The Jim Henson Company's MuppetWorld Web site will celebrate its first Yuletide with Kermit the Frog lighting an on-line Christmas tree. MuppetWorld offers a compelling interactive environment, allowing fans to play with their favorite Muppet characters. Fans may purchase Muppet merchandise, take cooking lessons from the Swedish Chef who offers weekly culinary masterpieces in the "What's Cooking?" location, and be able to tune into their favorite Muppet clips.
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shockwave.com, a leading Internet entertainment site, announced new holiday additions to its award-winning site. The additions include new creative applications Toonmaker and Puzzlemaker; new festive greeting cards; and an improved Shockmachine experience. These free on-line gifts can be sent to friends and family. Toonmaker enables users to create personal cards and cartoons using well known characters such as the kids from South Park. Puzzlemaker allows users to turn their own photos into puzzles, add messages and then send them to friends.
shockwave.com, One Infinity and Madlab Creative have produced Why2k@large which uses Flash 4 animation and MP3 streaming audio technologies to present an animated, multimedia series focusing on the approach of the year 2000. Live interviews were collected on the streets of New York City, New Orleans and San Francisco featuring what the American public thinks about the approaching Millennium.
Early in December 1999, Macromedia, a leader in digital and Internet software, announced it had completed its acquisition of Andromedia Inc., a leading provider of eMarketing software solutions for e-commerce. Macromedia previously announced a definitive agreement to acquire Andromedia on October 7, 1999. As part of the merger, Macromedia will obtain all of the outstanding stock in Andromedia. The company will issue 5.2 million shares of stock in connection with the deal and will incur one-time charges from the merger of up to $5 million in its fiscal third quarter.
With new live-action flicks ANY GIVEN SUNDAY and THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY taking the top two spots in the U.S. box office Sony's STUART LITTLE had to settle with third place grossing US$11.82 million bringing its grand total to $39.5 million. TOY STORY 2 finished fourth by flying in with another $10.38 million making its cume $177.5 million. THE GREEN MILE fell to fifth with a weekend pull of $9.26 million and a cume of $53.1 million. New comer GALAXY QUEST, backed by some surprisingly good reviews from the likes of Mr. Ebert, debuted at #7 with a first weekend take of $7.01 million.
DreamWorks has obtained the screen rights to Nathan Never, a comic published in Italy by Bonelli Editore and imported by Platinum Studios. The story focuses around Nathan Never, a 21st Century Dirty Harry, who, in the wake of a terrible crime, is charged to protect the lone witness. The comic was acquired by DW's Walter Parkes and Glenn Williamson. The pic will be produced by Platinum chairman Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, co-produced by Platinum pres Ervin Rustemagic and senior VP Gregory Noveck. Parkes and Rosenberg teamed up together on MEN IN BLACK.
PBS' NATURE recently received a new animated logo for its opening from digital animation and effects house, SimEx Digital Studios. The opening is a montage of snippets from nature. SimEx helped bring together the show's theme in the opening by illustrating how humans relate to nature everyday. Read more about SimEx Digital Studios and their work from Creative Director Allen Yamashita in Heather Kenyon's Animation World Magazine interview.
ZDTV, a 24-hour cable television channel about computing, technology and the Internet, will have Atari founder Nolan Bushnell on BIG THINKERS. Hosted by Mark Eddo, BIG THINKERS features in-depth discussions with the most visionary and influential men and women working in the high-tech industry today. The episode with Bushnell, the creator of PONG, will air January 5, 2000 at 10:30 pm. These interviews, plus additional footage not shown on air, will be available in streaming video on the show's companion Web site.
In promoting post-production on the MAC platform, Apple recently bundled a number of 3D and 2D tools with its Final Cut Pro system. MAXON, Terran Interactive, and Puffin Designs have announced that their software will be bundled in with Final Cut Pro at no extra cost. MAXON's Cinema 4D GO -- their entry level 3D package (in short, a cut down version of their very popular Cinema 4D XL package) -- will be included in the Final Cut Pro package as a full working version, allowing users to create 'flying logos' and other simple 3D imagery for use in their productions.
On Monday, December 20, 1999, MTV Networks,
the music/entertainment cable television and Internet business, announced
it would split its Net company into two separate groups. MTV Networks
On-line will be divvied up into the MTVi Group, which includes VH1.com,
MTV.com and SonicNet.com, and Nickelodeon On-line, which includes nick.com,
nickjr.com, tvland.com, nick-at-night.com, gas.nick.com, teachers.nic.com
and redrocket.com. "Executives in the past have stated that both companies
As was reported [AF 12/21/99], a federal
court jury convicted former Walt Disney Internet executive, 34-year-old
Patrick Naughton, of possessing child pornography, but deadlocked on
charges that he crossed state lines seeking sex with a "13-year-old girl"
which he arranged via the Internet. On Wednesday, December 22, 1999, U.S.
