Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, is launching the largest expansion in its history. New attractions that will be added in the next 12 months include "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin," an interactive film ride; "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," a ride for youngsters which will replace "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride;" and a return of "The Main Street Electrical Parade," featuring floats of Dumbo, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and other animated characters.
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HBO will launch its new 24-hour channel, HBO Family, in February 1999. The venture is being headed up by Sheila Nevins, senior vice president of original programming for HBO, and Dolores Morris, who left Children's Television Workshop (CTW) in June to become vice president of HBO Family [AF 6/2/98].
Humongous Entertainment has released the first two CD-Roms based on Nickelodeon's animated/live-action series, "Blue's Clues." "Blue's ABC Time Activities" is available for U.S. $19.99 and "Blue's Birthday Adventure" is $29.99. Both titles are Windows and Macintosh compatible, and feature games and educational activities aimed at 3-6 year-olds. The games are the first releases to come out of an exclusive, five-year worldwide deal with Nickelodeon.
The International Center for Gibbon Studies (ICGS) in Santa Clarita, California has agreed to host a private event for artists interested in sketching the live animals. Presented by Women In Animation Los Angeles on Saturday, September 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the trip will include a lectured tour and a rare opportunity to practice life drawing of more than 30 animals. "Gibbons are fast-moving small primates that are active in the morning and slow down during the afternoon, so the day will satisfy quick sketch to intense study for all artists," said event coordinator Susan Palmer.
The Nashville Independent Film Festival (NIFF) (formerly known as Sinking Creek) is accepting submissions for its next edition, June 9-13, 1999. A first prize in the animation category at this festival will qualify your film for Academy Award consideration. Entry fees vary, and the deadline is December 4. The first 100 entries will receive a free pass to the festival. For entry forms and information, visit www.nashvillefilmfestival.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Friday, September 11. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The 50th annual Prime Time Emmy Awards will take place, and will simultaneously air on the cable network, TV Land. The winner in the animated series category will be included in the next Animation Flash.
BILL DENNIS has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mumbai, India-based UTVI ANIMATION and RM/USL STUDIOS, the largest animation studio in India. Dennis will be responsible for overseeing and growing the operations of the companies' studios in Singapore and Bombay and for developing new animation studios around the region. He will also oversee all in-house development and co-production deals. Dennis, now based in Los Angeles, was previously president of Fil-Cartoons in Manila, a studio which serviced Hanna-Barbera and Turner Broadcasting before they merged with Time/Warner.
Hollywood Shorts, a monthly short film series that presents new shorts andtheir directors to the Hollywood film community, is seeking submissions.Three shorts, including one animated film, will be featured each month; thenext screenings are October 11, November 15 and December 13, 1998. Eachfilm must be no longer than 40 minutes and the entry fee is $5 per film.The deadline for the October screening is September 15, however, lateentries will be considered for future screenings. For information, contact
By special arrangement with Nielsen Media Research, AWN publishesthe Nielsen ratings for animated programs on a monthly basis in theAnimation Flash. The ratings included herein are only for U.S. nationalnetwork television. The following list of animated national networkprograms is ranked by Household Ratings. A Rating is the percent ofhouseholds that tuned into the program. This percentage can provide us withthe number of households that tuned into the program on average during the
Animation historian John Canemaker is working on his eighth animationhistory book, titled "Walt Disney's Nine Old men and the Art of Animation"to be published by Hyperion in 2001. It will contain detailed biographicalportraits of Les Clark, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis, WardKimball, Milt Kahl, John Lounsbery, Eric Larson and Wolfgang Reitherman.The book will also discuss the early Disney animators who influenced "theNine," such as Ub Iwerks, Norman Ferguson, Fred Moore, Ham Luske, Vladimir
Santa Maria, California-based COMPUTER CAFÉ recreated the opening sequence of "Armageddon" for an Aerosmith video titled "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Digital artists Brett Paton and Mike Bozulich used Lightwave 3D and After Effects software to recreate the asteroid and planets featured in the sequence.
Toronto, Canada-based TOPIX/MAD DOG created 22 animated effects sequences for the first annual Golden Marble Awards show. Director of animation William Cameron used 3D Studio MAX for 3D, and Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects for 2D sequences, with final compositing done on Flint and Flame.
Automaker Lincoln Mercury, a major sponsor for Paramount and Nickelodeon's animated feature, "The Rugrats Movie," will spend approximately U.S. $20 million on tie-in advertising to launch a new minivan called the Mercury Villager in conjunction with the film's release in November. The campaign will include TV ads featuring the Rugrats characters in an animated version of the minivan.
PACIFIC DATA IMAGES (PDI) has licensed Alias|Wavefront's compositing software, Composer, for use in its computer animation production. This represents a significant outside purchase for the studio, which mainly uses in-house proprietary software. PDI's director of research and development, Ken Pearce explained, "It's often difficult to incorporate off-the-shelf solutions into our proprietary graphics pipeline, but the openness of Composer makes it easy to integrate."
BIOMECHANICS has released a software program called Nuance, which is specifically designed to edit captured motion. It allows animators to "tweak" motion-capture data to perfect the animation or "resize" motion by determining a number of frames over which an action will occur. Nuance can be used with 3D animation software such as Maya and 3D Studio MAX. The cost is U.S. $7, 495. for a single-seat license.
JON VEIN has been promoted from senior to executive vice president at FILM ROMAN, a role in which he will continue to oversee the company's reach into feature films, including "There Goes the Neighborhood," a live-action/animation film in development with Universal.
On September 1, Buena Vista Home Entertainment released the English-language dubbed video of Hayao Miyazaki's animated feature, "Kiki's Delivery Service." The family film tells the story of a 13-year-old witch named Kiki. The English voice track features Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, Matthew Lawrence, Debbie Reynolds and Janeane Garofolo. The film is 104 minutes, rated "G" and priced at U.S. $19.99. The Walt Disney Company will distribute several more of Miyazaki's films, including "Princess Mononoke" (theatrical release by Miramax, summer 1999) and "Castle in the Sky" (video release 1999).
MIKE DARNELL has been promoted to executive vice president of specials and alternative programming for FOX BROADCASTING, where he will oversee new projects including the animated series "Family Guy," "The PJs" and "Futurama." Darnell joined the network in 1994 as director of specials.
Fall is upon us, and so is the season of many video releases. Following is a list of upcoming U.S. video releases of Japanese anime films. A.D.V. Films and their label Urban Vision will release "Tekkamen Blade II - Stage 3: Final Encounter" (9/22/98), "Dark Warrior" (10/06/98), "MAPS 1 & 2" (10/06/98), "Dark Warrior - First Strike" (10/06/98), "Cutey Honey Volume 2" (10/13/98), "Delinquent in Drag" (10/20/98), "Ruin Explorers 2" (10/27/98) and "Slayers: Dragon Slave!" (11/10/98).
SAM REGISTER has been promoted to vice president of CARTOON NETWORK ONLINE. He was previously creative director for the division, and has overseen the development and recent launch of the network's web site, www.cartoonnetwork.com. Prior to joining Cartoon Network in Atlanta, Register worked in San Francisco at (Colossal) Pictures as creative director and at Turner New Media, where, as creative director, he created the Cartoon Network World section of America Online.
Coinciding with the U.S. tour of The Spice Girls, Psygnosis has released "Spice World," a PlayStation console video game. The game, aimed at pre-teen girls, gives users a chance to choreograph dance routines starring animated versions of Ginger, Scary, Baby, Posh and Sporty Spice. While it may not be rocket science, the Spice Girls game does address a need for games designed for girls. "Spice World" for PlayStation is $35.95.
JIM KEESHEN has joined FILM ROMAN as a director on the animated series, "Family Guy." This spring, his company Jim Keeshen Productions produced the show's pilot with creator Seth MacFarlane.
Thursday, September 3 - Sunday, September 6. Lake Buena Vista, Florida, U.S.A.
The Disney Institute, a vacation resort, hosts "Mulan: An Animation Experience," a four-day event which gives guests a hands-on look at the making of the animated feature "Mulan." The program includes animation workshops, appearances by the film's supervising animator Mark Henn, CGI supervisor Eric Guaglione, head of special effects David Tidgwell and voice actress June Foray. For pricing and information, call (800) 496-6337. This event will be repeated September 11-14.