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Geographical Region: North America

Kids Headline News

Incredibles & SpongeBob Top Slime at Kids’ Choice Awards

On April 2, Nickelodeon hosted its 18th annual Kids Choice Awards, which was hosted by Ben Stiller. For favorite cartoon, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS took home the prize. Winning favorite movie was Brad Birds superhero send-up THE INCREDIBLES. Will Smiths performance in DreamWorks SHARK TALE earned him the favorite voice from an animated movie. Though SHREK 2 lost out in the favorite movie category, the game SHREK 2 took home favorite game.

Film Headline News

Listen Wins PlanetOut Animation Award

PlanetOut Inc., a global online media company serving the gay and lesbian market, announced the winners of the 6th Annual PlanetOut Short Movie Awards, presented by Scion and hosted by the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Susan Justins LISTEN took home the first prize for animation.

Dark Headline News

Darth Vader Goes to the Dark Side With M&M

Darth Vader and his candy counter-part M-Vader were in New York yesterday to unveil the new Dark Chocolate M&M's, which will be on shelves nationwide starting April 2, 2005. The product was specifically developed to celebrate the release of STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH.

Wild Headline News

Wild Brain Spoofs Action Movies in Coke Campaign

Wild Brain director Gordon Clark recently completed NINJA, the second animated spot in a comedic campaign for Coca-Cola via Z Publicidad/Mexico. The first spot, BULLFIGHT aired last month and NINJA began airing this month. The two :30 spots are geared to a Spanish-speaking audience and are currently airing throughout Latin America.

Wild Brain used a loose, painterly technique with watercolor textures in the animation. They wanted the characters to look cartoon-like while maintaining a more adult vibe.

Rocket Headline News

Shaw Rocket Prize Announces International Jury

The Shaw Rocket Fund, founder of the $50,000 Shaw Rocket Prize, has announced the 2005 Shaw Rocket Prize Jury, which includes: Deirdre Brennan, ABC Kids programmer, Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC TV), Australia; Frank Dietz, head of acquisitions and co-productions, Super RTL, Germany; Michelle Henderson, president, The Childrens Group, Canada; Bob Higgins, svp programming & development, Cartoon Network, U.S.; and Theresa Plummer-Andrews, managing director, Plum Trees TV Ltd., U.K.

Toon Headline News

Corel Painter IX and Toon Boom Studio Offer Joint Savings

Toon Boom Animation Inc. and Corel Corp. are now offering special pricing, until May 31, 2005, to customers who purchase both Corel Painter IX and Toon Boom Studio v2.5, a natural pairing for professional animators to create traditional, hand-drawn animation.

Film Headline News

Send Your Shorts to Sin City!

CineVegas Film FestivalLas Vegas, Nevada, USAJune 10-18, 2005Deadline: April 8, 2005

CineVegas Film Festival highlights independent films, shorts and documentaries. Celebrating 100 years of Vegas and 100 years of film, the festival will be held at the Palms Casino Resort. World premiere films, high-profile tributes and Vegas nightlife will all be part of the excitement. For additional information, visit www.cinevegas.com.

Festival Headline News

Topanga Film Festival 2005 Wants Your Shorts

Topanga Film Festival 2005Topanga, California, USAAugust 20, 2005 Deadline: July 1, 2005

Topanga Film Festival is determined to provide filmmakers and the community with a forum to share work and exchange creative ideas in an intimate open-air setting that inspires others to pick up a camera, lose their inhibitions, ditch excuses and go out there to make movies. Eligible are all short films or videos (under 30 min.) of artistic merit. For more information, e-mail info@topangafilmfestival.com or visit www.topangafilmfestival.com.

Autodesk Headline News

Autodesk Renames Discreet

In order to unify its overall branding strategy, Autodesk has renamed Discreet to Autodesk Media and Ent. The division best known for 3ds max and other digital imaging software will continue to service the film, video, gaming and related media and entertainment markets.

This renaming ensures that the creative toolset from Autodesk Media and Ent. will stay on the leading edge of product innovation. Additionally, Autodesk Consulting is extending its organization by adding a dedicated media and entertainment division.

Headline News

Liguori New President, Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting

Quick on the heels of the news earlier this week that Fox Broadcasting Co. entertainment chief Gail Berman ankled her post at the network to become a top creative player at Paramount Pictures, comes the announcement that Peter Liguori has been named to replace her as president, entertainment. Liguori will be responsible for all FOX program development and scheduling, as well as marketing, business affairs and promotions.

International Headline News

Hulbert to Head Hallmark International Channel Network

Ex-Disney TV Intl chief David Hulbert has found a lovely new home to head as chief exec of Hallmark International Channel network. The network itself is taking up a new home with Sparrowhawk, the media group that is in the process with Providence Equity Partners and 3i of buying the Hallmark Intl Channel from Crown Media Holdings.

The Hallmark International Channel network has more than 60 million subscribers worldwide, the international rights to more than 580 titles in the Crown Media library and a state-of-the-art broadcast facility in Denver, Colorado.

