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Geographical Region: North America

Headline News

Max & Ruby to Tour U.S.

Nelvana Enterprises' much-loved bunny siblings, MAX & RUBY, will star in an off-Broadway musical stage show in December that will also tour the U.S. this fall and next spring.

Produced by TheatreworksUSA, MAX & RUBY will play at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City from Dec. 12, 2007, to Jan. 13, 2008. Tickets go on sale in September. Two touring companies will bring the show to 210 cities, to be seen by an estimated half a million preschool and school-aged children.

Kids Headline News

McDonald's Happy Meals Catch Surf's Up Wave

McDonald's and Sony Pictures Animation are treating McDonald's youngest guests to the characters from the SURF'S UP movie, beginning June 8, 2007, in McDonald's Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals. On the opening day of the new animated movie, from Sony Pictures Animation, through July 5, with the purchase of a Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal, young guests will receive one of eight SURF'S UP surfing-action toys, while supplies last.

Movie Headline News

U.S. Cities Vie for Simpsons Springfield Distinction

Cities across the U.S. are competing to be chosen the real-life "Springfield" in a USA TODAY promotion for this summer's theatrical release of THE SIMPSONS MOVIE.

USA TODAY is inviting its readers to vote for communities across the U.S. named Springfield, competing to win a special "Hometown Premiere" of the film on July 26, 2007.

Each participating Springfield has approximately 30 days to submit a short film, 3-5 minutes long, showcasing the community's "Simpson Spirit." USA TODAY readers may vote for their favorite "Hometown Movie" online at

Online Headline News

Storm Hawks Sails Onto TV & Internet

Nerd Corps Ent.'s first original property, STORM HAWKS, is making both its online and on-air worldwide launch this week.

Following a successful Friday night sneak peek of a one-hour special episode, STORM HAWKS began airing Mondays, as part of Cartoon Network's new summer programming lineup at 7:00 pm (ET, PT). Other broadcasters that will be debuting the series this summer or fall include YTV in Canada; Cartoon Network in the U.K., France and Latin America; terrestrial broadcaster France 3 and Canadian French-language broadcaster VRAK.

Production Headline News

Atlantyca Ent. Makes Key Exec Appointments

Italian-based production company Atlantyca Ent. has appointed Claudia Mazzucco ceo and Caterina Vacchi as senior manager/exec producer of the company.

Mazzucco will oversee all of the company's initiatives and reports to chairman Pietro Marietti, who established Atlantyca Ent. in September 2006 to create new business opportunities for the company's library of entertainment book properties.

Series Headline News

Pope New NBC Universal Television Studio President

Katherine Pope has been promoted from evp, NBC Ent., to president, NBC Universal Television Studio, and will head one of the country's largest and most successful television production companies, it was announced today by NBC Ent. and NBC Universal Television Studio co-chairmen Marc Graboff and Ben Silverman.

Creature Headline News

American Version of Creature Comfort Premieres on CBS

The American version of CREATURE COMFORTS, the hit British television series, premieres tonight, (June 4, 2007) at 8:00-8:30 pm on the CBS. Based on the original Academy Award-winning short film of the same name created by Nick Park and Aardman Animations Ltd., the stop-motion animated series employs a unique format that culls excerpts from real person interviews in the U.S. and places them in the mouths of a wide variety of animated animals to produce humorous, charming and insightful commentaries on everyday life.

Series Headline News

NCircle Brings Pocoyo To U.S. Homes

NCircle Ent. announced that it has entered into an exclusive multi-year distribution partnership with Granada Int'l, which makes NCircle the exclusive U.S. home entertainment distributor for the award-winning animated children's series POCOYO.

Headline News

Pirates 3 Cable Rights Go To USA

USA Network has gained the cable rights to PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END from Disney-ABC Domestic Television, reports the trades. USA already holds the cable rights to the previous films in the trilogy, CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL and DEAD MAN'S CHEST.

The price tag for the third PIRATES film is rumored to have been between $25-30 million. USA paid between $20-25 for DEAD MAN'S CHEST. The deal gives USA the network cable window, starting in Sept. 2009.

Series Headline News

WGBH & Studio B to Produce Martha Speaks Animated Series For Public TV

WGBH Boston and Canada's Studio B Prods. Inc. have teamed up to develop and co-produce a new animated series based on the award-winning MARTHA SPEAKS children's book series by Susan Meddaugh, for public television in fall 2008.

The property will be developed into 40 half-hour episodes, designed to enrich children's vocabulary within the context of compelling stories. Studio B has international distribution rights for the property.

International Headline News

Meyer to Head Worldwide Publicity for Disney Studios Motion Picture Marketing

Teri Meyer has been promoted to the newly created position of evp of worldwide publicity for Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Marketing. She will be responsible for formulating and executing worldwide publicity campaigns for all live-action and animated features released under The Walt Disney Pictures (live action and animation), Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures banners.

Story Headline News

Naruto Feature Playing One Night in Canada, Rarely Seen Story Now on DVD

Cineplex Ent. and VIZ Media announced that advance tickets are on sale now for the special one-day-only Canadian event of the first NARUTO feature film, NARUTO THE MOVIE: NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW, opening nationwide on Saturday June 23, 2007.

Advance tickets can be purchased online at as well as at participating Cineplex Ent. theatre box offices; admission for children is $8.95 + tax and general admission is $9.95 + tax.

Film Headline News

'Persepolis' & 'Madame Tutli-Putli' Animated Winners at Cannes

PERSEPOLIS, an animated feature about a young girl's life under Iran's ayatollahs shared the jury prize March 27, 2007, at the Cannes Film Festival.

The animated short, MADAME TUTLI-PUTLI, from The National Film Board of Canada, also picked up two major awards. The avant-garde, stop-motion film from Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski won the Canal + Award for Best Short Film and the Petit Rail d'Or for Best Short Film.

Headline News

Imaginary Forces Creates National Treasure Sequel Teaser

Entertainment and design company Imaginary Forces (IF) was recently called upon by Walt Disney Pictures to create a teaser for its upcoming feature, NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS. The teaser breaks today (May 25, 2007) with the premiere of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END.

In the NATIONAL TREASURE sequel, treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) looks to discover the truth behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by uncovering the 18 missing pages from assassin John Wilkes Booth's diary, and embarks on an adventure with many surprising twists.

Film Headline News

Latest Pirates Uncovers $58 Million in Pre-Release

Walt Disney Pictures' PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END landed a hefty worldwide gross of $58 million in its first two days of pre-weekend release. Domestically, the film was virtually sold out in theatres across the country on Thursday night and collected an impressive $17 million from the evening showings. Overseas, the film grossed a swashbuckling $12.1 million from 13 territories on Wednesday, and brought in an additional $29 million from Thursday showings in a total of 39 territories.

Animation Headline News

SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival Sets Record

SIGGRAPH 2007 announced record submissions for this year's Computer Animation Festival taking place at the 34th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, Aug. 5-9, 2007 in San Diego, California.

Entertainment Headline News

Adams New Cookie Jar Ent. Business Affairs & Sales VP

Ed Adams joins Cookie Jar Ent. in the newly-created position of vp, business affairs and sales. Based in Los Angeles, Adams will support Cookie Jar's legal team on entertainment matters and the sales team for U.S. video and publishing sales.

"Throughout Ed's career, he has distinguished himself as a dynamic and success-oriented entertainment industry professional," said Cookie Jar's president/coo Taylor, who he reports to. "With his broad experience and knowledge, Ed will be a tremendous asset to Cookie Jar as the company continues to grow."

Cartoon Headline News

Hill New Programming and Acquisitions VP for Cartoon Network U.S.

Rico Hill has been named vp of programming and acquisitions for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Based in Atlanta, he will direct all aspects of programming for both Cartoon Network and classic cartoons network Boomerang, including scheduling, on-air event planning and program acquisitions.

Series Headline News

Spies Totally Ready for Big Screen Debut

At Cannes, sales rep Daniel Marquet is pitching a feature script for the TV series, TOTALLY SPIES, reports VARIETY. The Marathon production is budgeted at $7 million.

The feature's story is an origin tales, following the show's trio of high-school girls as they become spies.

The TV series was created and produced by Marathon's David Michel and Vincent Chalvon-Demersay. It airs in the U.S. on Cartoon Network, in France on TF1, in Germany on Super RTL, in Italy on Mediaset, in Brazil on Globo, in Mexico on Televisa and in parts of Asia on the Disney Channel.

Animation Headline News

TELETOON Doubles Animation Scholarships For 10th Anniversary

TELETOON, Canada's only all animation network, announced that for the 10th edition of the TELETOON Animation Scholarship, the total prize money has more than doubled to more than $70,000 to support the development of nine talented animation students across Canada. TELETOON is also rewarding cartoon fans with the new Voter's Choice Award to allow would-be cartoon critics to have their say and possibly win $500. Applications for the Scholarship are now being accepted until June 15, 2007. More information and rules of entry are available at

Headline News

Imageworks Expands into New Mexico

Sony Pictures Imageworks officially announced that it is expanding into Albuquerque, New Mexico, "to harness the power of scalable capacity and favorable economics."

According to the LOS ANGELES TIMES, more than 100 jobs will relocate from Culver City to New Mexico, which is providing a combined 25% rebate on taxable production and post-production expenses.