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AWN Headline News

Company Headline News

TV Loonland Acquires Korean Distrib Firm Saerom

Berlin children's producer TV Loonland has bought a 65% stake in Seoul distribution firm Saerom Entertainment. Saerom is the third-largest video and DVD distributor in Korea and controls a leading Internet film portal, which it has been leveraging as a new means of distribution. TV Loonland will pay US$9.5 million for its share of the company, which foresees sales of $14 million and profits of $2 million for the year 2000. The move is yet another step in TV Loonland's global expansion, giving the company a strong distribution and Internet foothold in Asia.

Animation Headline News

This Week's Web Animation Guide For Friday, December 15, 2000

AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. In this week's edition John K's George Liquor hits Icebox, the finale of Stain Boy, first two Webisodes of The Critic, Undercover Brother's second season premiere and much, much more!

Get your Web Animation Guide here!

Also every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"

Time Headline News

FTC Says You've Got A Time Warner/AOL Merger!

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.

Company Headline News

Shockwave.com and AtomFilms To Merge

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.

Animation Headline News

The Acrobat Issue Of Animation World Magazine Is Now On-Line!

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.

Animation Headline News

New Jobs: Animators, Digital Artists, Directors, Visual Artists And More...

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. . .

Company Headline News

EM.TV Investigated For Insider Trading

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 14, 2000 at 12:00am

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%.

Headline News

DIC Signs Up Camp Jake

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 14, 2000 at 12:00am

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.

Animation Headline News

Mondo Media To Syndicate Elmo Aardvark

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 14, 2000 at 12:00am

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

Disney Headline News

Disney Signs Japanese Toy Deal With Tomy

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 14, 2000 at 12:00am

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 Headline News

Toon Boom Gets Real About Web Animation

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.

Game Headline News

Simpsons New Licenses Include Monopoly & Trivia Game

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 14, 2000 at 12:00am

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.

Production Headline News

WireBreak Jumps Net For TV

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 14, 2000 at 12:00am

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 Headline News

Creative Planet Lays Off 72

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 14, 2000 at 12:00am

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.

Studio Headline News

Mainframe & Studio B Announce First Co-Production Toon

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 12:00am

Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. and Studio B Productions have announced their first co-development project for television entitled SURF N TURF. The traditional cel and CGI animated series is a multiple segment comedy property created by Amanda Connor and Jim Palmiotti. In 1991, Palmiotti began his career with Marvel Comics and has since worked for DC Comics and Fleer on such titles as SUPERMAN, BATMAN THE MOVIE and KID DEATH AND ASH, which has been optioned for a feature film by DreamWorks SKG. Connor's work can be seen in MAD MAGAZINE, THE NEW YORK TIMES and BARBIE FASHION.

Comics Headline News

Superman Publisher Liebowitz Passes

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 12:00am

Jack S. Liebowitz, the comic book publisher who first brought Superman to the page, passed away on Monday, December 11 at his home in Great Neck, New York. He was 100 years old. Liebowitz immigrated to New York in 1910 from his birthplace in Proskurov, Ukraine. He and his partner, former pulp magazine publisher Harry Donenfeld, started publishing the series DETECTIVE COMICS in 1937. This title was the first successful comic centering on one theme. The series later provided the name for the company DC Comics.

Star Headline News

Undercover Brother Feature Gains Star & Director

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 12:00am

Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment have secured a star and director for the UNDERCOVER BROTHER feature. Based off the UrbanEntertainment.com cartoon series, the live-action film will star Eddie Griffin (MOD SQUAD) and Malcolm Lee (BEST MEN) will direct. The UNDERCOVER BROTHER Webseries was one of the first Webtoons to make the jump to film. John Ridley (THREE KINGS) signed a US$2 million deal to pen and executive produce the feature adaptation.

Million Headline News

3rd Rugrats Pic Teams Tykes With The Thornberrys

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 12:00am

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies have announced that the third installment of the RUGRATS movie franchise will team the precocious tykes with the characters from Nick's THE WILD THORNBERRYS. Los Angeles animation house Klasky Csupo, who produces the TV versions of THE RUGRATS and THE WILD THORNBERRYS, will produce the feature film with Paramount distributing it. No release date has been set of yet. The second edition of the theatrical franchise, RUGRATS IN PARIS, now in theaters, has grossed US$60.5 million to date and reportedly cost only $30 million to make.

Dreamworks Headline News

The Road To El Dorado Leads To Home Video

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 12:00am

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 Headline News

Anime 18 Heats Up Homes With Release Of Magic Woman M

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 12:00am

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.

Movie Headline News

Miramax's Biggest Grossing Pic, Scary Movie Hits Home Video

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 12:00am

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.

Creative Headline News

DIC Gains New Creative Head

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 12:00am

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 Headline News

Wild Brain Names New CFO

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 12:00am

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.

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