The 26th annual Annie Awards ceremony, ASIFA-Hollywood's honoring of the best in animation, took place last Friday, November 13, at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale, California. Disney's "Mulan" finished at the top of the pack winning ten out of the thirty categories, while Warner Bros. Television Animation was honored with six Annies. The awards, hosted by comedian Jay Thomas, will be televised on the Fox Family Channel sometime in December. Click here for a complete list of winners...
AWN Headline News
Los Angeles-based Film Roman has brought Mark Lieber on board as the new president of domestic television development and distribution. Lieber's responsibilities in this newly created position include directing the development of all proprietary television product (both animation and live-action), as well as overseeing the distribution of Film Roman's proprietary series through broadcast, cable and syndication in the U.S.
Los Angeles-based Rough Draft Studios has been awarded five episodes of the animated "Baby Blues" series. Thirteen episodes of "Baby Blues" have been ordered and will air in fall '99 on the WB prime time schedule. The first eight episodes are being completed by Warner Bros. Television Animation. This recent development fuels rumors that Warner Bros. Television Animation is in the midst of cutbacks. Inside sources have said that Warners will cease production on "Histeria!" after only 52 episodes, cutting 13 previously announced half hours.
The highly anticipated animated primetime series "Dilbert" is set topremiere on UPN Monday January 25, 1999 at 8:00 PM PT/ET. "Dilbert" isbased off the popular syndicated comic strip created by Scott Adams whichdeals with the absurdities of the '90s workplace in the cubicle-confinedoffice environment that rules corporate America.
Toronto-based Nelvana has acquired the worldwide development, production,distribution and merchandise licensing rights to "Puff the Magic Dragon."Based on a classic folk song written by Peter Yarrow of the legendary folkgroup Peter, Paul & Mary and Lenny Lipton, Nelvana will produce an animated"Puff the Magic Dragon" feature length film, television series andtelevision special, as well as license all Puff merchandise. Productionwill begin on this property in late 1999 or 2000. The lyrical children's
* Tuesday, November 17 - Thursday, November 19. Beverly Hills, California,U.S.A.
"Gilbert and Sullivan - The Very Models," a film from artist Barry Purves("Rigoletto," "Achilles") will screen at Laemmle's Music Hall for AcademyAward qualification. Show times are 3:30 and 4:10 PM daily. For more info,contact (310) 274-6869.
* Tuesday, November 17 - Thursday, November 19. Encino, California,U.S.A.
"Bunny," a new computer-animated short film written and directed by BlueSky | VIFX founder Chris Wedge with music by Tom Waits, will be screenedfor three days at Laemmle's Town Center 5 for Academy Award qualification.The film uses a new computer application called "Radiosity" that mimics themost subtle properties of natural light. Show times are 11:15 and 11:30 AMdaily. For further screening information, contact (818) 981-9811.
Toronto-based TOPIX/MAD DOG produced a 30-second spot for Ford of Canada which added a twist on the classic 'Three Little Pigs' story utilizing live-action integrated with cel animation. While the CGI work was done at TOPIX/Mad Dog, Chuck Gammage of Chuck Gammage Animation directed the 2D animation. In the ad, the pigs find refuge from the wolf in a 1999 Ford Windstar.
RENEGADE ANIMATION animated "Fly the Friendly Skies," a 30-second commercial for General Mills Trix Yogurt featuring the Trix Rabbit introducing the snack to a couple of bored kids on a plane flight. The cel animated spot was directed by Renegade's Darrell Van Citters and produced through the Saatchi and Saatchi Agency in New York. The commercial's contemporary style incorporates sharp, angular features and quick fluid motion while combining black & white and color animation with live-action elements.
Motional Realms, LLC has released the ReelMotion plug-in for 3D Studio MAX, a real-time, physics-based procedural animation tool. The plug-in is designed for the professional animation artist and ideal for forensics animation, animating space and aerial dogfights, cars, helicopters and other rigid-body objects. It's possible to drive or fly a vehicle through a scene interactively using a mouse or joystick via a real-time display using QuickDraw 3D (Mac) or OpenGL (Windows).
* Saturday, November 14. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
E.G. Daily (the voice of Tommy Pickles on "Rugrats" and Babe the Pig) will do a reading during the "Babe: Pig in the City Craft and Story Hour" at Storyopolis. The children's event, which includes craft making, starts at 11:30 AM and costs $6. To RSVP, call (310) 358-2512.
