AWN Headline News
* Friday, February 12 - Thursday, February 18. London, UK.
"Art & Animation: An International Symposium & Week of Film Screenings takes place at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. The event kicks off on Friday with a lecture on Art & Animation by Russian filmmaker Yuri Norstein. Speakers in the symposium include Dr. William Moritz, Christine Panushka, Ruth Lingford, Stuart Hilton, Erica Russell and Simon Pummell. To find out more, contact Jayne Pilling at email@example.com or call 0171 930 3647 to book symposium tickets.
Showtime Network's Internet service Showtime Online has acquired the on-line rights to the futuristic Web-based animated sci-fi strip, "WhirlGirl," in a multi-year pact with WhirlGirl parent Visionary Media LLC. "WhirlGirl" will debut on the site on February 26 with a complete season of 28 new weekly episodes. Chronicling the adventures of a sassy, 21st century superheroine, Kia Cross (a.k.a. WhirlGirl) fights to save the world from an evil, mediatech empire. "WhirlGirl" is Showtime's first original series developed exclusively on the Web.
Mark Osborne's animated short film, "MORE," has won the Jury Award for Special Recognition for Short Filmmaking at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The 6-minute film, about an inventor's struggle to find meaning in a grey emotion-less world, is the world's first stop motion short produced for exhibition on 70mm/15 perf (IMAX). "MORE" is inspired by and features the instrumental song "Elegia" by British electronic pop group New Order.
The Scientific and Technical Academy Awards will be presented on Saturday, February 27 in Los Angeles. Avid Technology will receive an Oscar statuette for the concept, system design and engineering of the Avid Film Composer for motion picture editing. Of the thirty-four other awards (Academy plaques and certificates), the sole animation-related distinction goes to Cary Phillips of Industrial Light & Magic, who will receive a Technical Achievement award for the design and development of the "Caricature" Animation System
DreamWorks' "The Prince of Egypt" was the top animated film on Super Bowl football weekend placing 10th with $2.6M, making a grand total of $90.8M. Disney/Pixar's "A Bug's Life" followed closely at 12th taking in $1.9M for a dazzling cume of $154.1M. "Bug's Life" has already outgrossed Disney's "Pocohontas" ($141.6M) but won't reach Pixar's blockbuster first effort "Toy Story" which accumulated $191.8M. Disney's live-action/CGI "Mighty Joe Young" moved up a slot to 13th with $1.6M amassing $45.5M in 6 weeks.
HBO Family, a new 24-hour commercial-free channel dedicated exclusively to family programming, launched February 1. The channel is teaming up with producers like Nelvana, Cinar, S4C and Hit Entertainment to deliver original animated programming. Among the new animated series premiering are "George and Martha," "The Adventures of Paddington Bear" and "Anthony Ant," as well as a new mixed-media pre-school series from Curious Pictures, "A Little Curious." In addition, a variety of original specials will have a "sneak preview" on HBO Family Channel before they premiere on the main HBO channel.
After the success of "The Rugrats Movie" and plenty of hit television shows, Klasky Csupo is relocating to a bigger building at 6353-57 Sunset Boulevard, across from the Hollywood Cinerama Dome. The 6-floor, 95,000 square ft., state-of-the-art glass and steel structure was originally designed as an auto showroom for Mercedes-Benz, but will now hold up to 500 Klasky Csupo employees. Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan says, "This is great news for the heart of Hollywood.
Fox Kids Network has promoted Roland Poindexter to Vice President, Head of Programming. In the newly created position, Poindexter will oversee day-to-day management and administration of all programming and development for Fox Kids. He replaces Carol Monroe, Senior VP, Programming and Development, who left the company to pursue new opportunities. "Roland is a dynamic, creative executive who has solid relationships within the creative community and a wealth of experience developing children's entertainment," said Maureen Smith, General Manager of Fox Kids Network.
New York-based Spontaneous Combustion has hired 3D modeler/animator Brian Austin in a further expansion of the company's CGI capabilities. Austin, who had been freelancing in the New York City area for the past couple years, is an accomplished fine artist as well as a digital artist and has works in the permanent collection of New York's The Museum of Modern Art.
"Kevin Saves the World" is Monster Productions' newest entry, based on books by Daniel Postgate, produced and directed by Kine Aune and Oscar-winning British animator Bob Godfrey ("Great," 1964). The series (13 x 5 minutes) follows the misadventures of Kevin, a boy who always manages to come out on top despite his apparent ineptitude. The series, targeted for kids 4-8, has already been acquired by Nickelodeon U.K., Nickelodeon Scandinavia, RTE and ABC Australia among others.
