Questions have been floating around for months on how the Academy will handle the curse-word laced best song nominee "Blame Canada" at the Oscar ceremony. Producers have added more interest to the issue by naming king of improv, Robin Williams, as the singer of the song from the censor-mocking, Canada-bashing comedy, SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER AND UNCUT. Whether "Blame Canada" song lyrics featuring the words "fuck," "fart" and "that bitch Anne Murray," will be bleeped or edited by network censors is still yet unknown.
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Animation and visual effects house, CELLULOID STUDIOS, and live-action production company, VISITOR, helped Anheuser-Busch christen their new Bubble Boy Hockey League campaign. The 30-second "press conference" spots feature Hall of Fame hockey legend Wayne Gretzky as the first commissioner of a new league consisting of the Bubble Boys -- those tabletop hockey players found in many bars and dens. Celluloid created the blend of 2D animation and digital manipulation that brought to life the stiff, plastic Bubble Boy hockey players.
SIMEX Digital Studios teamed up with DUCK SOUP STUDIOS to combine live-action with animation in the new Keebler Elves spot. Promoting Chips Deluxe Cookies, the commercial entitled "One Upsman Chip" pits various elves against each other in a bake-off. SimEx wove together the animation from director Sam Cornell with live-action cookies. Animation director Jean Perramon of SimEx helped add a 3D touch to the backgrounds of the spot. The commercial was produced by Carolyn Bates at Duck Soup and Christina Cox at SimEx. SimEx and Duck Soup created the spot for Chicago-based ad agency Leo Burnett.
HELIUM inflated the new Relenza ads for Santa Monica, California-based design firm FUEL/Razorfish. The 30-second spot for Relenza's anti-flu prescription medication features 3D animation of the process in which a viral infection develops in the lungs. Scenes were also created to demonstrate the inhalation of the particulate medicine and for the spot's closing title sequence. The animation team consisted of John Scheafer, Helium's Creative Director and Miles Vignol, technical director, along with animator Suzi Hammon and producer Karin Rainey.
Brian Miller has been named VP and general manager of the new Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank. Miller will oversee the studio's production department as well as the day-to-day operations. Formerly, Miller served as VP of production at Nickelodeon's Nicktoons Animation Studio, where he oversaw all production. Before moving to Nicktoons, Miller was VP of animation at Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, where he managed all domestic and overseas productions.
Nickelodeon has named Michele Moore as the new VP of communications. Formerly, Moore served as director of media relations at interactive TV company Wink Communications. Moore will work out of Nick's New York office. She will oversee the development and promotion of publicity for Nick's TV division and its off-channel businesses, including public affairs, consumer products, recreation and magazines.
LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC announced it has teamed with Verant Interactive Inc. and Sony On-line Entertainment to create the first massive multi-player STAR WARS on-line role-playing game. Gameplay will jettison players into a unique combination of combat, specialized missions and daring quests. The STAR WARS on-line game will be developed by Verant, distributed and sold at retail stores by LucasArts, and available for play exclusively on-line at The Station@sony.com. This alliance partners together three of the foremost companies in the interactive entertainment industry.
MIXME NETWORKS, INC., a developer of media technologies supporting dynamic, interactive e-marketing tools and interactive greetings, announced the appointment of RUSSELL T. GILLAM as the company's new CEO. Gillam is an Internet pioneer coming to MixMe Networks, Inc. from Disney Direct where he served as senior VP of commerce. Gillam was responsible for all the Internet initiatives of Disney properties. There he led a staff of over 1,000 people across the e-commerce units including Disney, ABC, ESPN and Go.com.
Sweden-based animation studio Filmtecknarna F. Animation has produced eleven 30-second, 2D animated spots for Oxygen Media entitled "Mom's On-line." The commercials are based on actual advice on childcare that mothers have posted on the Oxygen Web site. Commissioned by Oxygen Media's Bee Murphy, the spots were directed by Jonas Odell and produced by Leila El-Zein. Filmtecknarna produces commercials for the international market, as well as short films and TV series. Their spot for the British beer "Boddingtons" is currently nominated in the British Animation Awards.
Manga Entertainment has announced the launch of the official X Web site. X is the latest anime hit from Japan to be released in U.S. theatres. The supernatural thriller was designed by the all-female studio, Clamp. The film is directed by Rintaro, who has been working in anime for over 30 years and is best known in the U.S. for directing the TV series KIMBA THE WHITE LION and ASTRO BOY. The site will feature a live streaming video trailer courtesy of sputnik7.com for both Real Player and Windows Media Player and an official movie poster giveaway to the first 100 entrants.
