FUNimation Productions, Ltd. has awarded JAKKS Pacific, Inc. the master toy license for DRAGON BALL, DRAGON BALL Z and the forthcoming DRAGON BALL GT. JAKKS will develop, manufacture and distribute action figures, action figure accessories and vehicles based on these animated series. The company, which acquired the license after original rights holder, Irwin Toy, Ltd., announced bankruptcy in early December 2002, signed a 3-year license for the DRAGON BALL brands and expects to show new products as early as the New York International Toy Fair in February 2003.
Geographical Region: Australia
After a stunning $26M Wednesday debut THE LORD OF THE RINGS sequel, THE TWO TOWERS, topped the box office this weekend, earning $62M for a five-day total of $102M. This puts the second film of the trilogy, once again featuring a slew of visual effects by New Zealand's Weta Digital, well in line to gross more than its predecessor 2001's THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, which earned $75.1M in its first five days, on its way to $890M worldwide. Martin Scorcese's long-delayed epic GANGS OF NEW YORK, with visual effects by ILM, had a so-so fourth place debut, earning $9.1M in just over 1,500 theaters.
The animated adventures of MR. BEAN is heading to Scandinavia. The 26 x 30-minute series has been sold to SVT, Sweden and YLE, Finland by Fremantle International Distribution, which distributes both the original live-action series and the animated series. SVT will start to broadcast the series on December 23, 2002 and it will run through early February. The series launch date on YLE is still to be announced. MR.
John S. Wadsworth, Jr., honorary chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia Limited, has joined Pixar's Board of Directors, bringing the number of directors to seven. Wadsworth, who is an advisory director for Morgan Stanley globally, has spent nearly two decades overseeing the firm's policy and business strategies throughout Asia and Australia, including serving on the Investment Banking Operating Committee, Chairman of the Firm Investment Account Committee, and Chairman of Morgan Stanley Ventures.
Australian visual effects company Photon VFX, best known for its work on SCOOBY DOO and FINAL FANTASY, was the effects company behind the main character in the Warner Bros. horror flick GHOST SHIP -- the ship itself. The effects laden film is the largest feature film project to be shot and had all visual effects produced entirely in Australia.
The winners of the Australian Effects and Animation Festival (AEAF) Awards were announced December 3, 2002 at the Sydney Convention Center in Sydney, Australia. Australian entries made up more than half the winners, with Aussie companies like Fuel International (Best Title) and Animal Logic (Best Game) picking up awards. STAR WARS: EPISODE II "ATTACK OF THE CLONES" won for Best Feature Film Visual Effects and STUART LITTLE 2 took the honors for Best Feature Film Animation.
Egmont Imagination has recently completed a host of new deals for its 2D Flash-animated stunt-action series THE AMAZING ADRENALINI BROTHERS. Both Nickelodeon U.S. and Europe (in a pan-European deal), Cartoon Network Japan, ABC Australia, as well as Astral Quebec in Canada, have all picked up the broadcast rights for the program. A winner of the "Prix Des Internautes" (Peoples Choice) award at the 26th Annecy International Animation Festival, this 10 x 2.5-minute series is aimed at all audiences six years old and up.
The Australian Effects & Animation Festival (AEAF) kicks off its four-day festival on December 1, 2002 with the Australian premiere of Disney's TREASURE PLANET. The festival, which runs from December 1-4, 2002 in Sydney, NSW, Australia, will also present numerous panels featuring some of the world's most innovative visual effects and animation houses.
The 7th edition of Cartoons On The Bay, International Festival of Television Animation, will be held in Positano, Italy on April 9-13, 2003. Cartoons on the Bay is an international event with awards, workshops, lectures and events centering on the ever-changing world of television animation. The Pulcinella Awards Competition is open to all products in animation for television and the Internet, including pilots of series. In 2003, the Competition will also be open to short-films not produced, coproduced or pre-acquired by a television company. Works completed after the 1st of January 2002 and created with any kind of animation technique may participate. The various Pulcinella Awards are presented to eight competing categories including best series for infants, children, young adults & adults, all audiences, best pilot, best TV movie, best short film, best European program, best program of the year and best character of the year. Entry into the Competition is free. The deadline for sending materials is January 20, 2003. For more information and registration forms email: email@example.com or visit the Website: --> http://www.cartoonsbay.com
Melbourne International Animation Festival
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Tuesday, February 25 - Sunday, March 02, 2003
Entry Deadline: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Some festival favorites took home awards at this year's I Castelli Animati Festival, in Genzano di Roma, Italy. Concluding on October 27, 2002, the festival honored Christopher Hinton's FLUX with the International Grand Prize, while Robert Bradbrook's HOME ROAD MOVIES picked up the award for Best European Film. Special Jury Prizes were awarded to STROJENIE INSTRUMENTOW (TUNING INSTRUMENTS) by Jerzy Kucia and THE INVASION by Phil Mulloy.
peppermint, the worldwide distribution company that has recently undergone a management buy out from Germany's Helkon Media AG, has signed a deal with Spanish production and distribution company BRB to distribute over 230 hours of programming to all Asian territories. peppermint, who will also handle Australia and New Zealand for BRB, will have exclusive distribution rights for 20 different series, each consisting of 26 x 26-minute episodes, plus 14 related features each with a running time of 75 minutes.
