ITV has ordered 26 episodes of the half-hour, 3D CGI animated series BUTT-UGLY MARTIANS. The Mike Young Productions, The Just Group PLC and DCDC-produced show follows three Martians, who came to Earth to overthrow it but stayed because the loved it. The director of the first season of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, Gary Selvaggio, is the creator of series. DCDC handles the TV rights for the show in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while the U.K.-based The Just Group handles all other international TV, video, merchandising and licensing rights. BUTT-UGLY MARTIANS has not yet found a home in the U.S.
Geographical Region: Asia
Fox Kids Europe has acquired the exclusive U.K. and French rights to DIGIMON: DIGITAL MONSTERS from Toei Animation of Japan. The POKEMON-like series will hit Fox Kids Europe on April 1 and premiere on Britain's ITV network. September will see the debut of the show in France on TF1 and Fox Kids France.
Manga Entertainment has announced the launch of the official X Web site. X is the latest anime hit from Japan to be released in U.S. theatres. The supernatural thriller was designed by the all-female studio, Clamp. The film is directed by Rintaro, who has been working in anime for over 30 years and is best known in the U.S. for directing the TV series KIMBA THE WHITE LION and ASTRO BOY. The site will feature a live streaming video trailer courtesy of sputnik7.com for both Real Player and Windows Media Player and an official movie poster giveaway to the first 100 entrants.
The 4th edition of Cartoons On The Bay, the International Festival of
Television Animation, will be held in Positano (Amalfi Coast), Italy,
April 14-18, 2000. Cartoons on the Bay is the only festival in the
world solely dedicated to television animation. Promoted by Rai
Radiotelevisione Italiana and conceived and organized by Rai Trade,
the festival is an international event with awards, workshops,
lectures and events centering on the ever-changing world of
Over the weekend beginning Friday, March 10, 2000, TOY STORY 2 made history in Japan by grossing US$3.8 million on only 364 screens to become the biggest opening for a U.S. animated film in Japan and finishing #1 at the box office. The Buena Vista International release crushed the old record set by Disney's THE LION KING by nearly 80%. Woody and Buzz more than doubled this weekend's debut of the 21st installment of the Japanese animated feature series, DORAEMON.
In Chennai, India, Penta Media, 3D Max Media and Hewlett Packard have announced plans to produce a film, STARWAY, which will star two deceased Indian actors, brought back to life through CGI. The TIMES OF INDIA reported that no decision has been made on which stars would be reincarnated as themselves. In regards to ethical concerns, the newspaper published a comment from S. Rangarajan, director of special effects at Media Dreams: "This mixing of the real and unreal has a dangerous dimension.
In its first weekend on the market in Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PlayStation 2 has reached 980,000 units sold. This initial sales milestone blows away the original PlayStation's three-day mark in 1994 by nearly 10 times. A total of 26,400 retailers in Japan, including 18,500 convenience stores, approximately 7,900 retail stores, current PlayStation retailers, as well as PlayStation.com (Japan) Inc., began selling the PlayStation 2 units on March 4.
Recently, Gold Zebra Communications launched its new preschool network Hop! The Israeli Nursery Channel. The net airs daily from 6 am to 7 pm catering toward the youngest viewers. The completely non-violent content has been acquired from producers in Europe and the States. Recently, Hop! appeared at the Monte Carlo Television Market to promote and attach new content for the fledgling channel. For more information contact Gold Zebra Communications Ltd. at: 7 Harugei Malchut St. Tel-Aviv 69714 Isreal; Tel.: ++972-3-649-6228; Fax: ++972-3-649-6229; or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two weeks ago, AtomFilms announced that it has locked the first-ever,
exclusive, on-line distribution deal with the University of Southern
California (USC) School of Cinema-Television to broadcast student
films from the illustrious film school's catalog, giving USC students
a worldwide public venue for showcasing their work. As part of the
deal, for the next 18 months, USC will provide AtomFilms with
exclusive on-line distribution rights to 100 student titles which
The Ottawa 2000 Independent Film Competition will be selected by
festival organizers. The Commissioned Films Competition will be
selected by Curtis Crawford (Canada), Chris Landreth (US), Pjotr
Sapegin (Russia) and Andrei Svislotski (Russia). The Ottawa 00
International Jury will be comprised of Suzanne Gervais (Canada),
Wendy Jackson Hall (US), John Hays (US), Priit Parn (Estonia) and Jin
Guo Ping (China). Jury member bios are now available on the festival
Two months before the WORLD ANIMATION CELEBRATION opens, festival director TRACY CROSSLEY has left "to pursue other interests." WAC has appointed a new director Danielle Robertson. "The team we have assembled to produce this year's event has an incredible amount of festival experience and has banded together to produce a memorable experience for everyone involved," said Robertson. "We appreciate the contributions Tracy had made and wish her the very best in all her future endeavors."
THOSE WHO HUNT ELVES CHAPTER 6: FINAL TRIALS invades homes across the U.S.
