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AWN Headline News

Headline News VIZ announces new Internet partnerships and web site relaunch

Viz Communications, a leading U.S. publisher of Japanese animation and

comics (anime and manga), including titles such as POKEMON, DRAGON BALL

Z, and Hayao Miyazaki's NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF WIND, announced new

Internet partnerships and the relaunch of their chief Web sites.

www.viz.com will provide the latest news and information on anime and

manga series. www.j-pop.com will feature reviews on the latest in

Japanese pop culture including anime, manga, games, music and film.

Headline News Salsa creates MUPPET TIME block for FETV

Salsa Distribution has put together a deal that will create a new Jim

Henson programming block entitled MUPPET TIME in Panama. FETV will air

MUPPET TIME starting January 3, 2000 in a deal that lasts 2 years. The

block will include the MUPPET SHOW, MUPPETS TONIGHT, MUPPET BABIES,

FRAGGLE ROCK and JIM HENSON'S ANIMAL SHOW.

Headline News WILD THORNBERRYS recreational vehicle to tour US

The Nickelodeon toon THE WILD THORNBERRYS will be coming to a town near

you beginning February 14, 2000. Starting at Toy Fair in New York City,

the Commvee recreational vehicle from the series is making its real

world debut. After Toy Fair, the Commvee will make appearances at Nick's

"All That Music and More" tour venues, "The Big Help" events, and

various "Lucky 10" markets across the U.S. So when picking up wild

berries at the local Lucky 10 don't miss out on meeting the wild

Headline News CRAWFORD promotes THOMPSON

Atlanta-based CRAWFORD COMMUNICATIONS, a service provider for all

aspects of television, film, Internet, audio and satellite

communications, has announced that BILL THOMPSON has been promoted from

Production Services Division's Director of Operations to VP of

Post-Production. The 10-year veteran of the company will oversee

editing, audio, graphics, telecine and the film labs. While no longer

servicing the day-to-day operations, Thompson will still head Crawford's

production services.

Headline News shockwave.com unveils holiday site additions

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 30, 1999 at 12:00am

shockwave.com, a leading Internet entertainment site, announced new holiday additions to its award-winning site. The additions include new creative applications Toonmaker and Puzzlemaker; new festive greeting cards; and an improved Shockmachine experience. These free on-line gifts can be sent to friends and family. Toonmaker enables users to create personal cards and cartoons using well known characters such as the kids from South Park. Puzzlemaker allows users to turn their own photos into puzzles, add messages and then send them to friends.

Headline News Y2K focused multimedia series launched

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 30, 1999 at 12:00am

shockwave.com, One Infinity and Madlab Creative have produced Why2k@large which uses Flash 4 animation and MP3 streaming audio technologies to present an animated, multimedia series focusing on the approach of the year 2000. Live interviews were collected on the streets of New York City, New Orleans and San Francisco featuring what the American public thinks about the approaching Millennium.

Headline News JOHN COOKE leaves Walt Disney for GETTY TRUST

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 30, 1999 at 12:00am

Walt Disney's former Executive VP of Corporate Affairs JOHN COOKE was named the J. PAUL GETTY TRUST's exec VP of External Affairs. He will be responsible for establishing and maintaining all business relationships, including partnerships between the Getty and other cultural and corporate institutions around the world. . . .

Headline News SEVEN ANIMATION names new Producer

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 30, 1999 at 12:00am

London-based SEVEN ANIMATION, a 3D computer animation and special effects company, has named JO NOBLE as Producer. Noble has done work on PADDINGTON BEAR, DIRTY BEAST, and BEANO. Noble will supervise Seven Animation's childrens programs being developed for MIPTV 2000.

