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Geographical Region: North America

Headline News Stone Soup To Produce Independent Animator's Forum for TV

Houston, Texas-based Stone Soup has announced plans to produce WILL ANIMATE FOR FOOD, a 30-minute TV program for WTP-TV, Cable 17, a public access channel. The show will feature a series consisting of a collection of independently produced animations and animator interviews presented in a variety format.

Headline News Indian Film To Feature Toon/Live-Action Musical Number

Mumbai, India-based 2nz Animation has completed work on the 2D animation portion of a musical number in the upcoming film SHAADI KA LADDOO. Directed by Raj Kaushal and starring Mandira Bedi, Sanjay Suri and Aashish Chaudhary, the film's "Chal Hutt" number will feature actress Negar Khan and animated characters singing together.

Headline News Inspector Gadget Go Goes CG

DIC Ent. and Mainframe Ent. will co-produce an all-new CGI INSPECTOR GADGET television special and DVD release, INSPECTOR GADGET SAVES THE DAY MAYBE. Mainframe will handle distribution in Canada, Australia and the U.K. with handling the title internationally and Lions Gate's Family Home Ent. handling the U.S.

Headline News Robert Rodriguez to Helm Sin City Feature

Robert Rodriguez (SPY KIDS franchise, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO) has signed on to direct the screen adaptation of Frank Miller's classic crime saga, SIN CITY. The feature will be based on the three graphic novels SIN CITY, THAT YELLOW BASTARD and THE BIG FAT KILL. Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan will produce the project through their Troublemaker Studios. Andrew Rona and Brad Weston, co-presidents of Dimension, will oversee the project for the studio.

Headline News Nick Ups Marjorie Cohn to EVP, Development and Original Programming

Veteran production and development exec Marjorie Cohn has been promoted to the newly created position of evp, development and original programming, at Nickelodeon. Based in New York, Cohn will oversee all of Nickelodeon's ongoing program development and current series production activities in New York, Los Angeles and Canada

Headline News Digital Pioneer Cohen Joins Ascent

Steven B. Cohen, a pioneer in digital technologies used to edit and screen feature films, has joined Ascent Media Creative Services in the newly created post of vp of feature film services. In his new role, Cohen will develop leading edge digital services for use in film production; including digital dailies, location and studio screening rooms, digital cinema previews and the digital intermediate process.

Headline News Canada Approves CINAR Sale

The founders, the stockholders and now the Canadian authorities have approved the sale of CINAR Corp. to the investor group comprised of Michael Hirsh, Toper Taylor and TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners through 4113683 Canada Inc. ("Newco").

The Quebec Superior Court granted approval by Justice Joel A. Silcoff, on Feb. 25, 2004, following a hearing in Montreal, on February 19 and 20.

Headline News Nemo Wins Humane Society Award

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 25, 2004 at 12:00am

The 18th Annual Genesis Awards, presented by The Hollywood Office of The Humane Society of The United States (HSUS), has awarded FINDING NEMO, along with live-action LEGALLY BLONDE 2, its outstanding film prize. The awards will be presented on March 20, 2004 at a gala ceremony in the International Ballroom of The Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills. The show will be taped and edited for a two-hour television special airing on Animal Planet on April 25, 2004.

Headline News Pooh Case Heats Up With Theft Accusations

On Feb. 24, 2004, the epic legal battle between the Walt Disney Co. and Winnie the Pooh copyright holders, the Slesinger family, heated up with Disney accusations that the family stole and altered documents, reported REUTERS. Disney lawyers again asked Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charles McCoy, who took over the case in October, to throw out the case, which could lose Disney hundreds of millions of dollars.

Headline News Cosgrove Hall Working On The Wumblers

Manchester, U.K.-based animation house Cosgrove Hall has started production on THE WUMBLERS, a 26x11 2D preschool series for Peak Ent. and The Silly Goose Co.

THE WUMBLERS is a heart-warming collection of tales featuring Bertrum, a young Wumbler, and his best friend, Raimundo, a Spanish-speaking snail. Laura Wellington, recipient soon of the New Jersey Business Woman of the Year award, created the series.

