UPN has ordered thirteen episodes of "Home Movies," a new half-hour primetime animated sitcom from Tom Snyder Productions, the producers of Comedy Central's "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist" and ABC's Saturday morning series, "SquiggleVision" (aka "Science Court"). The series will be done in the producer's trademark production technique, "SquiggleVision" which is also used on Snyder's other shows. Tentatively scheduled to premiere in April, comedian Paula Poundstone, Brendon Small, and H.
AWN Headline News
Acclaim Entertainment has released the highly-anticipated "South Park" video game for Nintendo 64 with a PC version that will be available in January 1999. The adventure game features original dialogue recorded by Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and Issac Hayes and can be played in a single or multi-player mode. The game unfolds as a mysteriously evil comet approaches South Park causing much mayhem. It is left up to Kenny, Kyle, Stan and Cartman to save the day. All the perennial "South Park" characters pop up throughout the game including Mr. Hankey, Chef, Terrance and Phillip, and Big Gay Al.
San Francisco-based (Colossal) Pictures created a new animated Nickelodeon theatrical open, which premiered with Paramounts The Rugrats Movie, and stars Slap D. Pooch, a blue-balloon-nosed dog who was featured in his own short film as part of Nickelodeons Oh Yeah! Cartoons! series. The 16-second open, Slaps Fleck, was directed by Colossals Charlie Canfield, creative directed by George Evelyn, and animated by Chuck Gammage Animation based on a character created by Bill Burnett and designed by Vincent Waller.
Chris Wedge, one of the founders of Blue Sky Studios (now Blue Sky | VIFX), has released his personal film, "Bunny." The seven-minute computer-animated film utilizes "radiosity," an advanced computer rendering technique, a relative of the ray-tracing technology, that mimics subtle properties of natural light. The three-year project was written and directed by Chris Wedge, produced by Nina Rappaport, with music by singer/songwriter Tom Waits.
This year's final and quite possibly, most anticipated, animated feature, DreamWorks' "The Prince of Egypt" debuted this past weekend at number two with a respectable but not stellar $14.5M. While DreamWorks reps blame the impeachment proceedings, the White House affair didn't seem to have much effect on the strong $18.4M number one opening for the live-action Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film, "You've Got Mail." It is too early to make any guesses on the success of DreamWorks' 'Prince' and the next few holiday weeks will be integral in determining the film's profitability.
San Francisco-based Wild Brain has completed an in-house seven-minute short film called A Dog Cartoon, featuring a highly-energetic dog who faces many perils as he attempts to recover his coveted bone.
Hong Kong-born animation director and illustrator Paul Chung completed a French bubblegum spot, "Rainforest," for Passion Pictures through Young and Rubicam (Paris, France). The ad takes place in a brightly colored South American jungle setting as Indian natives watch their jungle being destroyed by an army of loggers. To thwart the loggers, a native opens a pack of Malabar bubblegum and from the pack jumps the superhero Malabar Man who proceeds to block the bulldozers with gum. The 30-second spot which combines traditional 2D with computer animation, will air in France starting in 1999.
Hollywood Shorts, a monthly series designed to screen short films and introduce their directors to the Hollywood film community, is currently accepting animated entries for possible exhibition in upcoming programs. Submissions received by February 1, 1999 will be given first consideration for spring programming. Films must be under 30 minutes in length and submitted on VHS - NTSC only. For complete entry info, contact Kimberley Browning at Hollywood Shorts: email@example.com or (310) 358-7634.
By special arrangement with Nielsen Media Research, AWN publishes the Nielsen ratings for animated programs on a monthly basis in the Animation Flash. The ratings included herein are only for U.S. national network television. The following list of animated national network programs is ranked by Household Ratings. A Rating is the percentage of households that tuned into the program. This percentage can provide us with the number of households that tuned into the program on average during the month. The universe estimate for the 1997-98 television season is 98 million TV homes.
The 1999 Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival, now in its 52nd year, will take place from May 13-16, 1999 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada. Entries to compete for the festival's Golden Sheaf Awards are now being accepted until March 5, 1999. Awards will be given to Canadian film entries in a total of nineteen film categories including: Animation, Children's Production, Arts and Entertainment, Comedy, Educational and Commercials. International filmmakers can enter works in five categories including: Children's Production, Documentary and Drama.
Disney may not have an animated film to put up against DreamWorks Prince of Egypt, but theyve come up with an ingenious way of profiting from the November release of A Bugs Life. The company announced that starting December 18th, a completely new set of animated bloopers will accompany the closing credits of the film.
Coming off their successful animated feature, Antz, Pacific Data Images (PDI) and DreamWorks have announced that their next collaboration will be Tusker, directed by Tim Johnson (co-director of Antz) and Brad Lewis (producer of Antz). The film will be PDI/DreamWorks third project and will follow the release of Shrek, which is currently in production. Tusker follows a herd of elephants as they make a perilous trek across Southeast Asia confronting numerous dangers including a malevolent group of poachers.
As a follow-up to our 11/17/98 Animation Flash story, Canadian-based CINAR Films Inc. has changed their name to CINAR Corporation (Corporation CINAR in French) after a Special Meeting of Shareholders approved the change. The new name better reflects the diversification of the companys business activities which have expanded beyond the film industry.
MEDIALAB, a real-time performance animation production company, and Cine-Groupe, a production house and distributor of animation, have joined forces for the first time in a co-production deal that will see two properties, Pinocchio 3001 and Sphinx@com, developed into computer-generated animated feature films and television series. These projects will be produced over the next four years using MEDIALABs propietary performance animation techniques.
* Monday, November 30 - Thursday, December 3. La Reunion Island, France.
The biennial 3rd Encounters of the Indian Ocean Institute of the Image isexceptionally well organized this year, featuring a tribute to the lateanimation teacher Pierry Ayma, a co-founder of the Indian Ocean Institute.Fifty European professionals will meet to discuss the following theme:real-time data and sound transfer for production and [long distance]training purposes. AWN's General Manager Annick Teninge, will attend the
The premiere of Faith Hubley's new film "Africa" is set to take place at Storyopolis on December 15th. The 10-minute film will screen at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, and 6:30 p.m. at the New Line Cinema. A reception follows afterwards at Storyopolis from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Faith and Emily Hubley will be present at the reception. The screening and reception are open to the public free of charge, however, guests must RSVP by calling (310) 828-7577.
After two weekends at No. 1, "A Bug's Life" slipped to second with $11 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period due to a strong opening for "Star Trek: Insurrection," the ninth entry in the consistently profitable sci-fi franchise. Warner Bros.' effects-laden film "Jack Frost" had an acceptable but underwhelming $7 million opening. Paramount's "The Rugrats Movie" continued to attract little tykes taking fifth place with $4.5 million. "A Bug's Life" has now grossed a total of $83.3 million in 24 days of release while "The Rugrats Movie" has brought in $73.2 million in the same amount of time.
The new, futuristic "Batman Beyond" animated series is set to have a special one-hour primetime sneak preview on Sunday, January 10, 1999 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. (EST/PST). The series will officially premiere on the Kids WB! with a special one-hour debut on Saturday morning, January 16 (time to be announced). "Batman Beyond" will move to its regular Saturday 9:30 a.m. timeslot on January 23. The show is set in the early part of the 21st century where an older and "retired" Bruce Wayne, Batman's alter ego, becomes the mentor to young teenager Terry McGinnis, a young crimefighter in training.
* Sunday, December 13. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Hollywood Shorts, a monthly film festival dedicated to independent short films and videos, will take place 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at The Joint (8771 West Pico Boulevard in West LA). The screening includes the animated film "Call Me Fishmael." A holiday party follows the screening. If you don't live in L.A. and would still like to still see the films, they can be seen through the Internet at http://www.lalive.com.
* Friday, December 11. New York, New York, U.S.A.
Join the Animazing Gallery (415 West Broadway, 2nd Fl) in celebrating the Disney and Warner Bros. 75th Anniversay from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The gallery has some holiday offers as well that may interest animation art collectors. To RSVP or for more information call (212)226-7374 or e-mail Animazing@worldnet.att.net.
A.D.V. Films has announced the acquisition of "Queen Emeraldas," a new film from Leiji Matsumoto (creator of the '70s animated series "Space Cruiser Yamato," a.k.a. "Starblazers"). The film features Matsumoto's unique sense of character design utilizing traditional and computer animation. The story takes place in the far future when humanity has expanded into space and colonized the stars. Since pirates ply the space routes preying on the weak and helpless, the rebel Emeraldas sails the Sea of Stars fighting evil using her array of futuristic weapons.
Sony Signatures' Film and Television division has named Hasbro, Inc. as the master toy licensee for the holiday '99 Columbia Pictures live-action/visual effects film, "Stuart Little." Hasbro will produce everything from plush toys to interactive software. The film is based on the classic E.B. White book of the same name about a mouse who is raised by the Littles, a human family who learns to dream big and live large when they think little.
The largest worldwide licensing event is set to take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, New York on June 8-10, 1999. The convention has moved to the main exhibit hall, the premiere space in the Convention Center, to better accommodate the many companies that will exhibit there, including Universal, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, MTV, Harvey, Jim Henson, Mattel, Hasbro, and Polygram, among others.
After four months of judging and over two hundred entries, the winners have been chosen for MTV's 1998 Character Screen Test competition. The contest was designed by the MTV animation development department as a way to discover new talented artists and voice actors. MTV is now in the process of assessing the various potential development possibilities of the winning entries. The winners are as follows:
1st place - $2000:Mitch Greenblatt (New York City, New York)
2nd Place - $1500:Thomas Schmid (New York City, New York)
Savage Steve Holland, co-creator of "Eek! the Cat," has signed on with the William Morris Agency for representation in all fields. He will be repped by Rob Wolken, Spencer Baumgarten and Greg Lipstone. He is currently creating, writing and directing DIC's "Sabrina, the Animated Series." In addition, he's also written and directed live-action films including "Better Off Dead" (1985) and "One Crazy Summer" (1986).