Plympton's new series of comics extracted from the comic book,
"Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton," is for ADULTS ONLY...
The Brussels Cartoon and Animated Film Festival has announced their
winners. This year's jury consisted of Canal +'s Servane Calmant,
director Catherine Montondo, RTBF journalist Hugues Dayez, Plateau
journalist Luc Joris and producer Steve Walsh. The prize winners at
this year's festival are: French Community Grand Prize: "Bzz" by
Benoît Feroumont; Flemish Community Grand Prize: "Suburbanites" by
Stefan Vermeulen; Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques
The king of family film remakes Eddie Murphy will star in the newest redux of THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN. Set to direct the film is TOMMY BOY helmer Peter Segal. Fred Wolf, a former writer on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, has penned the new version of the film that follows the trials and tribulations of a man shrunk to the size of a mouse by a strange mist.
Curious Pictures has finished production on AVENUE AMY for the fledgling cable network, Oxygen Media. The series is directed by Curious Pictures' Joan Raspo and written by Amy Sohn, based off of her New York Press column. The new show will air on "X-Chromosome," an original showcase of animation done by women. The show sets brightly colored, rotoscoped actors against live-action photo collage backgrounds in a satirical look at daily life of a woman living in New York. The animated block airs on Oxygen Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 pm.
The new UPN clay animated series HORMONE HIGH has added more names to its lengthy voice cast. Recently joining the pilots' cast are Jerry O'Connell (MISSION TO MARS, SLIDERS), John Cryer (GETTING PERSONAL), Adam Goldberg (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) and Jennifer Tilly (BOUND, BRIDE OF CHUCKY). The half-hour comedy is being directed by CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH creator Eric Fogel. Other talent on the voice-over cast are PUNKY BREWSTER child-star Soleil Moon Frye, FRAISER's Harriet Sansom Harris, SPARKS' Arif Kinchen and BAKERSFIELD, P.D.'s Brian Doyle-Murray.
The Aides of March have changed to the Idiots of March at Cartoon Network. On March 15, 2000, Cartoon Network will feature a mini-marathon of I AM WEASEL. The series follows the exploits of the super-smart weasel, I.M. Weasel, and his blunder-prone baboon nemesis I.R. Baboon. The COW AND CHICKEN spin-off's marathon will air from 7 pm - 10 pm.
Microsoft announced on Friday, March 10, 2000, that it will create its own video-game unit entitled X-Box. The high-end console will be in direct competition with Sony's PlayStation 2 and Sega's Dreamcast. "We want X-Box to be the platform of choice for the best and most creative game developers in the world," said Microsoft chairman Bill Gate at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose. Intended to be a hybrid of the personal computer and traditional gaming console, the new system is expected to hit stores sometime in 2001.
Sony Corp. shares took a gouge on Friday, March 10, 2000 after the company reported it was investigating customer complaints about a glitch in their new PlayStation 2 gaming system. A spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), Sony's game unit, said it was looking into problems associated with the new console's playing of DVDs. The company's shares fell 6.41% to end at ¥26,300 (US$249), extending a seven straight day losing streak that has brought a 22% price drop in the stock.
The Brussels Cartoon and Animated Film Festival has announced their winners. Each year the festival programs the "crème de la crème" in international animation and serves as one of the top festivals on the international cartoon and computer generated images circuit. This year's jury consisted of Canal +'s Servane Calmant, director Catherine Montondo, "RTBF" journalist Hugues Dayez, "Plateau" journalist Luc Joris and producer Steve Walsh. Brussels nominates four films for the prestigious Cartoon d'Or, the winner of which will be announced in September.
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On March 9, 2000, the winners of the British Animation Awards were announced to a packed audience at London's National Film Theatre. The big winner was ROBBIE THE REINDEER: HOOVES OF FIRE directed by Richard Goleszowski, which took home three awards. The half-hour TV special tells the story of the trainee reindeer, Robbie (son of Rudolph), and his bulbous nose. The film was a BBC Animation Unit/BBC Worldwide production in association with Comic Relief. Oscar short-listed films HUMDRUM and SILENCE both picked up awards. Below is a full list of winners in each category.
Palo Alto, California-based Pacific Data Images is looking for SENIOR
CHARACTER ANIMATORS. . . Neoglyphix, a pre-IPO Internet entertainment
channel, has an opening for an ANIMATION DIRECTOR who will supervise
all artwork for production of the company's animated Webisodes. . .
Colorado Springs-based Visual Approach is looking for 3D CHARACTER
ANIMATORS for the production of a 3D animated kids series. . .
Hollywood Digital Visual Effects is seeking junior and senior 3D