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Geographical Region: North America

Licensing Headline News

New Sales for Franny's Feet

DECODE Enterprises, the distribution subsidiary of DHX Media, has scored further deals for its property FRANNY'S FEET (52x22 or 104x11) including sales into new territories.

Disney Channel U.K. has licensed season three and renewed its commitment to the first two seasons. In addition, Italy's RAI has picked up all three seasons with RTV Slovenia renewing season one and TV3 Catalunya in Spain and IRIB in Iran acquiring seasons one and two. The deal with RAI was brokered through Gary Kallenbach.

Headline News

Bakugan Getting Videogame Treatment

Activision Publishing and Corus Ent.'s Nelvana Enterprises will develop and distribute video games based on the toy and action animated television series BAKUGAN. The first BAKUGAN game will be released for Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 in fall 2009.

Game Headline News

Microsoft's Don Mattrick to Deliver GDC Canada Keynote

Don Mattrick, SVP of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, will deliver a keynote address at the inaugural Game Developers Conference Canada (GDC Canada). Mattrick leads the Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows businesses at Microsoft.

Headline News

The Foundry Hires New Staff

Visual effects software developer The Foundry has appointment of new sales and product management staff to help boost global sales of the company's Nuke VFX compositing and image-processing plug-ins products, and maintain the focus on customer-driven product development.

Joining the company are: Michael Bailey in the role of director of sales, worldwide, who has responsibility for expanding global sales; Schel Kuehnert, who becomes the new director of sales for the Americas and Tom Cowland, who takes on a customer-facing role as plug-ins product manager.

Headline News

Kid vs. Kat Debuts on Disney XD on Saturday

Disney XD is set to premiere the KID VS KAT, a new animated series, its regular timeslot on Saturday, February 21 at 9 a.m. The 26-episode series, about a 10-year-old boy who is at war with his sister's evil cat, is created by Rob Boutilier and produced by Studio B Productions.

Production Headline News

Anita Olan Returns to Imaginary Forces NYC

Design and production studio Imaginary Forces has named Anita Olan to the position of exec producer/general manager of its New York office.

The move is a homecoming for Olan. One of the company's longest-tenured employees, she spent over a decade with IF, both in its Hollywood and New York offices. During this time she worked on every aspect of the company's business, from leading its production department and developing strategy and creative for major network rebranding efforts to producing innovative entertainment content for such clients as Animal Planet and Lexus.

Headline News

CNE Signs New Hardline, Softline Partners for Bakugan

Cartoon Network Enterprise (CNE) will have an extended hardlines and softlines program for the BAKUGAN brand. The consumer products options for young battle brawlers everywhere will soon be expanded in to all new categories as CNE, Nelvana's exclusive U.S. licensing agent for BAKUGAN, has signed partners to extend "Baku-mania" in to new hardlines categories and add to the tremendous success of the master toy line from Spin Master.

Dreamworks Headline News

Cerelink to Compute Clouds for DreamWorks Animation

Cerelink DMG, a New Mexico company, has entered into an agreement with DreamWorks Animation to explore the development of technology and infrastructure that would enable CG film rendering as a cloud computing service.

Richard Draper, Managing Partner of Cerelink DMG said, "With the technical innovation and real world computing demands of DreamWorks Animation, we're bringing the future of cloud computing to New Mexico. This effort is expected to create new opportunities and demand for New Mexico-based talent and services within the digital media sector."

Film Headline News

Rhino Rebrands to Reflect Global Reach

rhinofx is dropping off the "f" and "x" and changing its name to Rhino. A year after uniting with Gravity, one of Israel and Canada's premier media development studios, Rhino has updated its name, identity, and vision to coincide with its dramatic and global evolution in both traditional and non-traditional work across TV, film, web, and mobile screens.

Disney Headline News

Disney Unveils New Princess And The Frog Toy Line

As the Disney Princess royal court prepares to welcome its newest member, Princess Tiana, star of the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated theatrical release, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, Disney Consumer Products in collaboration with Mattel and CDI, a division of JAKKS Pacific, have unveiled a the toy line inspired by the film and its characters.

Awards Headline News

Dark Knight, Benjamin Button Win Art Directors Guild Awards

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON won for Period Film, and THE DARK KNIGHT for Fantasy Film, at the 13th Annual Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Awards. The awards were held Saturday in Beverly Hills, and also honored George Lucas and Paul Sylbert.

At this Sunday's Academy Awards, CHANGELING, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, THE DARK KNIGHT, THE DUCHESS and REVOLUTIONARY ROAD will be up for the Oscar for Art Direction.

Period Films

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTONProduction Designer: Donald Graham Burt

Headline News

Keyframe Digital Sets Sail for Peggy's Little Harbour, Embraces Cuddly Wuggleys

Animation and visual effects studio Keyframe Digital Productions has added PEGGY'S LITTLE HARBOUR and CUDDLY WUGGLEYS to its development slate of original children's animated series. The studio recently announced that it was developing SOCK MONSTERS with Dublin-based partner Kavaleer Productions.

Series Headline News

Treehouse Brings Olivia to Canada

Treehouse invites children into the life of the adventurous, can-do 6 3/4 year-old girl named Olivia with the Canadian television debut of the CG animated series OLIVIA. Based on Ian Falconer's award-winning book series, which has sold six million copies to date, OLIVIA premieres on Treehouse Monday, February 23 at 5:45 p.m.