Headline News RIVE GAUCHE names new VP

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 30, 1999 at 12:00am

ANDREA-MANUELA SEIBERT has been named VP, European Sales for RIVE GAUCHE INTERNATIONAL TV. Seibert previously served as lead Acquisitions Exec and Special Project Exec at RTL Television in Munich, Germany. Based in Germany, Seibert will head European sales and marketing of Rive Gauche's programming library, handle acquisitions of European-produced specials for worldwide distribution and coordinate European co-productions.

Headline News BLUE SKY promotes ZAZZA

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 30, 1999 at 12:00am

BLUE SKY STUDIOS, a leading animation house, has promoted LINDA ZAZZA to Operations Manager. She will oversee day-to-day operations of the facility and office, including recommending and hiring administrative staff, working with vendors, planning events and budgeting. Zazza began her tour of duty at Blue Sky as an executive administrative assistant.

Headline News MuppetWorld celebrates on-line Christmas

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 30, 1999 at 12:00am

The Jim Henson Company's MuppetWorld Web site will celebrate its first Yuletide with Kermit the Frog lighting an on-line Christmas tree. MuppetWorld offers a compelling interactive environment, allowing fans to play with their favorite Muppet characters. Fans may purchase Muppet merchandise, take cooking lessons from the Swedish Chef who offers weekly culinary masterpieces in the "What's Cooking?" location, and be able to tune into their favorite Muppet clips.

Headline News Macromedia completes acquisition of Andromedia

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 29, 1999 at 12:00am

Early in December 1999, Macromedia, a leader in digital and Internet software, announced it had completed its acquisition of Andromedia Inc., a leading provider of eMarketing software solutions for e-commerce. Macromedia previously announced a definitive agreement to acquire Andromedia on October 7, 1999. As part of the merger, Macromedia will obtain all of the outstanding stock in Andromedia. The company will issue 5.2 million shares of stock in connection with the deal and will incur one-time charges from the merger of up to $5 million in its fiscal third quarter.

Headline News Stuart Little drops to third in Holiday box office

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 29, 1999 at 12:00am

With new live-action flicks ANY GIVEN SUNDAY and THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY taking the top two spots in the U.S. box office Sony's STUART LITTLE had to settle with third place grossing US$11.82 million bringing its grand total to $39.5 million. TOY STORY 2 finished fourth by flying in with another $10.38 million making its cume $177.5 million. THE GREEN MILE fell to fifth with a weekend pull of $9.26 million and a cume of $53.1 million. New comer GALAXY QUEST, backed by some surprisingly good reviews from the likes of Mr. Ebert, debuted at #7 with a first weekend take of $7.01 million.

Headline News DREAMWORKS brings NATHAN NEVER to the screen

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 29, 1999 at 12:00am

DreamWorks has obtained the screen rights to Nathan Never, a comic published in Italy by Bonelli Editore and imported by Platinum Studios. The story focuses around Nathan Never, a 21st Century Dirty Harry, who, in the wake of a terrible crime, is charged to protect the lone witness. The comic was acquired by DW's Walter Parkes and Glenn Williamson. The pic will be produced by Platinum chairman Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, co-produced by Platinum pres Ervin Rustemagic and senior VP Gregory Noveck. Parkes and Rosenberg teamed up together on MEN IN BLACK.

Headline News SimEx Digital produces animated logo for PBS' NATURE

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 29, 1999 at 12:00am

PBS' NATURE recently received a new animated logo for its opening from digital animation and effects house, SimEx Digital Studios. The opening is a montage of snippets from nature. SimEx helped bring together the show's theme in the opening by illustrating how humans relate to nature everyday. Read more about SimEx Digital Studios and their work from Creative Director Allen Yamashita in Heather Kenyon's Animation World Magazine interview.

Headline News Video game pioneer slated for ZDTV show

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 29, 1999 at 12:00am

ZDTV, a 24-hour cable television channel about computing, technology and the Internet, will have Atari founder Nolan Bushnell on BIG THINKERS. Hosted by Mark Eddo, BIG THINKERS features in-depth discussions with the most visionary and influential men and women working in the high-tech industry today. The episode with Bushnell, the creator of PONG, will air January 5, 2000 at 10:30 pm. These interviews, plus additional footage not shown on air, will be available in streaming video on the show's companion Web site.