With new cameras, designer furniture and gourmet coffee, the elven world is
slowly looking more like planet Earth. Unfortunately, other earthly
standards have invaded the peaceful world like shady political takeovers,
diabolical plots against the elf hunters, and a crooked court out to
convict our heroes. Will Celcia betray them on the witness stand? Will
Ritsuko ever get a chance to graduate? Will Airi get home to claim her
Big Idea Productions, producers of the popular children's video collection
"Veggie-mania," is looking for a VICE PRESIDENT of PRODUCTION. . . Wam!Net
is seeking a PRODUCTION MANAGER to be responsible for managing a large
scale render farm and supporting production from Visual Effects Studios,
post-production facilities and design/engineering groups working remotely
via the company's network. . . New Zealand's Weta Digital seeks world-class
On Tuesday, February 22, 2000, Disney chairman-CEO Michael Eisner made the
announcement: "With Go.com, I believe we are now the sleeping giant of the
Internet. Once streaming video is commonplace," he added, "Disney is ready
with a vast library and the ability to create new content." Added Go.com
chairman Steve Bornstein: "I see a time, in the next few years, or even
sooner, where nobody will talk about television or the Internet separately.
They will become one synergistic, fused media." In scheduled business,
* Thursday, March 9, 2000 - Saturday, March 11, 2000. Madrid, Spain.
Cartoon, the European producers organization, will present a seminar on
"how to negotiate with the U.S.A., Canada, Australia and Japan."
Discussions will focus on the structures, customs and constraints of the
fore mentioned markets. After an introduction on each country, the various
policies on international co-productions will be discussed. A question and
On March 21, 2000, POKEMON: THE FIRST MOVIE will hit stores across the U.S.
Every DVD and video will feature a sneak preview of this summer's new
theatrical film POKEMON THE MOVIE 2000 plus THE STORY OF MEWTWO'S ORIGIN.
To promote the video release, five special "Golden Tickets" will be
included in random VHS packages. The five lucky recipients will win a
first-edition starter set of Team Rocket game cards, a trip for two to
Japan, a meeting with Mr. Ishihara, creator of the POKEMON card game and a
ATOMFILMS, a leader in next-generation entertainment, announced that JOHN
MARCOM, former President of Time Inc. International, will join as the new
senior VP of worldwide revenue and media strategies. In his new role,
Marcom will coordinate worldwide on-line and off-line sales of AtomFilms'
growing library of short-form entertainment. During his stint at Time Inc.,
Marcom oversaw a catalog of more than a dozen national and international
news, business and lifestyle publications. Joining Time Inc. in 1993,
Opening the weekend of February 11, 2000 in the U.K., TOY STORY 2 has
already broken box office records. Playing on 495 screens, the sequel
grossed US$12.8 million in its first three days. The feat even beat out
bohemeth-grossing STAR WARS EPISODE 1, which made only $12.5 million in its
first U.K. weekend. So far Buena Vista International, which is distributing
the film outside the U.S., said the movie has already grossed $332 million
worldwide. Playing on 3,334 screens outside the U.S. this past weekend, TOY
February is our annual motion-capture and stop-motion issue, and we have
plenty in store as usual. Sharon Schatz interviews Brian Nilles of leading
motion-capture technology firm, Vicon Motion Systems. Gregory Singer goes
behind the scenes on one of the many projects which uses Vicon's
technology, while Laura Schiff introduces us to Webbie Tookay, a new
motion-capture personality. On the stop-motion side of things, Wendy
Jackson covers Aardman Animations' current high flying times as they work
Animha Productions, a unique association of professionals dedicated to
independent film production and animation workshops, is working on a peace
film project created by Prakash Moorthy in India and Animha's Dave
Brunskill in England. The film will include single drawings and paintings
done by 5-7 year-old children from around the world, and all children are
invited to participate. The subject is "a mother sending her child to
school." Drawings should reflect the national identity of the child, using
Two years ago, following the theatrical release of "Anastasia," Fox was
expanding its commitment to animation. Fox Family Films, one of Twentieth
Century Fox's four film divisions, was being renamed Fox Animation Studios,
to reflect the division's new plan to focus solely on animated feature
films, including stop-motion, mixed media (live-action mix) and digital
production. Several animated projects were on the development slate then,
including "Dark Town" with Henry Selick, "Santa Calls" with Blue Sky|VIFX,
CINAR ENTERTAINMENT has filled the newly created seat of president with
PETER MOSS. In his position effective March 1, Moss will focus on
developing CINAR's entertainment business in North America, Latin America
and Asia. Before joining CINAR, Moss served as programming and production
VP for YTV, Canada's youth network. Moss has regularly worked in pre-school
programming with the Children's Television Network and the CBC.
On February 3, 2000, Pixar reported financial results for its fiscal fourth
quarter and year ending January 1, 2000. For the quarter, Pixar posted
record profits of US$9.6 million, or $0.19 per diluted share. These results
are compared to profits of $1.1 million, or $0.02 per diluted share,
achieved in the 4th quarter of 1998. Revenues for the quarter were $24.9
million, compared with $3.1 million a year-ago. For the year, Pixar held
profits of $49.2 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, compared with $7.8
In association with Children's Television Workshop and IF/X Productions,
CineGroupe will be producing 40 half-hour episodes of SAGWA, THE CHINESE
SIAMESE CAT for PBS KIDS. The series is adapted from the award-winning
children's book by Amy Tan, author of THE JOY LUCK CLUB. SAGWA follows the
title character's escapades through Ancient China. Each episode will
include 11-minute segments and related interstitials woven together by
music, folk stories and fairy tales. The executive producers of the project