Blizzard Ent.'s WORLD OF WARCRAFT’s second expansion, WRATH OF THE LICH KING, has sold more than 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability, making it the fastest-selling PC game of all time.
Geographical Region: Australia
Highlights from the Animated Travels blog:
AnimfxNZ 2008 began with a song.
A contingent of Maori gathered to perform a ‘powhiri’, or New Zealand traditional welcome. The foreign visitors and speakers lined up so the kaumatua could determine if they were friends or foes. Thankfully, there were no enemies among them, and the conference was able to proceed.
The New South Wales, Australia government has granted a tax break to filmmaker George Miller in order to make HAPPY FEET 2, according to THE AUSTRALIAN.
NSW Minister of State Development Ian Macdonald said the animated film would be produced at a new digital production facility named Dr. D in Sydney. The state government offered a payroll tax assistance package and facilitated the establishment of a the new studio.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival has announced the dates for the 2009 festival -- October 14-18. This year's festival winners include Best Independent Short Animation CHAINSAW (Directed by Dennis Tupicoff, Australia), Best Animated Feature TERRA (Directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas), Best Student Animation I SLEPT WITH COOKIE MONSTER (Directed by Kara Nasdor-Jones, U.S.) and Best Commissioned Animation SONY BRAVIA "PLAY-DOH" (Directed by Frank Budgen & Darren Walsh, U.K.).
3D printer Shapeways has announced the winners for the "Does your Character have Character Contest". After a weeklong voting period where Web users picked their favorite 3D models, the most popular of the bunch were awarded printing certificates that enable them to see their printing come to life.
You may have missed your chance to enter your own creation into this exciting contest, but you can still participate by taking a quick peek at those that dared to compete. Check out just how savvy Shapeways 3D printing is when you check out all the unique and eye-popping winners.
Lucien Harrington has been appointed to the newly created position of VP, Branding & Communications -- Turner Entertainment Networks Asia (TENA).
The Thirty-Second Film Contest For AustraliaDeadline: November 12, 2008
Twentieth Century Fox's upcoming romantic adventure AUSTRALIA and Metacafe launched "The Thirty-Second Film Contest" on October 24. The contest challenges aspiring film editors to use materials from the film as well as their own creative "spin" -- including visual effects, music, and voice-over -- to put together a :30 spot for the film.
The subscribership for Blizzard Ent.'s WORLD OF WARCRAFT, the award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), now exceeds 11 million players worldwide. This milestone was reached as the beta test for WRATH OF THE LICH KING, WORLD OF WARCRAFT's second expansion, nears completion. WRATH OF THE LICH KING will launch in several regions around the world starting on November 13.
Action-adventure fans can enjoy a first look of the highly-anticipated epic fantasy series LEGEND OF THE SEEKER before its November 1 premiere weekend. Now, Disney-ABC Domestic Television is offering an extended preview of the nationally-syndicated series as a free download, exclusively available on the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com).
The world of gladiators comes to life as the Roman Empire's most brutal fighters clash in the ultimate arena. Starz's new series, SPARTACUS, an entirely new twist on the ancient legend, will utilize virtual environments giving it a unique graphic novel look and style, along with a fresh narrative approach. Debuting exclusively on Starz, SPARTACUS will be produced by Starz Media with exec producers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Joshua Donen.
SPARTACUS will begin production in early 2009, debuting on Starz and its suite of channels later in the year.
Entertainment Rights has secured distribution rights to the latest 13 episodes for the new TRANSFORMERS ANIMATED series, bringing the total number of episodes of the series currently available to 42 (42x22). The announcement follows on the heels of Cartoon Network in the U.S. having confirmed the commission of an additional 13 episodes for delivery in spring 2009.
Nicktoons Network and branded entertainment company Big Tent Ent. announce the U.S. broadcast debut of the first official DOMO short form series. Nicktoons Network began rolling out the 26x2 new stop-motion shorts featuring the Japanese viral sensation DOMO and friends earlier this month. The shorts will air run of schedule daily, with a new short premiering each week. Earlier this year, the DOMO animated shorts launched successfully across Nickelodeon's international channels in Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.
