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Geographical Region: North America

Headline News Lucasfilm Announces Episode III Release Date

Lucasfilm has announced that STAR WARS: EPISODE III will be released to theaters in the U.S. and Canada on Thursday, May 19, 2005. The release will be nearly simultaneous around the globe. In Japan, the film will be released in July, the month in which all previous STAR WARS premiered.

Headline News Nickelodeon and TV Asahi Animated Shows Win Peabodys

Nickelodeons DORA THE EXPLORER is one of the winners of the 63rd Annual Peabody Awards to be awarded by the University of Georgias Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication on May 17, 2004. The 29 award winners for excellence in electronic media, chosen from more than 1,100 entries, also includes recognition for Japans TV Asahi, MOTHER FLEW AWAY AS A KITE, an arresting animated recounting of the last days of WWII.

Headline News DIC Goes Trolling For A Hit

Trolling for its next hit, DIC Entertainment has acquired worldwide entertainment and licensing rights from the Troll Company (a.k.a. Dam Things) to the iconic spiky, colorful-haired Troll character to be developed into an entertainment and lifestyle brand for tweens, called TROLLZ.

Headline News Danny Phantom Materializes On Nickelodeon

Half-human, half-ghost DANNY PHANTOM has materialized on Nickelodeon with comic adventures as he straddles two worlds as a shy freshman at Casper High and a heroic phantom-fighter with ghostly superpowers -- courtesy of creator Butch Hartman (THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS) in an all-new animated series airing Fridays in primetime. The series saw a special premiere on April 3, 2004 at 9:30 pm and features back-to-back episodes on April 9 on its regular night and time at 8:30 pm.

Headline News Discreet Ships smoke 6 for Linux Workstations

Discreet has begun shipping its smoke 6 system on the Intel-based IBM workstation running Linux. The smoke 6 editing and finishing system is already available on the Silicon Graphics Octane2 and Silicon Graphics Tezro visual workstations. The addition of Linux workstation support and new pricing ensures that the smoke 6 system is accessible to broadcasters and the growing segment of mid-range post-production facilities.

Headline News DECODE Does Hat Trick’s Bromwell High For Channel 4

DECODE Entertainment is co-producing the new 2D animated series BROMWELL HIGH with award-winning U.K. independent Hat Trick Productions for Channel 4s primetime schedule in 2005.

DECODE has worldwide distribution rights to BROMWELL HIGH excluding the U.K. and Ireland and already has a deal already in place with TELETOON Canada.

Headline News Hewlett Departs Carlton For Tiger Aspect

U.K. independent Tiger Aspect Productions has appointed multi-award winning producer Steve Hewlett as its new non-executive director. Hewlett will work closely with the heads of departments to develop programming, broaden broadcasters relations and help expand the companys international opportunities and ambitions.

Headline News Bauhaus Software Supports Leitch Velocity and VelocityQ NLE Platforms

Bauhaus Software Inc., a leading provider of products and technologies for the digital vfx market, announced support for Leitch Technology's Velocity and VelocityQ NLE platforms in its flagship Mirage product line. Using Leitch's Reality and Quattrus hardware, respectively, to act as a frame buffer for Mirage allows broadcasters and post-production professionals to view the results of their work in real time on an external NTSC/PAL monitor.

Headline News Cal Arts Students Sweep Animation Category at College TV Awards

Cal Art students swept the traditional animation category at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation's 25th Annual College Television Awards Competition. Cal Arts' David Derrick, ByoungJik Lee and Chris Choy took first, second and third respectively for their toon work. Ringling School of Art & Design students did well in the non-traditional animation category taking second and third with first place going to Craig Van Dyke of Brigham Young.

Headline News Cinar Becomes The Cookie Jar Ent.

With the acquisition of the company by former Nelvana execs Michael Hirsh and Toper Taylor complete, Cinar's name has been officially changed to Cookie Jar Ent. The once publicly traded company will now be a private entity. The principals include Hirsh and Taylor along with Steve and Patty Carson, TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners and Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). The overall Cookie Jar Group also includes leading education companies Carson-Dellosa and HighReach Learning.

Headline News Alliance Atlantis Lands Broadcast Deals for Dragon Booster in UK & Australia

Alliance Atlantis has announced is has secured broadcast deals with Channel Five and BSKYB in the U.K. and an Australian broadcast deal with ABC TV Australia for its new CGI animated childrens property, DRAGON BOOSTER. U.K. digital TV platform BSKYB secured Pay-TV rights to the series, which will air on Sky One, the U.K.'s leading non-terrestrial entertainment channel, staring in January 2005. Channel Five, who secured Free-TV rights, will air the series in their branded "Shake" block on Saturdays in 2005.

