The Disney Channel has launched its annual "Create Story Magic" contest, inviting kids aged 6-12 to compete for the chance to have his or her original story turned into an animated short. Last year's winner was 12-year-old Ian O'Neal, whose story, "Dragon Friend" was selected from over 22,000 entries, animated by Walt Disney Television Animation and broadcast on Disney Channel this year. Every year, the winner also receives a trip for four to Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios. This year's contest is being promoted by Target Stores and Cable in the Classroom.
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Montreal, Canada-based PRODUCTIONS PASCAL BLAIS completed a 30-second clay-animated commercial for J. Walter Thompson's client Kraft/Oscar Mayer Foods and their product "Lunchables." The spot, titled "Kitchen Hoops" was directed by Pascal Blais, and is the third in a series of animated spots for this client. It portrays a boy and his father playing a game of basketball, and celebrating afterwards by breaking out the product, "All Star Burgers and Hot Dogs." The commercial is airing nationally in the U.S.
Vancouver, Canada-based Mainframe Entertainment will produce two feature-length, stereoscopic, 3D computer-animated films for IMAX large-format cinemas. The announcement comes exactly two years after the two companies announced a production deal [AF 8/21/96] to produce two 3D CG-animated ride-films based on Mainframes TV series, ReBoot. The first one, ReBoot, the Ride opened in IMAX ride theaters last year and the second, Journey Into Chaos will open next month.
San Francisco, California-based computer animation studio Mondo Media has hired Douglas Kay as president. He was previously vice president of development for Berkeley Systems. Before that he was chief technical officer at LucasArts, following nine years at Industrial Light & Magic, where he was a founding member of the computer graphics department in 1985.
* Saturday, September 26. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
From 5 - 8 p.m., Los Angeles art gallery and book store Every Picture Tells A Story hosts a reception with Michael Bedard, illustrator of the new childrens book Sitting Ducks. Bedards work is currently being adapted for an animated TV series and feature film by Polygram. The exhibition of Bedards illustrations will run through October 18. To pre-order signed books or to RSVP for the reception, call (310) 932-6070.
Glendale, California-based animation and development studio, Creative Capers Entertainment has partnered with Dallas, Texas-based content delivery system company, Rapture Technologies, to form a new company. The 50/50 joint venture, called Digital Doorway, will be based in Glendale and focus on production and marketing of interactive gaming, entertainment and educational titles for the PC, console, hand-held and online markets.
Los Angeles-based Klasky Csupo has expanded its commercials division with the signing of eight directors to its roster: CORKY QUAKENBUSH is a stop-motion animator famous for his raunchy MAD TV spots; Sweden-native STIG BERQVIST is a 2D animator who recently completed working on Stressed Eric with Klaskys TV division, and also co-directed short films including Otto and Revolver; JIM BLASHFIELD is a Portland, Oregon-based mixed-media director known for his cut-out look utilized in such music videos as Michael Jacksons Leave Me Alo
ASIFA-Hollywood has released the list of nominees for its 26th annual Annie Awards, which will take place at Alex Theatre in Glendale, California on Friday, November 13, at 7 p.m. For information call (818) 842-8330.
For a complete list of nominees, click here.
PAUL WAXMAN, a former marketing executive at Irwin Toy, has branched off and formed his own company, D.E.E.P. ENTERTAINMENT. Based in Toronto and Halifax, Canada, the company will focus on development of animation properties such as NuKeD and The Lugs, for which financing partners are currently being sought.
MARK SIMON, president of Animatics & Storyboards, and author of the book Storyboards: Motion in Art, and producer DAVE KALLAHER have joined forces to start a new company, AARGH! ANIMATION, INC. Based in Orlando, Florida, the company will specialize in cel and stop-motion animation, character design and storyboards. JEANNE PAPPAS SIMON, co-owner of Animatics & Storyboards, will be head writer for AARGH!
