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Geographical Region: Australia

Series Headline News

4Kids Inks New Deals For Chaotic Series in France, U.K.

On the heels of MIPCOM 2008, 4Kids Ent. has finalized licensing agreements with broadcasters in France and the U.K. for the first season of CHAOTIC.

CHAOTIC (Season One) is scheduled to launch on Gulli TV in France, Rede TV in Brazil and Jetix in the U.K., beginning first quarter 2009.

The property's second season, CHAOTIC: M'ARRILLIAN INVASION, has also been renewed by Teletoon in Canada and Jetix in Latin America. Broadcast sales of the series in Germany, Italy and other markets are expected to close by end of the calendar year.

Effects Headline News

Digital Musings From the Editor:

Critical reaction may be split on QUANTUM OF SOLACE, but the vfx are impressive, and VFXWORLD got to speak with both Marc Forster and his long-time visual effects designer Kevin Tod Haug about the unique challenges of working on a James Bond film. Meanwhile, Tom McLean delves into Baz Luhrmann's dreamy AUSTRALIA, speaking with Rising Sun, Animal Logic and Framestore. And we offer the fourth excerpt from THE OFFICIAL LUXOLOGY MODO 301 GUIDE, "Masking Effects" (from Thomson Course Technology), which explains a new twist on Shader Tree applications.

Bill DesowitzEditor

Special Headline News

I Castelli Animati Winners Announced

The 13th edition of Il Castelli Animati finished up November 30 in Rome, Italy, with winners including multiple winner Blu for the ambiguous animation MUTO.

International Competition

The Jury:President: Nelson Shin, KoreaSandra Ceccarelli, ItalyHeather Kenyon, USAMarco Pavone, ItalyGerben Schermer, The Netherlands

Grand PrizeCHAINSAW, Dennis Tupicoff, Australia, 2007Production: Jungle Pictures

Special Jury Prize

Headline News

Four Christmases Gobbles Turkey, Cranberries & Box Office

Reese Witherspoon-Vince Vaughn holiday comedy FOUR CHRISTMASES (Warner Bros./New Line) won the five-day holiday weekend box office with $46.05M in its debut.

Coming in second was last week's big winner TWILIGHT (Summit Ent., vfx by CIS Vancouver, ILM, Catalyst Media, Rez-Illusion, PIC Agency, Lola and Gentle Giant) with $39.5M and a two-week cume of $119.7M.

Disney's animated feature BOLT stayed in third place, jumping up 37 percent in its second week in release with $35.995M and a two-week total of $66.85M.

Series Headline News

The Large Family Charges into Second Season

U.K. children's television producer Coolabi Productions has begun production on the second season of THE LARGE FAMILY (26x11) for transmission in the U.K. and France.

Based on the best-selling books by Jill Murphy, the 2D cel animated series chronicles the domestic chaos of an all-too-human elephant family, and proved a massive hit with viewers when it launched in October 2007, the first season becoming one of the best rated shows on Cbeebies in the UK and TF1 in France. The series also started airing on Disney Channel France in October 2008.

Show Headline News

Shaun the Sheep Wins International Emmy

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the winners of the 36th International Emmy Awards Monday night at a gala event held in the New York Hilton, hosted by award-winning stage and screen actor Roger Bart, currently leading in Mel Brooks' new Broadway musical, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.

Million Headline News

World of Warcraft Expansion Breaks PC Sales Record

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.

Headline News

Blogs: AnimfxNZ Conference Wraps Up

Highlights from the Animated Travels blog:

Maori Welcome and Park Road Post

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.

Headline News

Happy Feet 2 To Dance Through Australia

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.

Headline News

Shapeways 3D Printing Contest Winners Unveil High Quality and Alluring Models

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.

Animation Headline News

OIAF Announces 2009 Dates

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.).

Film Headline News

The Thirty-Second Film Contest For Australia

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.

World Headline News

World of Warcraft Surpasses 11 Million Subscribers Worldwide

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.

Series Headline News

Disney-ABC TV Offers First Look at Legend of the Seeker

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 (

Series Headline News

Starz Declares: We Are Spartacus!

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.

Series Headline News

ER Secures Distribution Deal For New Episodes Of Transformers Animated

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.

Headline News

Nicktoons TV Debuts U.S. Marketing Sensation Domo

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.

Series Headline News

Jolly Rabbit Sets Sail For U.K. And Australia

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.

Effects Headline News

Dan Smiczek Joins Ring of Fire

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.

Series Headline News

Animation Collective, CANAL+ Family Have New Deals

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.

Cartoon Headline News

Thumbs Up for Thumb Wrestling Federation on Cartoon Network

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.

Animation Headline News

AniMazing! Spotlight Open To Entries

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.

Full details are available from and online at

Animation Headline News

Additional International Speakers Chosen For AnimfxNZ

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.