On Thursday, December 14, 2000, the Federal Trade Commission approved America Online's US$111 billion acquisition of Time Warner. As part of the approval, AOL must open its high-speed Internet access to competitors. At least three Internet service providers (ISPs) must be offered when AOL/Time Warner enters a new market. "Our concern was, and has always been, about access," said FTC chairman Robert Pitofsky.
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Shockwave.com and AtomFilms announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, shockwave.com will acquire AtomFilms in a stock-for-stock deal giving Shockwave shareholders 70% of the combined company. In addition, Macromedia, parent of shockwave.com, will now own less than 50% of the new firm. The combined company will announce its new name at the closing of the deal.
December's feature articles are based on the themes of location-based entertainment and anime. Karl Cohen is profiling Imax -- is animation's next frontier in peril? Also, Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman is discussing the past and future of LBE, specifically VR. On the anime side of things Fred Patten is profiling "Vampire Hunter D," the latest anime release to arrive on U.S. soil. Andrew Osmond is interviewing a number of experts and scholars on the stylistic merits of Japanese animation. Be ready to put on your thinking cap before reading this one.
Vancouver, B.C., Canada's a.k.a. Cartoon, Inc., producers of a television series currently airing on Cartoon Network, is looking for a STORYBOARD SUPERVISOR to supervise an in-house staff of storyboard artists. . . Santa Maria, California's BSR Entertainment Group, a movie production company, is looking for EXPERIENCED LIGHTWAVE ANIMATORS with strong character animation skills. . . Fenton, Michigan's Creative Reign has immediate openings for several ANIMATORS and MODELERS to work on a 3D animated children's movie set for release in 2002. . .
This week's updates to the Calendar of Events includes the Noam Markus Mime Workshop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, January 6, 2001; the Australian Effects & Animation Festival in Sydney, Australia, February 26-28, 2001; Culture2Culture at the "Tricky Women" event Vienna, Austria, March 2-8, 2001; and BroadCast WorldWide Market and Conference in Busan, Korea, June 5-8, 2001.
When Bob was a kid, a typical Saturday morning would begin with a bowl of Apple Jacks cereal, then watching melodrama, horror and wrestling with his parents...
Leading experts in their respective fields are here to answer your questions and give you personal advice and insight...
Plympton's new series of comics is extracted from the comic book "Polls Apart - How To Tell A Democrat From A Republican," by Kathy Paton & Bill Plympton...
Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures have tapped top Hollywood actors to voice characters in their upcoming 3D animated feature, JIMMY, NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS. Patrick Stewart (STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION) and Martin Short (INNER SPACE) have signed on to voice characters for the film. The film will chronicle Jimmy's journey into space as he attempts to rescue all the parents from his town who have been kidnapped by the alien Yokians. The feature will start production under the direction of John Davis in January. The scheduled release date is holidays 2001.
Mondo Media has signed a deal with Renegade Animation and Will Ryan Prods. to syndicate their award-winning Webtoon ELMO AARDVARK: OUTER SPACE DETECTIVE! The series features some of Hollywood's top voice talent including June Foray (Rocky, the Flying Squirrel), Diane Michelle (ALLY MCBEAL, MICKEY MOUSEWORKS), Corey Burton (DUDLEY DO-RIGHT, GUMMI BEARS), Keith Scott (ROCKY & BULLWINKLE: THE MOVIE) and Will Ryan (THE LAND
The Walt Disney Co. has inked a deal with Japan's second-largest toy maker, Tomy Co. Ltd., to market, produce and distribute its toys and games in Japan. The exclusive deal does allow Tomy to sublicense certain products to other toy producers. The pact takes affect in April 2001. "This agreement completes a restructuring of our toy business that we began in September, when we established licensing arrangements with Hasbro and Mattel," said Andy Mooney, president of Disney Consumer Products Worldwide.
Toon Boom Technologies has announced its participation in RealNetworks' RealPartner program to refine USAnimation further to work well with RealNetworks' RealSystem. "We're pleased Toon Boom technologies has chosen to support RealSystem and we welcome Toon Boom into the RealPartner Program," said Geoff Walker, senior developer relations manager, RealNetworks, Inc.