District Judge Edward Rafeedie reversed his own ruling and released
Naughton from jail, saying it was likely that he would win a new trial. On
The advanced ticket sales for
Disney's IMAX release of FANTASIA/2000 have already seen strong numbers. In
Reuters Magazine, Brian Weisfeld, senior vice president of operations for
Toronto-based IMAX Corp., said advanced ticket sales were as high as
$80,000 in some IMAX-operated theaters versus a more normal $4,000. IMAX,
the owner and franchiser of more than 180 IMAX theaters worldwide, hopes
that FANTASIA/2000 will attract other major films to their eight story
As we reported in the past [AF 7/1/97], the
world-renowned Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki had decided to
hang up his white film gloves and never make a feature film again. Well
cheer up anime fans! The master is back to work on a new feature film. This
announcement ends a 2 1/2 year hiatus after PRINCESS MONONOKE broke box
office records all over Japan. What's the follow-up to the US$150 million
hit at the Japanese B.O.? The project is titled SEN TO CHIHIRO NO
London-based Passion Pictures has recently finished stings, bumpers, and
indents to promote PBS KIDS. The interstitials were directed by Alyson
Hamilton, who received an Emmy nomination for her work on the title
sequence for U.S.-based TV channel CBS' THE PROMISED LAND.
DARIA fans can start gearing up for a telefilm full of fun-filled teenaged
angst. IS IT FALL YET? will be based off the DARIA series and is slated to
hit MTV in the fall. Karen Disher and Guy Moore will direct, and Glenn
Eichler and Peggy Nicoll will script.
Boston-based animation house Fablevision is slated to create two new shows
for Noggin, the new 24-hour educational network for kids from Nickelodeon
and the Children's Television Workshop. Fablevision will produce CECIL AND
HER VERY OWN UNIVERSE and SWAMP DOG. CECIL will feature a 12-year-old girl
and her robot dog who live in a underground society in the future. Cecil
dreams of leaving her mole-like life to see what above ground has in store.
As of December 21, 1999, both young and old fans of the lovable elephant
Babar can take home his new direct-to-video feature BABAR: KING OF THE
ELEPHANTS. The new film follows the adventures of Babar's life from birth
to his kingship. The video was co-produced by Nelvana Limited and HBO Home
Video and features computer replications of original Babar illustrations.
BABAR: KING OF THE ELEPHANTS bounces into stores at a suggested retail
price of US$19.96.
If you're planning to kick back with the Rockettes this holiday season at
New York City's Radio City Music Hall look forward to a more interactive
show. To be featured in the Christmas Spectacular, Black Logic, a visual
effects, 2D/3D animation and live-action production house, has created a 3D
animated sequence to interact with the Rockettes. A happy "Man in the Moon"
character, based on Georges Melies' A TRIP TO THE MOON, smiles, winks and
* Wednesday, January 26 - Sunday, February 6, 2000. Rotterdam, The
The Rotterdam International Film Festival includes a short film section
with categories in animation that include Fiction, Documentary, and
Experimental. To highlight the fest's Japanese program, an exhibition
entitled "Manga Manga!" will showcase selections from manga productions
from 1945 to the present. The festival will again present its "Exploding
Template Graphics Software (TGS) recently announced that its modeling and
animation software Amapi, was receiving an upgrade. The new release will be
'officially' announced at the Mac World Expo in January, however, the new
version is available now. It features Dynamic Geometry, which allows users
to edit an object dynamically by changing its outline, profile or basic
structure, through the software's ability to remember the construction
history of the object. The upgrade also has a new Decimation tool, which
Discreet recently released a maintenance update to 3D Studio MAX 3 which,
in the coming weeks, will be distributed free of charge to all registered
users of the software. The announcement comes shortly after the company
declared success at clearing well over 100,000 copies, and are reinforcing
their commitment to users by bringing them new features so soon after the
initial release of the software. The update includes data containers for
Twenty 2D/3D animation and special effects companies from Quebec, Canada
have formed a union in order to better promote the award winning work done
in the region. Called Quebec Animation, the association is supported by the
Quebec Minister of Industry and Commerce, the Quebec Minister of
Communications and Culture, the Quebec Minister of International Relations,
the Montreal Bureau of Cinema, and the Canadian Service Center in
Multimedia Applications (CESAM). The association sets up a focal point for
Fox Family's newly picked up ANGELA ANACONDA rings in the New Year with a
14-episode marathon on January 1, 2000. The seven-hour event will start at
7 am and run 'til 2 pm on Fox Family. The show that TV Guide recently named
one of the top ten new kids shows of 1999 regular airs at 1 pm on Saturdays
and Sundays on Fox Family.
The Dark Knight descends into video stores December 21, 1999 with three new
BATMAN BEYOND videos and two new DVDs -- BATMAN BEYOND: THE MOVIE and
BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM. Each of the three BATMAN BEYOND VHS tapes
(DISAPPEARING INQUE, SCHOOL DAYZ, TECH WARS) all feature three episodes of
the Warner Bros. cartoon series. The BATMAN BEYOND DVD features the movie
and four bonus episodes of the series. BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM is the
first feature animated movie and has sold millions of copies on VHS
* Thursday, January 13, 2000. Westwood, California, U.S.A.
The Women In Animation Writers' Group begins a new series of seminars at
Saban Entertainment at 7:30 pm. Have you always wanted to write for
animation, but you don't where to start? What's the difference between
writing for animation and live-action? What are some of the techniques for
writing gags? Join us and find out! For more information please contact
Jean Ann Wright at (818) 360-8321. RSVP required.