1999 marks the 40th anniversary of the longest running television series in history, "Bonanza," and New York-based Abrams/Gentile Entertainment is producing a new animated series based on the perennial Western. The show is a prequel of sorts taking place on the Ponderosa Ranch with a young Ben Cartwright and his teenage sons. Abrams/Gentile also presents numerous other new projects including:"Open Call" (13 x 22 minutes): a comedy about two divorcees who become casting directors, as unqualified as they may be, in a unique blend of "real-time" animation and live-action.
Columbia TriStar Television Children's Programming (CTTCP), who currently produces and distributes shows like "Jumanji," "Men in Black" and "Godzilla: The Series," announces a number of show pre-sold to U.S. broadcasters: "Dragon Tales," a co-production with Children's Television Workshop for PBS, "Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot" for Fox Kids Network and "Bug Wars: A Starship Troopers Adventure" for BKN. In direct-to-video, CTTCP is currently developing "5,000 Fingers of Dr. T," "Berenstein Bears," "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" and "I Dream of Jeannie."
GoodTimes Entertainment announced that "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Movie," made its Latin American debut this Christmas on Cinecanal and Sky. This marked Cinecanal's first acquisition of an independently-produced animated feature and was the first time Cinecanal ran two versions of a single animated feature: neutral Spanish dubbed version for children and the original, English-language version with Spanish subtitles for family audiences.
Interactive Television Entertainment has firmed deals with Columbia and Peru for the interactive television show "Hugo, the TV Troll." Hugo premiered in Columbia on Canal Capital in December '98, and in Peru in January '99. The show, which allows the TV audience to respond instantaneously to programming content by using their telephone touchpad, currently airs in over 20 countries.
The February 1999 Animation World Magazine is focusing on motion-capture and stop-motion. Don't miss out...
*Thursday, January 28. New York City, New York, U.S.A.
The New York City public premiere of Blue Sky's "Bunny" will be held on January 28 at 7:00 P.M. at:
Pace UniversityNYC Schimmel Center for the ArtsOne Pace PlazaNew York, NY
The event costs $7 for general admission and is free to NYC ACM SIGGRAPH members and Pace students & faculty. The screening will be followed by a presentation hosted by director Chris Wedge, digital effects supervisor Dave Walvoord and senior animator Doug Dooley.
Toronto, Canada-based Cambium Releasing has three new products - "Kit and Kaboodle" for the US and Latin American markets, "Littlest Angel's Easter," and "Infosaurus News Flash." "Kit and Kaboodle" (26 x 12 minutes) is from 1985 Academy Award-winning director Jon Minnis (Best Animated Short Film - Charade) and is a co-production between Cambium Film & Video Production and Cinegroup in Montreal. This pre-school series not only entertains, but also teaches children about themselves and how to interact with one another, says Cambium Senior VP Rita Carbone Fleury.
GLC Productions, a New York-based production/post-production company, debuts their maiden series venture at this year's show, The Buddy System, an animated Seinfeld meets The Odd Couple. The show, created by Big Nate syndicated cartoonist Lincoln Peirce, centers on the escapades of Buddy and Howie, a pair of sports-crazy twenty-something bachelors. Projected as a weekly half-hour 3D animated series, GLC has produced a 7-minute segment from the premiere viewable at NATPE.
Cubic Enterprises introduces two new children's programs - KoKo, The Pink Rabbit and Koni and the Starjammers. KoKo, two 45-minute clay animated specials follows KoKo and friends as they discover the value of friendship and the simple treasure of life. Koni is a 2D cel sci-fi action/adventure animated series starring Koni, Yena, Icon and Kobot as they bravely battle to retrieve the Hadron Batteries and ultimately, save the Earth in thirteen half-hour episodes.
Barcelona, Spain-based animation company D'Ocon Films Productions announces the launch of a co-production with Sony Wonder on Myths&Legends, a 13-episode series (with an option of a second set of 13), about two kids who discover a magic cavern which allows them to travel back through history. Their adventures take them to ancient Greece, the shores of Loch Ness and amongst the Knights of the Round Table; in each case making sure that good triumphs over evil.
Among Paris, France-based Salsa Distribution's predominantly science fiction genre programming slate is the animated Tommy and Oscar. Produced by Rainbow s.r.l., Salsa is offering 26 half-hour episodes to Latin territories. Tommy is a young boy who befriends a loveable alien named Oscar, who feeds on music instead of edible foods. Salsa is also overseeing Latin American merchandising on the series.