Headline News FINAL CUT PRO 1.2 quite a bundle

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 29, 1999 at 12:00am

In promoting post-production on the MAC platform, Apple recently bundled a number of 3D and 2D tools with its Final Cut Pro system. MAXON, Terran Interactive, and Puffin Designs have announced that their software will be bundled in with Final Cut Pro at no extra cost. MAXON's Cinema 4D GO -- their entry level 3D package (in short, a cut down version of their very popular Cinema 4D XL package) -- will be included in the Final Cut Pro package as a full working version, allowing users to create 'flying logos' and other simple 3D imagery for use in their productions.

Headline News A split decision for Net MTV

On Monday, December 20, 1999, MTV Networks,

the music/entertainment cable television and Internet business, announced

it would split its Net company into two separate groups. MTV Networks

On-line will be divvied up into the MTVi Group, which includes VH1.com,

MTV.com and SonicNet.com, and Nickelodeon On-line, which includes nick.com,

nickjr.com, tvland.com, nick-at-night.com, gas.nick.com, teachers.nic.com

and redrocket.com. "Executives in the past have stated that both companies

Headline News Ex-Walt Disney Internet exec freed from jail

As was reported [AF 12/21/99], a federal

court jury convicted former Walt Disney Internet executive, 34-year-old

Patrick Naughton, of possessing child pornography, but deadlocked on

charges that he crossed state lines seeking sex with a "13-year-old girl"

which he arranged via the Internet. On Wednesday, December 22, 1999, U.S.

District Judge Edward Rafeedie reversed his own ruling and released

Naughton from jail, saying it was likely that he would win a new trial. On

Headline News Fantasia/2000 already filling theaters

The advanced ticket sales for

Disney's IMAX release of FANTASIA/2000 have already seen strong numbers. In

Reuters Magazine, Brian Weisfeld, senior vice president of operations for

Toronto-based IMAX Corp., said advanced ticket sales were as high as

$80,000 in some IMAX-operated theaters versus a more normal $4,000. IMAX,

the owner and franchiser of more than 180 IMAX theaters worldwide, hopes

that FANTASIA/2000 will attract other major films to their eight story

Headline News MONONOKE director Miyazaki slated to make new film

As we reported in the past [AF 7/1/97], the

world-renowned Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki had decided to

hang up his white film gloves and never make a feature film again. Well

cheer up anime fans! The master is back to work on a new feature film. This

announcement ends a 2 1/2 year hiatus after PRINCESS MONONOKE broke box

office records all over Japan. What's the follow-up to the US$150 million

hit at the Japanese B.O.? The project is titled SEN TO CHIHIRO NO

Headline News Black Logic Kicks With The Rockettes

By Rick DeMott | Saturday, December 25, 1999 at 12:00am

If you're planning to kick back with the Rockettes this holiday season at

New York City's Radio City Music Hall look forward to a more interactive

show. To be featured in the Christmas Spectacular, Black Logic, a visual

effects, 2D/3D animation and live-action production house, has created a 3D

animated sequence to interact with the Rockettes. A happy "Man in the Moon"

character, based on Georges Melies' A TRIP TO THE MOON, smiles, winks and

Headline News Fablevision Creates 2 New Shows For Noggin'

By Rick DeMott | Saturday, December 25, 1999 at 12:00am

Boston-based animation house Fablevision is slated to create two new shows

for Noggin, the new 24-hour educational network for kids from Nickelodeon

and the Children's Television Workshop. Fablevision will produce CECIL AND

HER VERY OWN UNIVERSE and SWAMP DOG. CECIL will feature a 12-year-old girl

and her robot dog who live in a underground society in the future. Cecil

dreams of leaving her mole-like life to see what above ground has in store.

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