A number of animation books have recently been released just in time for the holiday season. Great Plains Publications has published Gene Walz's "Cartoon Charlie: The Life and Art of Animation Pioneer Charles Thorson," a detailed biography of the Golden Age animation artist filled with many never-before-seen illustrations.
* Saturday, November 14. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Keyframe '98 is a screening of computer-generated films by USC animation students and a number of guest artists. "Plug," a computer animated/live-action film about a futuristic society where people live their entire lives plugged into virtual reality machines will also screen. The event takes place at the University of Southern California (USC) in the Norris Theater at 7:00 PM and is free to the public. For more information, call (213) 740-3986.
* Saturday, November 21. New York City, New York, U.S.A.
The Animazing Gallery is hosting a book signing with four animation authors - John Canemaker ("Tex Avery," "Before the Animation Begins"), John Culhane ("Fantasia"), John Grant ("The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney Characters"), and Stefan Kanfer ("Serious Business"). The authors will also share anecdotes and their experiences about the history of animation during the event which takes place from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. To RSVP or find out more about the event, contact Louis Albert Steidl or Nick Leone at (212) 226-7374.
On Saturday, November 14, the Los Angeles-based art gallery and book store, Storyopolis, presents a special book signing celebrating the publication of Batman Animated, a book with rare artwork, a detailed episode guide, and interviews with the creators and voice actors behind Batman: The Animated Series. Batman artists/writers Paul Dini, Chip Kidd, Eric Radomski, and Bruce Timm will be on hand to greet fans and sign copies of the book. This free event begins at 4:00 PM. To RSVP call (310) 358 - 2500 or to pre-order a signed edition, call (310) 358-2512.
Here is a look at some of the various marketing items related to Disney/Pixars massive advertising campaign for A Bugs Life. The movie web site, www.abugslife.com, launched last week complete with Shockwave and QTVR games, behind-the-scenes information on the making of the film, sweepstakes, and the ability to purchase tickets for theaters nationwide.
(COLOSSAL) PICTURES animated the Super Chunk package for Cartoon Network consisting of a 25-second show open and close and seven 10-second bumpers. The new material started airing on October 17, 1998 during the Super Chunk programming block which airs on Saturdays from 4:00 - 7:00 PM. Cartoon Networks design director Bee Murphy came up with the concept art for the spots which were directed at (Colossal) by Charlie Canfield. The CG animation for the package was done in 3D Studio Max.
New York-based J.J. SEDELMAIER PRODUCTIONS created two 15-second spots, Liberty and Airport, for Rothmans retail stores. The spots feature the powerful, heroic, Constructivist-leaning WPA mural style imagery of the Rothmans Man. The traditional ink-and-paint cel animated spots were based on the designs of illustrator Doug Fraser and were directed by J.J. Sedelmaier.
The life of Walt Disney has been the subject of many unofficial biographies and articles with allegations accusing him of being everything from a fascist to a bigot. Now for the first time the record can be set straight with a new interactive CD-ROM narrated by Disneys first child, Diane Disney-Miller. Walt Disney: An Intimate History of the Man and His Magic, was produced to present an accurate account of his life and celebrate his accomplishments.
Kids programming syndicator Bohbot Kids Network (BKN), the fourth US broadcast kids network scheduled to launch August 29, 1999, has acquired Los Angeles-based Epoch Ink Animation (founded by Joe Pearson) to establish BKN Studios. Epoch was founded in 1995 and has since completed original and for-hire animated projects for television, home video, interactive and theatrical distribution.
Last Tuesday was a dark day for the comic book world when legendary writer/artist Bob Kane, best known for creating DC Comics Batman, passed away as a result of natural causes at his California home. Kane, 83, created the dark hero along with many other famous supporting characters including Robin, the Boy Wonder, the Joker, Catwoman and the Riddler. His creations have resulted in a continuously published comic book for fifty years, a live-action TV series, four feature films, at least five animated Batman series, and merchandising beyond words.
After six weeks of US release, Dreamworks/PDIs computer-animated bug pic Antz saw a rare 20% boost in box office business this weekend placing fifth. Despite losing 300 screens and new competition for the family crowd from the re-release of The Wizard of Oz, the film grossed an estimated $5.4 million in 2,604 theaters bringing the films cume to $74.8 million.
The first annual New York Animation Festival, slated to take place in New York City during April 1999, is now accepting entries in all categories. This comprehensive festival will encompass all types of animation including film, video, and digital animation of any genre. Student and international entries are also encouraged. For entry forms or information, call (212) 982-7781 or NYAFest@yahoo.com