planet Comicon, a four-year-old comic/sci-fi convention, is one of the fastest growing in the country. This year's event features THE HULK's Lou Ferrigno and BATMAN's Julie Newmar. For more information contact the event at: Web: http://www.planetcomicon.com/
* Friday, March 30 Sunday, April 1, 2001. Stonybrook, New York, U.S.A.
I-CON is a science-fiction, fantasy and comics show. The anime program will feature dubbing workshops, guest speakers and panel discussions. This event is a student run festival and one of the largest in the northeast United States. For more information contact the convention at: Web: http://www.iconsf.org/.
* Wednesday, August 8 Sunday, August 12, 2001. Crested Butte, Colorado, U.S.A.
Entry Deadline: March 19, 2001
Student Entry Deadline: April 30, 2001
Anime 18 is set to release MYSTERY OF THE NECRONOMICON on home video, March 13, 2001. The erotic horror series was created by the director of UROTSUKIDOJI: LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND, Takao Nakano. In the film, an evil presence plagues the women of Japan. Volume one, "Book of the Dead," will feature two episodes. Volume two, "Black Chapter" on VHS, featuring two more episodes, and the NECRONOMICON DVD, containing all four episodes, will be released on May 8, 2001. Both the DVD and dubbed VHS versions of the series will sell for US$29.99 each.
After slipping into the top twenty last week, THE SIMPSONS fell to #26 this week with an 8.7 rating/14 share. The special Monday 9 pm broadcast of THE SIMPSONS tied five other programs for 53rd, taking home a 6.1 rating/9 share. In a three-way tie for 63rd, KING OF THE HILL brought in a 5.6 rating/9 share. All alone in 73rd place, FUTURAMA racked up a 4.9 rating/9 share. In a three-way tie for 108th, WB's THE PJS piled up a 1.6 rating/3 share. At its new Friday 9 pm time slot, GARY & MIKE managed to scrounge up a 1.4 rating/2 share in a five-way tie for 111th place.
Gobbling up the competition, HANNIBAL dined atop the box office charts in a host of new countries. In France, the cannibalistic cavalcade collected an impressive US$6.23 million in its debut. VERTICAL LIMIT climbed into fifth with a gross of $1.46 million, lifting its French cume to $4.35 million. In sixth, 102 DALMATIANS collared another $1.38 million, raising its French cume to $13.51 million. In Mexico, HANNIBAL premiered in first with an amazing ticket-take of $2.71 million. At #5, RED PLANET dusted off $390,792, growing its Mexican cume to $1.04 million.
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Alias|Wavefront has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to become an official tools and middleware developer for the Xbox Video Game System. Xbox, Microsoft's next-generation gaming system scheduled for release this fall, is positioned to become one of the most advanced on the market. Alias|Wavefront's Maya software, with its powerful modeling and animation toolsets and its open, extensible API is strongly established in the game development market as the package of choice for top quality interactive entertainment with many of the top-selling next-generation games producers.
Walt Disney Co. has announced that its past decision to scrap its Go.com portal has been reversed. However, the Go.com portal will be a much more pared down version with Web searches handled by former rival GoTo.com. The Go.com home page now serves as a low maintenance starting point for the Walt Disney Internet Group's other sites like Disney.com, ABC.com and Movies.com. In the formation of Go.com, Disney purchased Infoseek and their search engine. Currently, Disney is looking to sell off assets associated with Infoseek.
THQ has gained the gaming rights to John Kricfalusi's new TV series THE RIPPING FRIENDS from Hearst Entertainment. The show is scheduled to hit the Fox Kids' line-up this fall. The series follows the misadventures of four wacky superheroes. Currently, Fox has ordered 13 episodes of the show from John K's animation studio Spumco. The first RIPPING console game should hit stores in time for the winter holidays.
Golden Harvest, one of the leading Hong Kong production and distribution studios, has announced that it will produce its first animated feature. The film will be based on the popular Hong Kong comic strip MY LIFE AS MCDULL, which follows the exploits of a pig named McMug. The budget for this mature-themed cartoon is set at US$1.28 million. Golden Harvest managing director Phoon Chiong Kit said, "Animations generally aren't very financially viable because it takes a lot of money to promote a new cartoon character. But with MCDULL, having the comic strip already so popular helps."