Headline News

Jay Jay The Jet Plane Launches 32-city Air Show Tour

TV promotion and marketing takes to the skies as a hit childrens television franchise, JAY JAY THE JET PLANE, launches a 32-city tour designed to entertain young children and families at air shows and aviation festivals across the United States, it was announced by PorchLight Entertainment Inc. and the Fun Events Co.

Wars Headline News

Star Wars: Clone Wars Micro-Series Comes to DVD

The Emmy Award-winning STAR WARS: CLONE WARS Volume 1 comes to DVD on March 22, 2005, from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The Cartoon Network 2D series produced & directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (SAMURAI JACK, DEXTERS LABORATORY) follows the exploits of heroic Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu and a legion of Jedi Knights as they fight against the forces of the Dark Side during the calamitous Clone Wars of Star Wars legend.

Million Headline News

Apax to Buy HIT Entertainment for $934 Million

On March 21, 2005, HIT Entertainment Plc. agreed, to take a £489.4 million ($934 million) cash takeover offer from U.K. venture capitalists Apax Partners.

HIT, the kids entertainment company behind such characters at BOB THE BUILDER, THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE and BARNEY THEPURPLE DINOSAUR, made the announcement as it revealed disappointing financial results for the six months ending Jan. 31.

Award Headline News

Triplets of Belleville Wins Top Genie Award

Oscar-nominee THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE won the Best Film prize at the 25th Genie Awards, Canada's top film award, which was held on March 21, 2005, in Toronto.

Seamless visual effects drama HEAD IN THE CLOUDS, starring Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz and Stuart Townsend, directed by John Duigan, took home the most awards for the categories of editing, costume, score and cinematography.

In the animation front, Chris Landreths Oscar winner RYAN won for animated short.

International Headline News

DIC Ups Gagerman in International Consumer Products

DICs Growing Worldwide Consumer Products Division has promoted 10-year DIC veteran Ryan Gagerman to vp, International Consumer Products for DIC Entertainment. It also named Lorne Bloch, director of Licensing and Stephanie Mente, manager of International Consumer Products.

Game Headline News

Fuel Industries & Alter Ego Studios Ink Development Alliances With Game Trust

Game Trust, the leading platform developer to manage premium casual games, announced development alliances with two of the hottest independent game development studios in the world Fuel Industries and Alter Ego Studios. These announcements follow the deals being inked at GDC.

Animation Headline News

Bauhaus Software Ships Mirage 1.5

Bauhaus Software Inc. announced the immediate availability of Mirage 1.5, a new version of its powerful 2D animation, paint and vfx system. A true paperless digital animation system, Mirage dramatically broadens the capabilities of traditional 2D animators, allowing users to create any classical or digital style 2D animation, from cel animation and anime, to rotoscoping, stop motion and more, in a fully-digital pipeline. Mirage is proven to drastically reduce costs and decrease animation production time by up to 50 percent when compared with traditional 2D pipelines.

Kids Headline News

Nick’s Kids’ Choice Noms Announced

Nickelodeon has announced the nominees for the 18th Annual Kids Choice Awards, which will take place April 2 (8-9:30 p.m. ET/PT) and will be hosted by Ben Stiller.

Were thrilled to welcome Ben Stiller as a first-time host of Nickelodeons Kids Choice this year, said Marjorie Cohn, evp, Nickelodeon development and original programming. Hes hilarious, beloved by kids and a movie veteran of the kind of irreverent mayhem that is the hallmark of our slime-meets-stars Awards.

Imax Headline News

Robots Offers Riveting IMAX Opening

On its way to posting $36M in its opening weekend last week, Fox/Blue Skys 3D-animated ROBOTS: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE took in a strong $1.4M in only 58 North American IMAX theaters. ROBOTS, marks the first spring day-and-date DMR (Digital Remastering) release for IMAX after the hugely successful 3D IMAX presentation of POLAR EXPRESS, which pulled in more than $45M domestically.

Film Headline News

Tampere Film Festival Grand Prix Goes to Pjotr Sapegin

The Grand Prix at Tampere 35th International Short Film Festival has been awarded to the Norwegian Pjotr Sapegin for his film GJENNOM MINE TYKKE BRILLER (THROUGH MY THINK GLASSES) (2004). The jury characterized the clay animation as skillful and imaginative, a work of art and humanity and remarked that it portrays the human nature in a poetic and loving way.

Square Headline News

Square Enix Brings Top Titles to Verizon’s V CAST

Square Enix and Verizon Wireless announced the availability of two new Square Enix titles for Verizon Wireless' new V CAST service -- FINAL FANTASY VII SNOWBOARDING and MUSASHI MOBILE SAMURAI. MUSASHI MOBILE SAMURAI will be available beginning March 15, 2005. V CAST from Verizon Wireless is the nation's first third-generation (3G) wireless broadband multimedia service for consumers allowing them to view high-quality 3D games and video clips because it runs on the Verizon Wireless broadband EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) 3G network.

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