Headline News Siskind New Worldwide Marketing Chief at Paramount Pictures

Steve Siskind replaces Tom Campanella as evp, worldwide marketing and advertising, of the marketing division of the Motion Picture Group, Paramount Pictures, according to Rob Friedman, coo, Paramount Pictures and vice chairman, Motion Picture Group.

Campanella, who after a career of more than 40 years at Paramount, will change his status to a senior advisor for the company.

Headline News CAT Adoption Escalates Around the Globe

Character Animation Toolkit (CAT), a fully integrated next-generation character animation system plug-in for 3ds max, is experiencing rapid adoption around the globe since its introduction in November 2003, according to developer Character Animation Technologies.

Key markets for CAT include the U.S., Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Germany and Australia. In addition to its outstanding adoption rate, the company also announced significant enhancements to CAT with the immediate availability of CAT 1.15.

Headline News Cat in the Hat Comes Back on DVD

Universal will be releasing DR. SEUSS' THE CAT IN THE HAT, based on the classic children's book, on DVD and VHS March 16, 2004. The pricing for the release is $26.98 SRP/$19.95 MAP for DVD and $24.98 SRP/$15.95 MAP for VHS. The film was directed by MEN IN BLACK production designer Bo Welch and produced by THE GRINCH producer Brian Grazer.

Interactive DVD exclusives include:

Headline News 50 First Dates Still Going Steady

50 FIRST DATES, the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore starrer, collected another $20.4M worth of hugs and kisses over the weekend ended Feb. 22, 2004 to finish first at the box office. So far, the Sony romantic comedy has garnered $71.7M over two weekends. Disney's CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN (with vfx by Intelligent Creatures) debuted in second place with $9.3M. Disney's MIRACLE held the third spot with $7.8M and a cume of $50.3M. Fox's WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT debuted in fourth with $6.77M. DreamWorks' EUROTRIP debuted right behind in fifth place with $6.71M.

Headline News Capilano College Open House

Capilano College animation department in North Vancouver, Canada is holding an Open House on Feb. 21, 2004, from 1:00-5:00 pm. Students and faculty will be on hand to give tours, workshops and portfolio reviews. Animation from the students in the 2D and 3D programs will be presented. Student work may also be viewed on the department Website: www.gradshow.com. For more information, contact animation@gradshow.com.

Headline News 21Boom Flexes Design Muscles

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 18, 2004 at 12:00am

New York-based 21Boom, a design company that provides creative services to networks, production companies and agencies, has delivered the original visual brand for Discovery Communications' newest network, FitTV. The network is the ultimate destination for exercise and fitness programming on TV. To shape up for the launch, FitTV challenged 21Boom with a game plan to deliver results that both reflect the visually exciting and high-energy programming of the network and appeal to men and women who want to look and feel good.

Headline News Weissenborn To Head SPTI Global Ad Sales

Jamie Weissenborn has been named to the newly created position of vp, global advertising sales, international networks, Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI). Based at SPTI's headquarters in Culver City, California. Weissenborn will manage advertising sales for SPTI's multi-territory programs airing across AXN and Sony Entertainment Television (SET), part of SPTI's International Networks portfolio.

Headline News Final Fantasy Gaming Music Presented in Symphony Concert

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 18, 2004 at 12:00am

Square Enix U.S.A. has announced that they will present the first FINAL FANTASY symphony concert in the U.S. to be performed by the acclaimed Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The event will take place on May 10, 2004, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and will feature music from the FINAL FANTASY videogame series. The concert will be running in the week of E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), the largest interactive entertainment trade show in the U.S.

Headline News Comcast Not Ready to Sweeten Disney Offer

After Walt Disney Co. directors rejected Comcast's unsolicited $54 billion bid as too low and rallied behind beleaguered chairman Michael Eisner, Comcast defended its merger proposal on Tuesday, leaving doubt about its willingness to sweeten the offer. On Tuesday, Walt Disney Co. lost 9 cents to $26.83. But the board said it would "consider any legitimate proposal" that would create shareholder value. Comcast was up 87 cents at $30.77 after several sessions of declines.

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