CAMBRIDGE ANIMATION SYSTEMS (CAS), creators of Animo 2D animation software, has hired Mark Watt as director of research and development. Watt co-founded Second Nature Industries, a company in Los Angeles. He was previously a senior programmer with Xaos, Thomson Digital Image and Digital Pictures. Watt will be based at CAS U.K. office. TOM CARRIGAN, recently hired by CAS as director of international sales, will be based at the companys Glendale office, not in U.K. office as was stated in last weeks news.
Warner Bros. Family Entertainment has released a new, direct-to-video animated title, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. The production was done at Hanna-Barbera (now a part of the Warner Bros. family), executive produced by Jean MacCurdy, produced by Cos Anzilotti with supervising producer Davis Doi, directed by Jim Stenstrum and written by Glenn Leopold. The video was released today and is priced at U.S. $19.96. A huge promotional push for the video includes tie-ins with 1-800-COLLECT, Wendys Restaurants, Cartoon Network, LEGO and Nascar.
* Thursday, September 24 - Saturday, September 26. Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
The University of the Balearic Islands presents ANI.MAR 98, short for the Amateur Animators Focused International Festival. This competitive festival has three categories: 3D animation short films, traditional animation films less than 15 minutes and traditional animation films more than 15 minutes. The event will also offer workshops, retrospectives and exhibitions. For information contact email@example.com.
* Friday, September 25 - Sunday, September 27. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
UCLA hosts three puppet performances brought over from the Henson Festival of Puppet Theater, in conjunction with the new Cotsen Center for Puppetry at Cal Arts: Ubu and the Truth Commission by South African group The Handspring Puppet Company (featuring animator William Kentridge), Electric Shadows by American-Indonesian act Wayang Listrik and Short Stories by Peruvian Teatro Hugo and Ines. For show times and tickets, call (310) 825-2101.
* Friday, September 25. Utrecht, Netherlands.
The Utrecht School of the Arts faculty of Art, Media & Technology holds their annual presentation of the European Media Master of Arts, including Computer Animation. The event will take place at Baby in Amsterdam. Admission for Baby members is free, All others are admitted by invitation only. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
* Friday, September 25. London, England, U.K.
In honor of Warner Bros. 75th anniversary, The Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) launches an exhibition of original Looney Tunes art work. In honor of MOMIs tenth anniversary, admission is free until the end of September! For more information about MOMI, visit the Hidden Treasures feature in Animation World Magazines October 1997 issue.
* Saturday, September 26. New York City, New York.
Animazing Gallery hosts an appearance by layout artist Maurice Noble, starting with a gala tribute from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.. Noble will be present, and available to sign artwork purchased at the show. Animazing is located at 415 West Broadway in Soho. RSVP to (212) 226-7374 or email@example.com. Read Karl Cohens article, Maurice Noble: Animation's Old Rebel in the March 1998 issue of Animation World Magazine.
Santa Monica, California-based Epoch Ink Animation and Phoenix, Arizona-based Todd McFarlane Entertainment collaborated on a fully-animated music video for Pearl Jam's song "Do the Evolution." The four-minute video was produced in just 12 weeks with a budget of U.S. $220,000.
Golden Books Family Entertainment has signed a deal with animation production company Varga tvc Ltd. (formed last year between Hungarian Varga Studios and TVC London) to produce animated video specials based on the Golden Books titles: "The Poky Little Puppy," "Saggy Baggy Elephant" and "Scuffy the Tugboat." The three videos will be available by Spring 1999. All animation production will take place at Varga tvc's London studio, with a production team that includes writer Bruce Talkington, creative director Dave Unwin and director Ramon Modiano.
Czech production and distribution company Kratky Film Praha a.s., which owns the Bratri v triku and Jiri Trnka animation studios, has been substantially restructured. The company has been struggling financially since 1994, and has been facing possible bankruptcy since 1997, a measure prevented by a recent investment from insurance company Ceska Pojistovna, now the majority shareholder in Kratky Film. The restructuring has also caused a management shake-out.