Headline News Kaydara Announces Middleware Solutions for Game Developers

Kaydara Inc. has announced its first middleware solution for game developers, HumanIK | Middleware, a character animation and rigging technology. With HumanIK | Middleware, game developers will now be able to easily embed the character animation technology found in MOTIONBUILDER directly into their game engine. The new product will be available in the second quarter 2004.

Headline News MIP-TV News: Corsham & Mad House To Co-Produce Natural Born Kittens

U.K. production company Corsham Entertainment has agreed in principle to co-produce with Japanese anime production company Madhouse the 26x30 plus comedy/anime series for teens, NATURAL BORN KITTENS.

Corsham was founded by Oscar-winning STAR WARS producer Gary Kurtz and BIONICLE co-creator Alastair Swinnerton, while Madhouse is one of the top studios in Japan, with credits ranging from feature films NINJA SCROLL, METROPOLIS, VAMPIRE HUNTER D, ANIMATRIX, MILLENNIUM ACTRESS and TOKYO GODFATHERS to TV series CARDCAPTORS and BEYBLADE.

Headline News MIP-TV News: MicroTainment Hopes MIP Buyers Will Warm to The Frost Family

MicroTainment is offering THE FROST FAMILY, a half-hour animated series for primetime at MIP-TV. The combination 2D/3D series will be available for fall 2005. Micortainment will be located in the Canadian Pavilion, #0.01, on the main floor of the Palais.

Headline News MIP-TV News: DECODE Toons Into MIP-TV with Franny's Feet & King

DECODE Entertainment will have two animated series available at MIP-TV -- pre-school hit FRANNY'S FEET and 2D adventure show KING. Other product includes THE SAVE-UMS! and THE BLOBHEADS. During the market, DECODE will be based on the Don Juan boat, Jette Albert-Edouard, phone +33.04.9.298.7124.

Headline News MIP-TV News: Year-Old Icon Animation Brings Flash Series to MIP-TV

Icon Animation will be bringing a full slate of animated projects to MIP-TV. The company hopes to secure distribution and co-production deals for its various series.

VITAMINIX (31x2) is Icon's first co-production with Digital y Cual. The series seeks to introduce the world of food and their vitamin and mineral content to adults and children. The Flash production is finished and available worldwide.

Headline News MIP-TV News: VGI Entertainment Brings 3 Pre-School Series to MIP-TV

VGI Entertainment Inc. will be presenting three pre-school series in its booth R28.13 at MIP-TV. The series include SERGEANT STRIPES, EBB AND FLO and BLANCHE.

Produced by Ealing Animation and A Works TV Production in association with CBBC, SERGEANT STRIPE (26x10) features Stripes, a police station cat, who dreams he is a police sergeant with his very own police force. VGI launched the new 2D series at MIPCOM 2003 and the show receives a 33% audience share across all channels kids4-6 year olds for the BBC.

Headline News MIP-TV News: Sony Hopes To Soar With Astro Boy AT MIP-TV

Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) is bringing its big animated series, ASTRO BOY, to MIP-TV at stand M5.01. ASTRO BOY is amongst a diverse slate from SPTI, which includes Stephen Kings KINGDOM HOSPITAL, JOAN OF ARCADIA, MISSING, THE RESIDENTS, BEWITCHED IN TOKYO, SEA OF SOULS and POOR ANASTASIA.

Headline News Square Enix Acquires UIEvolution

Square Enix Co. Ltd. has acquired UIEvolution, Inc., a leading wireless software company, through its subsidiary, Square Enix U.S.A. Inc. This move is in hopes to capitalize on the growing mobile market in the U.S. Square Enix invested approximately $4 million in UIEvolution in December 2003. UIEvolution will function as the research and development center for core technologies that will help Square Enix produce a new type of network-based entertainment.

Headline News Northern Lights Helps VOOM

New York's Northern Lights Post recently completed a series of image spots for Rainbow DBS' recently launched VOOM network, the inaugural provider of exclusively HD programming for the home entertainment market. In addition, the spots were so well received, that Northern Lights also recently completed editing four one-hour episodes of MOTOPIG, a mud-streaked, adrenaline-filled gameshow based in the world of motocross.

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