Animation Collective has new broadcast sales for its new animated comedy, JOLLY RABBIT. The series has been acquired by the BBC in the U.K. to air on CBBC, and ABC TV in Australia. The 52x11 series was also recently picked-up by Canal+ Family in France.
Dan Smiczek has joined Ring of Fire as Head of CGI/Visual Effects Supervisor. He will be working in collaboration with owners and partners Creative Director Jerry Spivack, Executive Producer John Myers and their producing team, overseeing and supervising 3D, animation and visual effects.
New York-based Animation Collective and France's CANAL+ today announced a broadcast partnership on four animated series: THREE DELIVERY, ELLEN'S ACRES, JOLLY RABBIT and HTDT. Each of the original series was created by Larry Schwarz, founder and CEO of Animation Collective.
THUMB WRESTLING FEDERATION: TWF is quickly pinning down broadcast deals around the world. Cartoon Network U.S., Spain, Italy, and Latin America have joined Cartoon Network Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in scooping up all four seasons of the successful live-action comedy series.
Aimee McCammon, general manager of Park Road Post Production will give a keynote at this year's AnimfxNZ conference.
Additional speakers include Jeff Barnes (CafeFX), Laurel Walker (Universal), Dan Sarto (ANIMATION WORLD NETWORK), and Carolyn Giardina (THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER), who bring additional international perspectives on VFX and Animation to the conference.
AniMazing! Spotlight Open To EntriesFirst Deadline: December 29, 2008
AniMazing! Spotlight focuses exclusively on animated shorts, and offers every applicant personal comments on the work by an international panel of animation experts. The applicant may use these comments for promotional purposes as well as valuable edification and encouragement.
The first deadline is Monday, December 29, 2008.
Taffy Ent. has sold its new Emmy Award-winning I GOT A ROCKET! animated kids' and family series to Disney Channel in the U.K., Scandinavia and Emerging Markets. The 52x11' comedy series is scheduled for an early 2009 debut.
Loose Moose Productions, the new incarnation of the London based, stop-motion, puppet and CG animation company, was created following Ken Lidster's departure to work on a feature film at Laika in Portland, Oregon. The new company was launched with an array of established and young talent, including four new directors.
Referring to the new line up, Executive Producer Glenn Holberton said, "The injection of new directors and designers has created a real buzz and sense of purpose, galvanizing the whole team."
Aardman Rights, the newly created division of award-winning Aardman Animations has concluded a number of pre-sales for its two new animated series WALLACE & GROMIT IN A MATTER OF LOAF AND DEATH and TIMMY TIME.
Wallace & Gromit’s new half hour adventure is currently in production for BBC One at Aardman’s Bristol studios with delivery expected this autumn. Aardman has secured pre-sale deals at MIPCOM with broadcasters around the globe including: ABC TV Australia, M6 France, Super RTL Germany, YLE Finland, NRK Norway, Zapp Netherlands and SVT Sweden.
THQ has released AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER -- INTO THE INFERNO, based on the hit animated Nickelodeon television series. AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER -- INTO THE INFERNO is now available for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and Nintendo Wii for the suggested retail prices of $29.99 (Wii) and $19.99 (PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS). The game is also scheduled to be made available for Nintendo DS on November 24, 2008.
Chorion has signed a raft of major international broadcast partners for its brand new children's television series OLIVIA, based on the best-selling, award-winning book property.
Chorion has secured deals with TF1 in France, Nick Jr U.K., Treehouse in Canada, Danmarks Radio and The Walt Disney Company Latin America for the preschool animated series.
Activision Publishing has appointed Brad Jakeman as Chief Creative Officer, expected to join the company in early November 2008.
In this newly-created position, Jakeman will be responsible for leading global advertising, media, marketing and consumer research for all of Activision Publishing's franchises. Jakeman will report to Mike Griffith, President and CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc.