Nearly a decade after his first stint at Comedy Central began, programming and network-branding guru Doug Herzog rejoins the all-comedy channel as president, replacing Larry Divney, who will retire. Herzog will be based in the network's Los Angeles office, as of early May 2004.
Geographical Region: North America
Kaydara Inc. announced the release of MOTIONBUILDER 5.5 Professional, the latest version of the company's popular realtime 3D character animation software. With added support for Python scripting and CgFX shaders, MOTIONBUILDER 5.5 Professional allows 3D animators to create complex character set-ups and animation sequences in minutes instead of the days and weeks required by other systems.
It's been a hectic last couple of days, what with the server being down, but we're finally up and running smoothly again, so now you can get caught up on our latest news and features. Lots of tech news with the Game Developers Conference coming up next week in San Jose.
ADV Toys, the new division of A.D. Vision Inc. that creates exclusive toys and collectible merchandise based upon the companys film, manga and original content holdings, has signed its first toy deal, an exclusive Jonathan the Seal plush animal from the anticipated KALEIDO STAR anime series from ADV Films.
Playhut Entertainment has announced a new LITTLE SIGNZ licensing deal with New Jersey-based Karmin International for the jig-saw puzzles category. Karmin will manufacture and market an array of LITTLE SIGNZ jig-saw puzzles housed within boxes and decorative tins.
Malaysian animation studio INSPIDEA (combining inspiring and ideas) will participate in MIP-TV at stand 13.24 and is bringing JOHAN, THE YOUNG SCIENTIST, a new 26x12 animated series about a child whose inquisitive nature leads him to a great deal of scientific adventures and discoveries.
JOHAN, THE YOUNG SCIENTIST is designed to boost a childs awareness about simple scientific ideas in our everyday life, said Andrew KH, head of production & distribution at INSPIDEA.
Alliance Atlantis rolls into MIP-TV 2004 with three animated series. The company will be located at Stand G3.14 and can be contacted by calling 33-4-92-99-8348.
POKO (32x30) is a stop-motion animation series. The light-hearted, pre-school series follows a fun-loving three-year-old, who is just beginning to discover the world around him with his dog, Minus, and his stuffed toy, Mr. Murphy.
CINAR, a regular big player at MIPCOM and MIP-TV, will arrive with a large slate of productions, including two new series. CINAR was recently purchased by investor group comprised of Michael Hirsh, Toper Taylor and TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners through 4113683 Canada Inc. (Newco).
Disney artist David Willardson has opened his pop art exhibit, "Still Laughing" The showing opened on March 4, 2004 at SoHo's Animazing Gallery, located at 461 Broome Street (between Greene and Mercer Streets). The show will be in the gallery for a few months.
"I dont believe that my work should be considered Pop Art," said Willardson. "Its not just about bringing mass media into the art world in this case. Its about evoking memories of your childhood and bringing joy back to life in which we often forget as a society that is always on the move."
Australian animation veteran Yoram Gross has teamed with L.A.-based production firm Coote/Hayes Prods. to form YG USA, reported VARIETY. The new firm has already inked a domestic television and homevideo deal with Miramax on the series FLIPPER & LOPAKA, which is set for release in July. Greg Coote and Jeff Hayes head Coote/Hayes Prods., whose executive Edward Olson will serve as president of YG USA. Olson will oversee the development of new projects and properties as well as promoting Gross' animation library in North and Latin America.
2004 Chicago Int'l Children's Film FestivalChicago, Illinois, USAOctober 21 to October 31, 2004.Deadline: May 1, 2004
The 21st annual Chicago International Childrens Film Festival is the only Academy-qualifying festival for childrens films in the world and the largest in North America. Categories include shorts, features, live-action, animation, television productions, documentaries, and child-produced and youth-produced work. There is no entry fee for submissions by filmmakers ages 6 to 13.
The highest selling TV series on DVD will be returning in June. THE SIMPSONS SEASON FOUR DVD COLLECTION will arrive in stores on June 15, 2004 from Fox Home Entertainment. The collection will feature all 22 episodes from the fourth season (1992-1993) and include exclusive bonus material such as commentary on each episode, an introduction by Matt Groening, a voiceover featurette with James L. Brooks, an Animation Showcase multi-angle feature, animatics, commercials, deleted scenes and more. The four-disc set will have a suggested retail price of $49.98.
AWN is saddened to report that legendary animation educator and historian Bill Moritz passed away on March 12, 2004 after suffering a long illness.
Dr. William Moritz is a world-renowned expert on animation, experimental film and visual music, and has authored more than 100 articles, chapters and program notes. His forthcoming book OPTICAL POETRY is the culmination of his 34 years of research and work with the Fischinger Archive. OPTICAL POETRY reveals fully his passion for the Fischinger legacy, and fully details his decades of archival work on the films.
Spike TV debuts a topical animated series, THIS JUST IN, created by Steve Marmel, on March 14, 2004 at 10:30 pm. Marmel, who has hosted the Annie Awards for two years running, is a standup comic and producer/head writer of Nickelodeon's hit show, THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS.
Jacob Burns Film Center's The Wide World of AnimationPleasantville, New York, USAJune 1 August 31, 2004Deadline: April 23, 2004
Threshold Digital Research Labs has wrapped production of STAR TREK: BORG INVASION 4D for Paramount Parks, part of the STAR TREK: THE EXPERIENCE at the Las Vegas Hilton. The multi-million dollar experience is the first RealityVision 3D production in history.
4Kids Entertainment, Inc. has announced that it will be bring seven properties to MIP-TV 2004 for the first time. These programs include TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, YU-GI-OH!, POKÉMON, KIRBY: RIGHT BACK AT YA!, ULTIMATE MUSCLE, THE WINX CLUB and SHAMAN KING.
At this year's MIP-TV, TV-Loonland will show new developments such as WEREKIDS and JOHNNY MUTTON and will also bring a host other shows such as HEIDI, a 75-minute feature version of the classic children's tale.
Mainframe Ent. will be sailing into MIP-TV with new CG special POPEYES VOYAGE: THE QUEST FOR PAPPY as well as episodes of the new series BINOMES and BEAT FREAKS at booth 09.06.
UPN's new comedy, GAME OVER, network primetime's first-ever CGI-animated series, will debut tonight March 10, 2004 at 8:00 pm, which follows the far-from-ordinary suburban Smashenburn family living in an alternate videogame universe comprised of off-beat characters, action heroes, monsters and cartoon characters inspired by popular videogames.
Entertainment Rights has sold its hot property for boys, DUEL MASTERS, to Turner Broadcasting System Europe, which will see the cartoon airing on screens in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, reaching 30+ million households via Cartoon Network and Toonami in the U.K.
DUEL MASTERS started life as a Manga comic, which gained a huge following in Japan. The television series is a combination of 2D animation with CGI effects done by Shogakukan's famous production arm, Shopro, who also produced the hit shows POKÉMON and HAMTARO.
FOX Broadcasting Co. upped creative marketing exec Rafe Oller to svp, creative marketing and branding, while Brian Dollenmayer and Scott Lauritzen have both been promoted to svp, On-Air Promotion.
Vancouver International Digital Festival (VIDFEST)Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaSeptember 25 26, 2004Deadline: March 15, 2004
VIDFEST is for the creators and producers of digital content. It's a chance to meet with peers from all over the world, see their work, develop new partnerships, and engage your mind by listening and talking to people who explore and push the boundaries of creativity in digital media.