Many citizens in the Czech Republic are aghast over the premiere of POKEMON on the public TV network, Slovak TV. The Slovak media council has complained that the show has a negative psychological effect on children due to its level of violence. Because the station is a public broadcaster, the council has the right to ban the program. If done, this move could destroy Slovak TV. The station is currently in dire financial straits, owing over a million dollars to various companies for purchases made over the past three years.
* Wednesday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 21, 2001. Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Saturday, April 14, 2001. Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Saturday, April 21, 2001. Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
* Saturday, March 17, 2001. Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
Larry Lauria will be conducting a "hands on" interactive animation fundamentals and character design workshop. The event will be taking place at the International Academy of Design and Technology. For more information contact Tom Brooks at: Tel.: (407) 857-2300.
Want to learn more about Larry Lauria and his workshops? Then visit his Website, Toon Institute.
* Friday, March 23, 2001. Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
The Art Institute of Phoenix is holding an exhibition of its winter 2001 graduate portfolios. Artwork presented will be from students in the computer animation, graphic design, multimedia, video production and Website administration departments. The event will be held at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. For more information contact the school at: 2233 West Dunlap Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85021, U.S.A.; Tel.: (602) 678-4300; or Fax: (602) 997-0191.
With THE MEXICAN retaining the top spot and the live-action thriller 15 MINUTES debuting in second, Warner Bros.' SEE SPOT RUN held steady in third, grossing US$6.61 million. The feces-joke ridden family film has scooped up $17.98 million so far. HANNIBAL fell from second to fourth with a gross of $5.85 million. The hog-wild horror flick, with primary visual effects by Mill Film, has dined on $151.5 million thus far. Slipping two slots to finish seventh, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON drummed up another $4.26 million. The highest grossing foreign language film in U.S.
The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) has announced its nominees for the 4th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards. Over 100 senior AIAS members in specialty groups chose the finalists. As part of the awards gala, John Carmack, founder of id Software, will be inducted into the Academy's Hall of Fame. Carmack is the creator of DOOM and QUAKE, which popularized the first-person shooter genre of gaming. Comedian Martin Lewis will host the ceremony on March 22, 2001 in San Jose, California.
The Tampere International Short Film Festival awarded its winners on Sunday, March 11, 2001. The prestigious special prize of the jury went to the Brothers Quay for their film IN ABSENTIA (U.K.). The prize for the best animation was given to Helene Moinerie for the film D'UNE CITÉ L'AUTRE (France). The Grand Prix of the festival went to the Finnish documentary HYPPÄÄJÄ by PV Lehtinen. Twenty films out of 69 in the competition were animations, somewhat less than usual.
Big Idea Productions has announced that production has started on their first theatrical release, JONAH: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE. The CGI-animated film is slated to hit theaters in 2002. Big Idea's direct-to-video series VEGGIETALES has sold more than 20 million units to date. The film will be a humorous retelling of the Bible story of Jonah and the whale. Currently, Big Idea is searching for a distribution partner. A sneak peek of the feature will be previewed on the March 27 video release, LYLE, THE KINDLY VIKING.
Richard Stone, the music composer for many Warner Animation TV series, has passed away. He died on Thursday, March 8 of pancreatic cancer. He was only 47 years old. He is the man responsible for the ANIMANIACS, PINKY & THE BRAIN, FREAKAZOID and THE SYLVESTER & TWEETY MYSTERIES theme songs. Stone started as a music editor for such films as WITNESS and PLATOON. He later worked on other Warner TV cartoons such as HISTERIA, ROAD ROVERS and the direct-to-video features TINY TOON ADVENTURES: HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION and WAKKO'S WISH.
Cartoon Movie (March 15-17, 2001, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany) is the European market for animation feature film. The annual event is put together by the AEFA Cartoon (European Association for Animated Films), which has been organizing the Cartoon Forum, the co-production marketplace for TV animation, every year since 1990. Cartoon Movie gives European feature film producers the chance to meet and exchange ideas, even create co-production partnerships.