Ovation TV will salute the art of animation with a week-long programming event, "Unreal Worlds: The Art of Animation," June 15-22. The special event will feature some of the most innovative and provocative animation, highlighted by the world television premiere of the unconventional animated feature film DANTE'S INFERNO, Thursday, June 19 (8 p.m. ET/PT).
Using hand drawing and the puppetry of Paul Zaloom, DANTE'S INFERNO is a re-telling of the literary classic as a contemporary tale. After a night of carousing, Dante (voiced by Dermot Mulroney) awakes in a modern American city and is led through the circles of hell by Virgil (James Cromwell), encountering many contemporary characters along the way. With playful handmade special effects, DANTE'S INFERNO has been described as an apocalyptic graphic novel. Not recommended for younger viewers, the film is as controversial as it is innovative. DANTE'S INFERNO will have an encore presentation Sunday, June 22 (8 p.m. ET/PT).
"Unreal Worlds: The Art of Animation" will launch its celebration with SPIRITED AWAY, (Sunday, June 15, 8 p.m. ET/PT), the first Oscar-winning anime feature. Directed by anime master Hayao Miyazaki, the film is the highest grossing feature of all time in Japan. Truly the pinnacle of animated fantasy, SPIRITED AWAY follows the adventures of a ten-year-old girl named Chihiro who discovers a secret world when she and her parents get lost and venture through a hillside tunnel. Chihiro embarks on a journey that sees her assume adult responsibilities and set aside her self-centeredness for the good of others. Ovation TV will present an encore of the film Friday, June 20 (8 p.m. ET/PT).
THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE, another wildly inventive and highly original animated feature, will be televised Monday, June 16 (8 p.m. ET/PT). The Oscar-nominated feature is the story of Madame Souza, who teams up with the Belleville Sisters -- an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire -- to rescue her grandson who was kidnapped during the Tour de France.
Following THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE, Ovation TV will present WALLACE AND GROMIT GO TO HOLLYWOOD (10 p.m. ET/PT), a documentary on Aardman Animation, the Oscar-winning animation house responsible for such box-office sensations as CHICKEN RUN and THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT. The fascinating documentary takes viewers inside the Aardman studios in England and features interviews with founders Peter Lord and Dave Sproxton, DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg, Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, filmmaker Terry Gilliam, animation genius Ray Harry Hausen and the late cartoonist and legend Chuck Jones.
As part of the animation event, Ovation TV will also present the cable television premiere of TOKYO GODFATHERS Tuesday, June 17 (8 p.m. ET/PT). The moving animated feature is set in modern-day Tokyo where the lives of three homeless people are profoundly changed when they discover a baby girl at a garbage dump on Christmas Eve. An encore of TOKYO GODFATHERS will be Saturday, June 21 (8 p.m. ET/PT).
The documentary HAND BEHIND THE MOUSE: THE UB IWERKS STORY, Wednesday, June 18 (8 p.m. ET/PT), explores the life and work of Ub Iwerks, who made the early Disney animated shorts starring Mickey Mouse. The program assembles rare footage and interviews with animators who worked with the animation pioneer, all with funding from the studio he helped start, then bitterly left, and rejoined years later.
Originally launched in 1997, Ovation TV re-launched in June 2007 with a focus on entertaining, inspiring and engaging the artist in all of us. The 24-hour channel is the only television network devoted exclusively to art, culture and personal creativity and making the arts more accessible to viewers in their daily lives.
The network showcases the world's greatest artists in theater, dance, opera, literature, film, visual and fine art, music, design, photography and architecture. Ovation TV reaches a national audience of more than 28 million households through its carriage on DIRECTV (channel 274), DISH Network (channel 157) and on cable systems in key markets across the country. The channel has master distribution agreements in place with most major cable operators.
Ovation TV also features original programming, a multi-platform content strategy and partnerships with leading American performing and cultural arts institutions and arts education organizations. In August 2006 the network was acquired by Hubbard Media Group and a group of other private investors which includes Arcadia Investment Partners, Corporate Partners II, Perry Capital and The Weinstein Company. Additional information is available at www.OvationTV.com