Phillip Bowman and Malcolm McGookin have formed a new animation house in Brisbane, Australia called ASTERISK* Animation. Bowman will serve as executive producer and McGookin as producer and director. Bowman has vast experience in both live-action production and animated television series. His credits include ABC network's LIZZIE'S LIBRARY and KITU AND WOOF. McGookin first started his animation career on the Cosgrove Hall shows COUNT DUCKULA and DANGERMOUSE. Afterwards, McGookin moved on to writing and directing AVENGER PENGUINS and TABALUGA in the U.K and Australia.
Geographical Region: Australia
For the week ending May 21, GLADIATOR still reigned in the U.K. and Australia and conquered new territory in Italy. By more than doubling the debut of FINAL DESTINATION, the DreamWorks colossal hit grossed another US$5.11 million in the U.K. The world champ has garnered $13.96 million on the British Isle. More than tripling the second placed newcomer ROMEO MUST DIE, the Roman ruler grossed $3.32 million in Australia, raising its cume in that country to $7.79 million. In its Italian premiere, the maker of Maximus coin landed $1.89 million.
In addition to the official competition, the Ottawa International
Animation Festival (September 19-24, 2000) will present a number of
retrospectives, tributes, special screenings and feature films. The
tentative program is as follows: thematic programs on computer
animation and jazz in animation; studio spotlight on Pacific Data
Images and Bermuda Shorts; tributes to Yvonne Andersen (who will
serve as the Honorary President for Ottawa 00), Spike and Mike's
At the international box office, DreamWorks GLADIATOR conquered Australia and the U.K. while MISSION TO MARS landed on top in Italy and Germany. For the week ending May 11, 2000, GLADIATOR reigned by grossing US$4.53 million in Australia and $5.37 million in the U.K. in its first week in release in both countries. The global gladiator hit has now grossed nearly $86.56 worldwide. Buena Vistas part APOLLO 13-part 2001 space epic, MISSION TO MARS remained atop the charts in Italy where it grossed another $524,264, raising its Italian cume to $1.92 million.
With live-action Julia Roberts-starrer ERIN BROCKOVICH reigning the international box office, POKEMON: THE FIRST MOVIE and STUART LITTLE started their descent down the charts. For the week ending May 4, 2000, STUART LITTLE fell from the #1 spot in Australia to land in 2nd place. The Columbia pic grossed another US$1.53 million Down Under, raising its cume in the country to $10.7 million. The radiant rodent also fell from the top spot in Germany and Hong Kong to land in fourth place in both countries. STUART's gross in Germany was $516,789, raising its German cume to $4.75 million.
POKEMON: THE FIRST MOVIE and STUART LITTLE are struggling over who will nab the top spot at international box offices. For the week ending April 26, 2000, POKEMON took Spain and Italy. Around the globe POKEMON finished in 2nd in the U.K. in its second weekend in theatres; 3rd in Germany in its second weekend in theatres; and 4th in France and Sweden. Already in the U.K., POKEMON has grossed a total of $13.14 million in only one week of release. STUART LITTLE finished at #1 in Germany, Australia and Hong Kong.
POKEMON is still going strong. KIDS WB! has ordered 52 more episodes of the phenomenon for September 2000. The latest broadcasters to catch the series are TV4 Sweden, TV2 Denmark, TV2 Norway, MTV Finland, RTL-Klub (Hungary) and RTL-TVI (Belgium), as well as Cartoon Network in Australia and New Zealand. The total number of episodes for the series is now 156.
George Lucas has decided to go mostly digital with the live-action segments of STAR WARS EPISODE II. On Sunday, April 9, 2000, Lucas said, after four months of testing high-definition cameras, he will start shooting most of the next STAR WARS installment with Sony digital cameras. Jim Morris, president of Lucas Digital, said the cameras had "exceeded expectations." In June, the film will start shooting in Australia for two months, then move to Italy and Tunisia in August for another month, followed by 18 months of post-production.
The team behind INDEPENDENCE DAY and GODZILLA is back, producing ARACH ATTACK, a special effects-driven comedic thriller about a toxic waste spill that creates giant spiders. The flick is scheduled to start shooting in September in Australia. New Zealander Ellory Elkayem will direct from a script he co-wrote with Jesse Alexander. The pic is being produced by Centropolis Entertainment, the production house of Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, which has teamed on the project with Warner Bros. and Australia's Village Roadshow Pictures.
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
* 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
Bill Plympton has updated his
In March, "Surprise Cinema"
will be appearing in various festivals and other events in the US, Canada,
Belgium, Germany and Australia. Bill will be appearing at the Zagreb World
Festival of Animated Films in Zagreb, Croatia, June 12-25, 2000.
* Thursday, April 6 - Sunday, April 9, 2000. Brisbane, Australia.
The Third Brisbane International Animation Festival represents Australia in
an international animation festival alliance with Ottawa, Holland, Fantoche
and Anima Mundi. It is Australia's only festival dedicated exclusively to
animation in all o
Three new Scandinavian markets surrendered their airwaves to Pokemania.