Buena Vista International Television has licensed its 'Classic Treasures' package to a number of key broadcasters across the Asia Pacific region for telecast on terrestrial television for the first time. The collection, which includes A BUG'S LIFE, MULAN, POCAHONTAS, TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2 will air on the Seven Network in Australia, TVNZ in New Zealand and on the Media Corp-owned Channel 5 in Singapore.
CineGroupe has joined with Fox Kids Europe (FKE) to distribute its new animated TV series PIG CITY. The series is a co-production of CineGroupe and AnimaKids (France), in association with Merchandising Munchen and Fox Kids France. The agreement with FKE includes the television, home video and merchandising rights to the series across Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. CineGroupe will continue to distribute the series in Canada, the U.S., Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Animakids will handle the rights in France and Merchandising Munchen in Germany.
Sesame Workshop will be seeking co-production opportunities for the SESAME STREET brand and will also launch a new half-hour format of 50 episodes of the series at this year's MIPCOM. Also available will be ELMO'S WORLD, a 32 x 15-minute interactive series that looks at the world through the eyes of a three year-old. In addition, Sesame Workshop will launch a slate targeted to 9-14 year-olds including two new live action programs: ZOE HAWKER, NEIGHBORHOOD DOG WALKER and a co-production between CBBC (UK), ABC TV (Australia) and Noggin under the working title TWO DOWN UNDER.
POOCHINI, the 26-episode series produced by San Francisco-based animation house Wild Brain, Inc. and Germany's EM.TV debuted in the U.S. on September 7, 2002. Wild Brain has partnered with The Television Syndication Company, Inc. (TVS) to distribute POOCHINI in the U.S. market. Stations are currently being cleared in each of the 210 U.S. markets, with over 50% of the country already on board including New York, Chicago and Philadelphia among the top 30 stations.
Australian Effects & Animation Festival
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sunday, December 01 - Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Entry Deadline: Monday, October 28, 2002
Focus Enhancements, a designer of proprietary video technology for the computer and television industries, has developed the FS454 TV-Out chip for Microsoft's Xbox, to assist in Microsoft's continuing effort to reduce the cost of its next generation video game system. In May 2001, Microsoft and Focus Enhancements began an OEM development program to produce low-cost TV-Out technology with fine text capabilities that would fit into the existing Xbox configuration, as part of a cost reduction effort.
BBC (UK), France 3 (France) and ABC (Australia) have picked up independent studio Millimages' latest animated series CORNEIL & BERNIE. The 52 x 13-minute series, also known as WATCH MY CHOPS!, is currently in production and is set to broadcast internationally during 2003. Lead character Corneil is a cultured and well-read dog, who is likened by the producers to "a canine FRASIER." Corneil keeps his genius talents hidden from his owners, but when Bernie the dog-sitter is hired and discovers Corneil's secret, Corneil's life is turned upside down.
The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE (formerly Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists) has signed a contract with Spaff Animation for work on Disney's upcoming theatrical release JUNGLE BOOK 2, as well as the direct-to-video release LION KING 1 1/2. Long-time animation vet Dave Spafford, who was a lead animator on WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, THE SECRET OF NIMH, OLIVER AND COMPANY, THE FOX AND THE HOUND and many others, runs Spaff Animation, which has provided animation for a wide variety of projects for the past 15 years.
Anima Mundi has announced the winners for its 2002 festival, which took place from July 12 - 21, 2002 in Rio de Janeiro then moved to São Paulo, Brazil from July 24 - July 28, 2002. The festival is the major animation festival in South America and includes a wide range of open activities, including workshops, lectures and exhibitions. A full list of winners is below.
ANIMA MUNDI 2002
AWARDS BY THE PUBLIC JURY in RIO DE JANEIRO
Vancouver, Canada's Pork and Beans Productions recently moved to a brand new 5000 square foot studio in the Yaletown district of Vancouver. The company is expanding to accommodate a growing staff as they prepare to start Flash animation production on the series YAKKITY YAK, in association with Studio B Productions. Distributed by MTV Networks International, YAKKITY YAK was created by Australian company Kapow Pictures and follows the life of a yak that longs for his big break into show business. It is scheduled to broadcast on Teletoon and Nickelodeon Australia in 2003.
The 4th Brisbane International Animation Festival.
Wednesday, October 09 - Sunday, October 13, 2002.
Entry Deadline: Friday, August 16, 2002.
British animation producer, tv4c, has seen its pre-school animation series, BUSY BUSES, picked up by two regional terrestrial broadcasters in Japan for their autumn schedules. The 26 x 5-minute series is also currently airing daily on Kids Station, Japans biggest childrens satellite broadcaster and is enjoying its second run on EBS, Korea and ABC, Australia. BUSY BUSES will return to Living TV in the UK in September 2002 for a six month run.