On May 27, 2000 in Europe, Turner Broadcasting will launch Boomerang, a brand new animation channel from the Cartoon Network stable. The new network will feature over 2,000 characters such as Top Cat, Wacky Races, Yogi Bear and the Hair Bear Bunch. The new channel will run from 6 am until midnight and will be available along with Cartoon Network and Cartoon Network Plus to all Sky Digital homes. Discussions with operators for digital cable and DTT carriage are also underway.
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Nelvana Limited has acquired the worldwide development, production, distribution and merchandising rights to LITTLE CRITTER. The series will be based on the best-selling books by Mercer Mayer. Beginning in 1976, the 90-book LITTLE CRITTER series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. The story follows the everyday life of Little Critter and his friends Tiger and Gator. As the oldest sibling of five, Critter has to balance his responsibilities with playing sports, going to the mall and reading comics.
THE MIRACLE MAKER is set to air on Easter Sunday at 7 pm screening on ABC. Set in 1st Century Israel, the story follows a sick young girl, Tamar (Rebbeca Callard), her Pharisee father Jairus (William Hurt), and her desperate mother Rachel (Julie Christie) as they encounter the charismatic preacher Jesus (Ralph Fiennes). Can Tamar be healed before those in authority strike against Jesus? THE MIRACLE MAKER was created by Christopher Grace of S4C following the success of SHAKESPEARE: THE ANIMATED TALES, TESTAMENT: THE BIBLE IN ANIMATION and THE CANTERBURY TALES.
COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG has joined Cartoon Network Latin America's line up. The series chronicles the life of a terribly timid dog named Courage who must regularly defend his owners, an old couple living on a farm outside the small town of Nowhere, from paranormal elements that threaten their simple existence. Based on the character from the 1996 Academy Award-nominated cartoon short THE CHICKEN FROM OUTER SPACE, created by John R. Dilworth, COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG is the seventh Cartoon Network Original to make an exclusive appearance in Latin America.
POKEMON is still going strong. KIDS WB! has ordered 52 more episodes of the phenomenon for September 2000. The latest broadcasters to catch the series are TV4 Sweden, TV2 Denmark, TV2 Norway, MTV Finland, RTL-Klub (Hungary) and RTL-TVI (Belgium), as well as Cartoon Network in Australia and New Zealand. The total number of episodes for the series is now 156.
Portuguese broadcaster RTP has begun airing the interactive gameshow STINKY AND BEAVER. The ITE property is created using Silicon Graphics software and 3D animation. The series introduces players to CGI characters who test the participants and serve as the show's hosts. The series is included in RTP's Interactive Hour next to ITE's successful HUGO series.
On Wednesday, April 12, 2000, Nelvana Limited announced it has acquired privately held Klutz, one of the leading branded children's book publishers in the U.S., for US$74 million. The Toronto-based company plans to integrate Klutz into Nelvana's Branded Consumer Products business, which includes established operations in publishing and merchandise licensing. Under the terms of the agreement, Nelvana will acquire 100% of the stock of Klutz.
The Screen Actors Guild and Saban have been struggling over the issue of dubbing rules for DIGIMON:THE MOVIE. Under SAG's dubbing agreement, Saban's Bugboy Productions hired Guild actors to dub the Japanese animated film into English. The dubbing agreement does not require American actors to be paid residuals for just dubbing foreign language films. However in a letter from SAG attorney Vicki Shapiro to Bugboy Prods., SAG feels that the film was more than just dubbed.
An event has happened that comic book fans have been debating over late night games of Dungeons and Dragons for decades -- What would Batman be like if Stan Lee created him? DC Comics announced the teaming of living legend Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-man, the Hulk and the X-Men and founder of Stan Lee Media, with longstanding rival DC Comics to present Lee's alternative interpretation of such super-heroes as Batman and Superman.
Mattel Interactive has entered into a deal with Danish company, TV Animation, the creators and owners of the animated interactive TV series THE NELLY NUT SHOW and the real-time technology, The Cartoon Broadcast System. The partnership will further develop the series for world TV markets. Mattel Interactive will represent the partnership in North America and other English speaking territories around the globe.
Bristol-based Harvest Films has been commissioned by BBC1 to produce a half-hour animated special entitled, HAMILTON MATTRESS. Developed in conjunction with the BBC Animation Unit, the stop-motion special features a cast of characters created by John Webster, writer of some of the most successful television advertising campaigns. The special will follow the story of an unloved Aardvark and his canny caterpillar companion, who embark on an epic adventure in which friendship and talent triumph over vanity and greed.
