November is another packed, globe trotting issue as Animation World takes alook at the exciting arena of animated feature films. Heikki Jokinenreveals the health of the European feature market and its high hopes forthe future. Ilene Gannaway takes us inside the production of SonyImageworks' next wower, "Stuart Little." From story to technicalinnovations, Ilene gives us the inside scoop on how Imageworks is turning aCGI mouse, into one of the family. Andrew Osmond debates whether or not
Geographical Region: Europe
DreamWorks SKG, the company behind "The Prince Of Egypt," and distributorof PDI's "Antz," has expressed their pleasure with England-based AardmanAnimations' forthcoming feature "Chicken Run," by signing the PeterLord/David Sproxton/Nick Park company to a four feature deal. Set to bereleased June 23, 2000 in the US, "Chicken Run" is a stop-motion animatedcomedy feature about two chickens, Rocky and Ginger, and their attempt at a"prisoner of war"-type escape from a farm in the 1950s. The film is
OLAF OLAFSSON has been named vice chairman of TIME WARNER DIGITAL MEDIA.Olafsson's appointment becomes effective November 15. Olafsson will workwith Michael Pepe, president and chief operating officer of Time WarnerDigital Media, and the rest of the management team at Time Warner DigitalMedia to continue developing strategic business plans for Time Warner'sdiverse digital media businesses and identifying emerging growthopportunities for the company in the digital realm. Olafsson joins Time
THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY has completed the next stage in the development ofits international organization for Europe by naming six Disney veterans tocountry management roles. The six executives will all become managingdirector of six country groupings. CLAUS GYDESEN, 39, has been appointedmanaging director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland and will continue tobe based in Munich. As head of Disney's video operations in these markets,Gydesen established a direct-to-retailer operation that helped make Buena
The 22nd Cinanima International Animated Film Festival. Since 1977,Cinanima has been promoting the international art of animation in Espinho,a city located on the Northern coast of Portugal. The events takes placeMonday, November 8 - Sunday, November 14 in Esphino, Portugal. For moreinformation contact: Cinanima, Apartado 743, Rua 62-251, 4501 EspinhoCodex, Portugal; Tel. + (351) 2 734-4611, 734-1621; Fax: + (351) 2734-6015; or E-mail: email@example.com. Also visitwww.awn.com/cinanima.
Toronto-based Canuck Creations Inc. is in the final stages of productionon THE PRODIGAL SON, a futuristic look at an ancient Bible story. Canuckproduced the short from conceptual design to final color, combining 2D and3D elements. The 24-minute film will be the main attraction for the youthpavilion at World Expo 2000, which will take place in Germany. Otherfeatures Canuck has worked on include THE STORY OF JOSEPH, the DreamWorksdirect-to-video sequel to the animated feature, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT,
Shepperton, England-based The Magic Camera Company has produced 92 digitaleffect shots for the 19th James Bond film, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. One ofthe effects sequences done by Magic involves Bond (Pierce Brosnan) andChristmas (Denise Richards) hurtling through miles of unused oil pipelineon board a service Rpig' (a trolley-like vehicle used to safety check theinside of the pipeline) while chasing another one. Shooting the tunnel as aminiature was not a viable option, so Magic Camera was given the task of
The sixth London Effects & Animation Festival (November 16 - 18, 1999) is athree-day event celebrating outstanding achievement, previewingground-breaking technologies in computer generated animation and specialeffects, and introducing participants to the very latest ideas, techniquesand tricks in this incredibly fast-moving business. An international castof speakers offer up-to-the minute briefings on their latest work andtechnical developments. Over 1000 of Europe's leading creatives will be
Bill Plympton has updated his appearances page. In the next months, hisfilms will be appearing in various festivals and other events around theworld. Bill will be attending the events scheduled at the Columbus Collegeof Art and the Savannah Art Institute, as well as the Mystery and Noir FilmFestival and Campione Noir, both in Italy. Also, the storyboard of Bill'snext feature "Mutant Aliens!" -- expected in late 2000 -- is being releasedas a comic book! The French version is already available at the
The second International Student Animation Festival of Ottawa (SAFO)wrapped up on Sunday. The festival received an astonishing 745 entries,from students, and, this year, first time filmmakers. 59 student films,ranging from primary, secondary and post-secondary levels were screened.The international jury, comprised of Suzanne Buchan (Switzerland), EricDarnell (USA), Peter Dougherty (USA/UK), George Griffin (USA), and MarcyPage (Canada), awarded the Grand Prix, Best Film In Competition, to
An exhibition of New Animation from Germany consisting of models,paintings, sketches and production shots from the works of eight youngGerman animators will be on display at Chapman University. The event takesplace Monday, November 1 - Wednesday, December 15, 1999 in Orange,California, USA. For more information including a screening schedule call:(714) 997-6729.
Lucasfilm's STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE took in $16.5 millionlast weekend (October 15 - 17), bringing its overseas gross to US$428million, surpassing its domestic gross of US$426.8 million. The film openedin France with US$11.02 million, the best ever opening in France for a USfilm.