Fox Licensing and Merchandising will unveil a whole slate of new SIMPSONS inspired products at Toy Fair in February. Fox has struck a deal with USAopoly to turn the town of Springfield into the classic Monopoly game. Instead of coveting Boardwalk game players will seek out the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. This new Monopoly take off comes after the release of the hot SIMPSONS "Clue" game, which is selling out at various stores around the U.S. Six new Playmate interactive figures will be released including Sunday Best Homer, Moe, Nelson, Milhouse and Kamp Krusty Bart.
WireBreak Entertainment has restructured its business model to fight going under. As a result, the company has laid off most of its staff except for a few key executives. Started in October 1988, the company quickly moved from being a Web destination site to an online producer and syndicator. Now the firm is moving away from Web content and focusing on interactive television, television and film. Current projects will be outsourced to other production houses.
Creative Planet Inc., a business-to-business solutions firm for the film and TV production industries and parent company of Animation World Network, laid off 72 employees, or 20% of the work staff, on Wednesday, December 13, 2000. The move comes on the heels of the company securing US$30 million in financing from United News & Media PLC. "These reductions are unfortunate," said Creative Planet chairman and CEO Alan DeBevoise. "But we have acquired a number of companies, and as you're scaling and integrating and market conditions change, we have had to streamline the organization.
The Munich state prosecutor, Manfred Wick, has begun a probe into allegations that EM.TV, the German family production and merchandising company, has participated in insider trading and other stock market violations. The investigation will focus on EM.TV CEO Thomas Haffa and his brother, Florian, who recently resigned from company's board. This move comes on the heels of investors filing suit last week against the company after EM.TV cut its year-end profit forecast by 90%.
DIC Entertainment is teaming with Tomopoulos Prods. and Jake Steinfeld's Body by Jake Enterprises to create a new animated TV series entitled CAMP JAKE. The show will follow the exploits of the rebellious kids who go to summer camp to get in shape. The companies have agreed to produce 26 initial episodes of the cartoon.
DreamWorks is releasing its animated feature THE ROAD TO EL DORADO on VHS and DVD December 12, 2000. In conjunction with the release, DreamWorks is running a national "Instant Win" campaign for the opportunity to win the grand prize of US$1 million. The film follows friends Tulio and Miguel and their search for the mysterious city of gold. EL DORADO stars the voices of Kevin Kline (Tulio), Kenneth Branagh (Miguel), Edward James Olmos (The Chief), Armand Assante (Tzekel-Kan) and Rosie Perez (Chel).
Anime 18, a top distributor of erotic anime, is releasing MAGIC WOMAN M on video December 12, 2000. Nineteen-year-old Meru is a sorceress who battles unsavory beasts with her explosive power unleashed during the state of pure ecstasy. The 60-minute adventure will sell for US$29.99.
Dimension Home Video is proud to present Miramax's highest grossing film of all time SCARY MOVIE on DVD. Hitting stores December 12, 2000, the sidesplitting teen horror movie spoof was directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans and features visual effects by Centropolis Effects. The DVD will feature a behind-the-scenes featurette; six additional scenes; theatrical trailer; French language track; Spanish subtitles; and DVD-Rom bonuses. The film will retail for US$ $29.99.
DIC Entertainment has named Kaaren Lee Brown senior VP in charge of creative affairs. She will oversee project development and act as a liaison to broadcasters and rights-holders. DIC's current productions that she will head are SUPER DUPER SUMOS, POOR RICHARD'S ALMANAC, MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY: MOVIE TOONS and SALEM. Previous positions Brown has held are VP of entertainment licensing for Full Moon Productions, VP of entertainment licensing at Tyco Toys, VP of acquisitions at Hanna-Barbera and director of licensing at Mattel.
Wild Brain, Inc. announced the appointment of John A. Schwallie as the company's new chief financial officer. As CFO, he will oversee all financial and IT, Facilities and HR operations. Previously, he served as CFO of London-based Central European Media Enterprises (CME), a publicly traded company. While there he helped launch and operate NOVA TV, CME's first national broadcast television station in the Czech Republic. "We are very pleased to welcome someone of John's caliber to Wild Brain," said Jeff Ulin, CEO of Wild Brain, Inc.