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THE SIMPSONS yet again claimed the primetime TV toon crown scoring an 8.6 rating/13 share in 38th place. KING OF THE HILL notched in a four-way tie for #68, garnering a 5.8 rating/9 share. Not preempted by NFL football, FUTURAMA took the 84th slot with a 4.3 rating/7 share. The premiere of GARY & MIKE placed high for its fledgling network, UPN. With extreme help as a follow-up to WWF SMACKDOWN on Thursday, the new stop-motion cartoon kicked off with a 3.6 rating/5 share in 86th place.
DIC Entertainment has signed on to create 26 half-hour episodes of EVOLUTION, based on Ivan Reitman's forthcoming summer live-action feature. This project re-teams DIC's president and CEO Andy Heyward with Reitman, who collaborated on REAL GHOSTBUSTERS and MUMMIES ALIVE. Producing the series along with DIC will be Reitman's The Montecito Picture Co. (TMPC) in conjunction with DreamWorks and Columbia Pictures. Heyward, Reitman and TMPC's co-founder Tom Pollack will executive produce the traditionally animated show.
* Sunday, January 28 Thursday, February 1, 2001. Reunion Island, France (off the coast of Madagascar).
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Touchstone's UNBREAKABLE is truly becoming an international box office hero with top place finishes all over the globe. In France, UNBREAKABLE held on tight to the top spot, with a gross of US$4.68 million, elevating its cume to $11.74 million. At #3, CHICKEN RUN escaped with a gross of $2.64 million, flying its French cume to $11.48 million. DINOSAUR roared in at #4, grossing $2.22 million, thereby growing its French cume to $25.14 million. In sixth, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS slew $1.16 million, increasing its French cume to $2.83 million.
Disney is releasing for the first time PETE'S DRAGON in its original theatrical 135-minute cut. Hitting stores on January 16, 2001, the VHS and DVD will have a restored and remastered video and audio track. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Original Song Score and Best Song for "Candle On The Water." The story follows lighthouse keeper Lampie (Mickey Rooney) and Nora (Helen Reddy) as they try to save Pete (Sean Marshall) and his pet dragon Elliot from his cruel foster mother Mrs. Gogan (Shelley Winters) and the scheming quack, Dr. Terminus (Jim Dale).
Sinking behind the debut of the new teen drama, SAVE THE LAST DANCE, CAST AWAY drifted into second place at the U.S. box office with a gross of US$17.15 million. The desert island drama, with primary visual effects by Sony Pictures Imageworks, has accumulated an impressive $165.1 million to date. Holding onto third, TRAFFIC drove in with another $11.17 million. The drug ring rage, with primary visual effects by Cinesite, has grabbed $33.08 million so far. In fifth, after its first week in wide release, THIRTEEN DAYS thrilled audiences to the tune of $10.23 million.
Mondo Media has announced that it has obtained over US$17 million in its third round of equity financing. The round was led by SBVC with supporting investment for global expansion from Venturepark and others. Returning investors included Foundation Capital, Sofinnova Ventures and Red Rock Ventures. As part of the round, Carl Rosendahl, principal managing director for SBVC, has joined Mondo Media's board of directors. The money will be used to continue Mondo Media's current productions, develop new ones and expand the company's presence in Europe.
Alison de Vere, the creator of THE BLACK DOG and MR. PASCAL, has passed away. She was 73 years old. Her first regular industry job was with the Halas and Batchelor Studio, which she started in 1951, as a background designer on public relations films. In 1957 she became the head of the Guild Television Services' animation unit. There she directed and designed TV commercials. In 1960 she made her first independent film entitled TWO FACES, based on some of her poetry. She joined TVC in 1967 as design director for YELLOW SUBMARINE. One can catch a cameo of de Vere in the Eleanor Rigby sequence.
The Nasdaq Stock Exchange has officially delisted Film Roman Inc. shares from their Small Cap Market. The move is not unexpected due to Film Roman's failure to meet the Exchange's minimum bid requirements. The final share price on the Nasdaq for the company's shares was 56 cents. After being delisted, Film Roman's common stock was immediately eligible for trading on the OTC Bulletin Board under the new symbol ROMN.OB. The OTC Bulletin Board is a regulated quotation service that displays real-time quotes, last-sale prices and volume information in over-the-counter (OTC) equity securities.
As a consolidation measure, the combined AOL Time Warner company has cut six members from its board of directors including U.S. Secretary of State designate Colin Powell. Former General Powell has received some bad press in regards to his involvement with AOL and how it would affect his work as Secretary of State. His removal from the board can be seen as a move to better insure Powell's approval into president-elect George W. Bush's cabinet. The new company's board consists of 16 members. Three members were cut from each of the two company's boards.
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...
January 1997 saw the passing of Louise Beaudet, a person who dedicated her life to helping the animation community define itself. Louise Beaudet was known for her work at the Cinémathèque Quebecoise in Montreal, perhaps one of the only archives where animation is considered a top priority. In her role as curator of the Cinémathèque, she more than helped fulfill that organization's special interest in animation. Louise was passionate about promoting independent animation. She authored a number of historical texts, essays and monographs.
* Saturday, February 10 Sunday, May 13, 2001. San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
The Exploratorium is sponsoring a major exhibition entitled "Behind
Class-Key Chew-Po Commercials has created two "Election" spots for General Mills' Cocoa Puffs cereal. "Election: Part I" has Sonny the cuckoo bird campaigning against two other candidates and promising to put real chocolate money in specially packaged Cocoa Puffs cereal boxes. In the second spot, Sonny wins the election and announces that for a limited time chocolate coins will be in all Cocoa Puffs Cereal boxes.
Blur Studio has created a new CGI spot promoting Hasbro Interactive's new CD-Rom game PAC-MAN: ADVENTURES IN TIME. In the spot, Pac-Man is pursued through a maze by a quartet of ravenous ghosts and once cornered he turns toward the camera and leaps through the screen. The ghosts follow Pac-Man into the real world but are stymied when he swallows a "Magic Power Pill." "We went for a styling that was not quite photo-real," said Blur Studio CG supervisor Aaron Powell.
Unbound Studios, an animation and interactive entertainment company, has announced Jill Proctor Ramirez to the newly created position of VP of business development. Proctor Ramirez began her career as a newscaster in Dallas, Texas. Later she held the positions of director of development at Morgan Hill Films/Hearst Entertainment and vice president of development at the Dick Clark Film Group.
Valley Cottage, New York's Southeast Design Co. is looking for a 3D ANIMATOR with 4-5 years broadcast animation experience. . . Santa Clara, California's Believe, Inc., a pre-IPO start-up, is looking for experienced SOFTWARE ENGINEERS who will create, implement and support new features, tools and other improvements in custom software. . . New York's Center for Advanced Digital Applications - New York University, an advanced training facility for animation and visual effects, is looking for PART-TIME INSTRUCTORS with experience in digital production and/or art in a professional environment. .
The iXL Digital Video Group, New York, a graphic design and visual effects company, has added Robin Horlick as executive producer and Doug Dimon as senior visual effects artist. Horlick joins iXL following four years as director of sales/executive producer at Sony Music Studios, New York. During her career in television production she has won an Emmy, Peabody and BDA awards.