The Goethe-Institut is presenting a program featuring nine new animatedshort films from Germany. In conjunction with this screening AcademyAward-winning visual effects specialist, Volker Engel, will be speaking.The German-born animator will comment on the film selections and discussanimation and special effects in general. Engel's credits include visualeffects work on GODZILLA and INDEPENDENCE DAY, for which he won the Oscar.Films from Thomas Meyer-Hermann, Heinrich Sabl, Thomas Stellmach, Tyron
The Ottawa International Student Animation Festival (SAFO) announced the grand prize winners in this year'scompetition on Sunday, October 24, 1999. The festival stated that, "Thisyear's winners show the high quality of work coming out of schools, bothlocally, nationally, and internationally."
The winners in the various competitions are as follows as reported by thefestival:
Grand Prix: Best Film In Competition -- GRACE, Lorelei Pepi, USA
Grand Prix: Best School In Competition -- Royal College of Art, England
The WB has already removed its new primetime animatedseries MISSION HILL from its Friday night line-up due to poor ratings. (Itspremiere episode finished 115th in the ratings for the week of October 4 -10.) It's expected to return as a midseason replacement. New episodes of SOUTHPARK return beginning next Wednesday, October 27 at 10 pm on COMEDYCENTRAL, with an all-new Halloween special, KORN'S GROOVY PIRATE GHOSTMYSTERY, guest starring the band, KORN. . . MTV is developing an animated
DISNEY PUBLISHING WORLDWIDE has made several appointments. GUIDOMASTROPAOLO has been named Director of Global Planning and BusinessDevelopment for Disney Publishing Worldwide. Located in Paris,Mastropaolo's duties will include leading international initiatives to growrevenue by negotiating acquisitions, new business ventures and majorlicensing deals in order to ensure meeting overall publishing financialgoals. In addition, he will co-manage the strategic planning process and
Copenhagen, Denmark-based A.FILM has finished a :40 spot for Daloon SpringRolls, Denmark's largest Chinese frozen food manufacturer. In the spot,which unveils a new product called Funsters, a dragon, called "daloon" inDanish, presents the product like a wise and distinguished old man, but thechildren's crazy antics off-screen cause him to lose his cool. The CGI spotwas animated using 3D Studio Max with a few live-action props. Craig Frankdirected. The word from Denmark is that after the spot aired for threeweeks, the product sold out.
This week's updates to the Calendar of Events includes the Cartoons On TheBay International Festival of Television Animation in Italy, the 5th AnnualCommunicator Awards Video Competition in the US, as well as a Screening andExhibition on New German Animation in Los Angeles, USA. The Calendar ofUpcoming Events is a constantly changing reference source for what'shappening around the World of Animation. Use it to stay abreast ofanimation related activities across the globe. If you know of animation
The Goethe-Institut, a German cultural center, is presenting both anexhibition and a screening of nine new German animated short films in LosAngeles, California. The program includes films from Thomas Meyer-Hermann,Heinrich Sabl, Thomas Stellmach, Tyron Montgomery and Kirsten Winter. Inconjunction with this event, visual effects specialist, Volker Engel --whose credits include "Godzilla" and "Independence Day," for which he wonthe Academy Award -- will be speaking on the exhibition's selections and
Buena Vista's supernatural thriller THE SIXTH SENSE, with visual effects byDreamQuest, finished eighth at the US weekend boxoffice, grossing anestimated $5.2 million, for a total of $249.9 million. No other animationrelated films finished in the top ten.
Seven European animation companies have joined to form a company called theEuropean Animation Group, although its name is likely to change. The grouphopes to produce a minimum of one animated feature or series per year,beginning in 2001 with its first feature, the $15 million ELFQUEST, set togo into production in January 2000. The announcement was made at MIPCOMheld October 4 - 8 in Cannes, France. European Animation Group bringstogether seven companies. From France, the partners are
JAMES SOMMERVILLE, co-founder of THE ATTIK, has relinquished his mostrecent role as creative director of the New York branch to oversee thedevelopment of the company throughout its five offices in Huddersfield(England), London, New York, San Francisco and Sydney. While based inLondon, Sommerville will continue to direct both commercials and long formprojects through The Attik/New York and London. Also, The Attik's executiveproducer JIM MORAN has added managing director to his title and assumed
Yuri Norstein is considered one of the most remarkable directors to emergefrom the current generation of Russian animators. Norstein will be inCalifornia this upcoming week for an exceptional tour of major studios anduniversities. His California tour includes: ASIFA San Francisco and De AnzaCollege on Sunday, October 17; Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) on Monday,October 18; UCLA and CalArts on Tuesday, October 19; the Disney Studios andUSC on Wednesday, October 20; L.A. Art Centre & ASIFA-Hollywood on
The Cinanima International Animated Film Festival will be held November8-14, 1999, in Espinho, Portugal. In addition to this year's officialcompetition program, as well as the retrospectives and exhibitions, thefestival web site now offers the festival daily program on their web site.
United Kingdom's ITV Network Centre has commissioned a second series of 13episodes of the animated series THE STORYKEEPERS from Dublin, Ireland-basedMonster Productions, an animation studio and distribution company formed in1995 by former management and artists from the Don Bluth studios. The newseries, produced by Shepherd Films, and distributed by Monster Distributes,will be delivered in Spring 2001 for broadcast on Sunday mornings. The newseries, which is a prequel to the existing series, is set in AD 8, and