If you're waiting for the bus and a poster talks to you don't be startled. To promote, the debut of the hit series ANGELA ANACONDA on Cartoon Network Europe, the toon TV channel has designed talking posters to be placed in bus shelters all over the U.K. The posters will be fitted with a hidden movement sensor that will make it talk whenever a person passes by. There will be five different sound bites plus a song emanating from the posters for Cartoon Network Europe's new 52 part series created by Joanna Ferrone and Sue Rose, creator of the highly successful PEPPER ANN and voice of Angela.
Blue Sky Studios has brought dead fish to life for THE SOPRANOS. Blue Sky's Animation Director Mark Baldo and Lead Technical Director Cliff Bohm were given the task to create the special effects for a pivotal scene in the season finale. The scene features Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), who is wracked with guilt and indecision about his long-time friend, Pussy (Vincent Pastore), who he knows has turned FBI informant.
Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) has signed a multi-year deal with Israel's first and only DTH operator Yes to show Cartoon Network. The Turner toon network will be offered as a 24-hour channel alongside TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and CNN International on Yes' channel packages which will launch in the second half of 2000. "Yes is extremely proud of its association with TBS," said Yona Wiesenthal, Senior Vice President of Content, Yes.
Manga Entertainment brings Hayao Miyazaki's first film to DVD and VHS. THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO is the first film written and directed by anime pioneer and visionary Hayao Miyazaki (PRINCESS MONONOKE, KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE). Loosely based on French novelist Maurice Leblanc's ARSENE LUPIN: GENTLEMAN THIEF adventure, the film follows Lupin, an underworld version of Sherlock Holmes, who is famous for swindling goods from the rich around the world.
DRAGOON descends onto video. Sedon finds the beautiful May unconscious in the snow and that's when this young swordsman's troubles begin. May, the product of an evil experiment, has special powers that her creators will go to unthinkable extents to regain. The U.S. release date is scheduled for April 11, 2000. The English dubbed version will sell for US$19.98 and the Japanese with English subtitled version for $29.95.
SPELL WARS: SORCERER HUNTERS' REVENGE 2 casts a spot in stores in April. The evil Zaha is growing in strength and plans to exploit the Hunters' secret power. However, before they can challenge the villain they must save a small village from the deadly gymbots. SORCERER HUNTERS' REVENGE 2 will hit stores April 11, 2000. The English dubbed version will sell for US$19.98 and the Japanese with English subtitled version for $29.95.
San Francisco, California-based Mondo Media, a leading online animation and syndication company, is looking for 2D TRADITIONAL CHARACTER ANIMATORs, ANIMATION DIRECTORs, CHARACTER DESIGNERs/ILLUSTRATORs and STORYBOARD ARTISTs to work on original Web-based animated shows. . . Imaginary Forces, a conceptual design/production company based in Hollywood, California, is looking for 2D/3D ANIMATORs. . .Manhattan's So!much[design] is looking for a 3D ANIMATOR. .
DRAGON HALF follows the crazy life of Mink, whose father is a knight and mother a dragon. Besides her odd couple parents, Mink has fallen in love with a handsome singer, who also happens to be a dragonslayer. What does a half-breed do when she wants to see her love in concert? Watch and find out. The all-new English dubbed version will fly into stores April 25, 2000, priced at US$19.98.
If you're looking to hire the top animation talent available, post your job openings on AWN absolutely free...
MARTIAN SUCCESSOR NADESICO VOLUME 3 beams onto video. Devastated by a Jovian ambush, the Nadesico flee across the dead surface of Mars. Now the crew's only hope may be a dangerous plan to use the enemy's own technology to transport the Nadesico back to Earth! The mission blasts off on April 25, 2000. The English dubbed version will sell for US$19.98 and the Japanese with English subtitled version for $29.95.
Two new columns in this new issue #19: Ed Hooks and his Voice Acting For Animators column; and Marc Spess and his Claymation column...
GLO*RI*A 2 boards store shelves in April. The wealthy Gloria family has hired new handsome tutors for their young girls. Lessons that aren't taught in normal schools happen when a field trip ends in a fight for survival. The steamy story hits stores on April 11, 2000. The English dubbed version will sell for US$19.98 and the Japanese with English subtitled version for $29.95.