Worldwide sensation Pokemon was recently sold to TV4 in Sweden, TV2 in
Denmark and TV2 in Norway. The show will hit the new territories in January
and February 2000. The international distributor, Lacey Entertainment, also
announced the sale of the Pikachu-vehicle to ATV in Turkey and Noga
Communications' Children's Channel in Israel.
The Pokemon phenomenon began in America in 1998 with the release of the
On Friday, January 14, 2000, Walt Disney International-Latin America
announced the launch of the Disney Channel Latin America and an exclusive
satellite television distribution agreement with Galaxy Latin America, LLC
for DIRECTV service in Spanish-speaking Latin America. "Launching the
Disney Channel in Latin America in 2000 is an exciting initiative for the
Walt Disney Company," said Diego Lerner, president and managing director,
WDI-Latin America. "As we have in other parts of the world, we will now
South Africa-based Triggerfish Animation, a leading stop-frame animation
company in South Africa, is currently shooting animation sequences for the
South African SESAME STREET, using an assortment of different materials
including local contemporary art work, creating a unique African feel to
the production. In addition, Triggerfish is shooting a 30-second commercial
using 7 plasticine characters for a new product being launched in South
Africa and Australia called Slo Jo -- a fruit smoothie.
Toronto-based DECODE ENTERTAINMENT has announced DOMINIQUE BAZAY and
CAROLINE DORRIS to its recently formed international distribution
division. As Director of International Sales, Bazay, who will be based
in Toronto, will head distribution activities and sales to Scandinavia,
Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe and South Africa, among other
territories. Bazay previously served in sales for BBC Worldwide
Americas, Paragon Entertainment, and the CBC. Dorris will also serve as
For the first time on video!! The best of Zagreb Film, plus RembrandtFilms' greatest hits, the Best of Bulgaria, and a second volume of TrnkaShorts.
THE BEST OF ZAGREB FILM IN FIVE ONE-HOUR VOLUMES: In four decades ZagrebFilm produced 600 animated films that won more than 400 internationalawards. The studio quickly became famous for a unique animation style thatbecame known as the Zagreb school. One of the studio's pioneeringdistinctions was that its filmmakers wrote, designed, and directed their
April 6-9, 2000, The Brisbane International Animation Festival willrepresent Australia in the international animation festival alliance withOttawa, Holland, Fantoche and Anima Mundi animation festivals. It isAustralia's only festival dedicated exclusively to animation in all of itsforms. Playing host to national and international guests who will gather inBrisbane, Australia, to experience the best of world class animation, thefestival provides a local, national and international forum for the
Four hundred guests crowded the second floor theatre at the ChicagoCultural Center, Sunday, October 24, for the 1999 Gala Awards Ceremony andClosing Night Party of the 16th annual Chicago International Children'sFilm Festival. The following awards for animated films were given out:
Children's Jury Prizes - Feature Films and Videos - Animation
1st Prize, KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS by Michel Ocelot (France)
2nd Prize, ANNE FRANK'S DIARY by Julian Wolff (France, Ireland, UK,Netherlands)
New Line Cinema's THE LORD OF THE RINGS film trilogy, based on the classic fantasy trilogy by J.R. R. Tolkien, began principal photography in Wellington, New Zealand, onOctober 11, 1999. Peter Jackson (DEAD ALIVE aka BRAIN DEAD, MEET THEFEEBLES, HEAVENLY CREATURES) is directing from his own script. The threefilms that will make up the trilogy - THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, THE TWOTOWERS and THE RETURN OF THE KING - are being filmed at the same time, atactic that worked for the first two SUPERMAN films with Christopher Reeve.
Animation-Books.com, in association with ANiMATO!, the animation magazine,has announced the results of an internet poll of the best animation booksof all time, and THE ILLUSION OF LIFE: DISNEY ANIMATION by Frank Thomas andOllie Johnston tops the list. While the list may be biased toward morerecent, easily available English publications, few would argue that this,for once, is a solid list, and every title belongs in one's animationlibrary. According to Animation-Books.com, "Polling for the
Manga Video is releasing MACROSS PLUS on DVD on October 12, 1999. MACROSSPLUS, directed by Shoji Kawamori, is a DTV (direct-to-video) which is basedon the original Japanese TV series SUPERDIMENSIONAL FORTRESS MACROSS, whichwas used as the basis for the 1980s American TV series ROBOTECH. MACROSSPLUS is set approximately thirty years after the original MACROSS and justbefore the events in the Japanese TV series MACROSS 7. In MACROSS PLUS, theuniverse's most popular virtual reality singer, Sharon Apple, comes alive
Gold Coast, Australia-based EA Australia, a subsidiary of Redwood City,California-based Electronic Arts, has hired Steve Dauterman to head a newdevelopment studio located in Australia. Dauterman, formerly Director ofDevelopment for LucasArts, had been with the Lucas group for ten years,initially as Financial Analyst for Lucasfilm before moving across toLucasArts in 1992. Since working at LucasArts he has overseen thedevelopment of such worldwide interactive titles as "Rebel Assault," "Dark