Media Headline News

WIA Presents: Building Your Own Website 101 and Beyond

WIA Presents: Building Your Own Website 101 and BeyondNew York, New York, USAFebruary 26, 2009

If you are itching to create your own website or you already have one but are looking for a way to improve it, come join WIA for an evening with Richard Carey. This meeting is produced by Masako Kanayama.

Headline News

Digimon Data Squad Get 13-Episode Box Set

On the heels of the DIGIMON franchise's 10th anniversary, Toei Animation Inc. has finalized a licensing agreement with Well Go USA for the DVD rights to DIGIMON DATA SQUAD in the U.S. and Canada. Well Go USA will street a new box set, which includes the first 13 episodes, this spring.

Animation Headline News

Copernicus, Kavaleer Take Garth and Bev from Bronze Age to Space Age

Animation house Copernicus Studios is partnering with Dublin, Ireland-based Kavaleer Productions to co-produce 52x11 episodes of the animated children's series GARTH AND BEV. The Copernicus team will create 2D animation with Paul Rigg, president of Copernicus, serving as executive producer.

Headline News

PorchLight and Hidden City Games to Ride Together

PorchLight Ent. has partnered with Hidden City Games to create an animated television series and long-form film content based on the magical world of BELLA SARA horses. Under the agreement, PorchLight will have worldwide rights to the animated productions based on the BELLA SARA brand, and will simultaneously pursue feature and direct-to-DVD opportunities.

Film Headline News

USA Network Licenses Universal Pictures 2009 Film Slate

USA Network has acquired the exclusive network television premiere rights to the 2009 Universal Pictures' film slate.

The deal is considered to be one of the largest of its kind between a film studio and basic cable network. The package includes Universal's biggest tentpole movies for 2009 with some of the most commercially viable film properties attached to the slate. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Headline News

Berry Big Plans for Strawberry Shortcake in 2009

Building on STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE's enduring appeal, American Greetings Properties and Cookie Jar Ent. are continuing to fuel the brand's growth in 2009, both in the U.S. and internationally, with a slate of new product and entertainment launches.

Created and owned by American Greetings, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE has generated more than $2.7 billion in worldwide retail sales since the brand's re-launch in 2002, and it continues to be a favorite among young girls and parents.

Entertainment Headline News

Highlights from the Imagina 2009 Awards

The Imagina 2009 awards have been announced. WALL-E won for Best Feature Film, and THE DARK KNIGHT got a nod for Best Special Effects. Media & Entertainment awards are as follows:

Best Animation

FOR SOCK'S SAKEGobelins, L'ecole De L'image - Cal Arts(France - USA)Direction: Carlo Vogele

Best Commercial

Monster.com STORKFramestore (United Kingdom)Direction: Daniel KleinmanProduction: Rattling StickPost Production: FramestoreDistribution: BBDO New York

Animation Headline News

Chris Robinson in Conversation with Ellen Besen

Canada's leading independent animation filmmakers are scattered all across the country. Veteran programmer and writer Chris Robinson chronicles his long distance, year long quest to meet them in CANADIAN ANIMATION: LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO HAPPEN (Indiana University Press). Robinson will discuss his findings with acclaimed animator Ellen Besen, and show film clips to punctuate their conversation. -- A This Is Not A Reading Series event presented by Pages Books & Magazines, University of Indiana Press, EYE WEEKLY, Gladstone Hotel, Take Five On CIUT and Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS).

Cartoon Headline News

marblemedia Brings Skatoony Across the Pond

marblemedia has acquired the North American format rights to produce a version of the popular Cartoon Network U.K. series SKATOONY. Currently in its third season on Cartoon Network, the successful television program pits real kids against cartoon characters in an animated quiz game show format.

The first season enters production this spring and will shoot 13 half-hour English and 13 half-hour French episodes. The series, aimed at kids aged 8 to 12, has been commissioned for TELETOON Canada and is set to premiere in Spring 2010.

Kids Headline News

Nickelodeon Announces 2009 Kids' Choice Award Nominees

Kid faves/superstars who've notched a spot among the A-list of nominees for coveted Kids' Choice Blimp trophies in Nickelodeon's 22nd Annual Kids' Choice Awards -- the kudos/mess-fest to be telecast live from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion Saturday, March 28 (8-9:30 p.m. ET/PT) -- include: Jennifer Aniston, Beyonce, Jack Black, Chris Brown, Jim Carrey, Miranda Cosgrove, Miley Cyrus, America Ferrera, Selena Gomez, Anne Hathaway, Vanessa Hudgens, The Jonas Brothers, Alicia Keys, George Lopez, Michael Phelps, Adam Sandler, Will Smith, Ben Stiller, Reese Witherspoon, Nat Wolff and Tiger Woods.

Headline News

Banjo the Woodpile Cat Hits DVD

Don Bluth Films just released a special 30th Anniversary Edition of BANJO THE WOODPILE CAT, produced and animated by former Walt Disney animators Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy.

Directed by Bluth, between March 1975 and December 1979 in his garage, the new special edition has been digitally re-mastered for both widescreen 16:9 and standard 4:3 formats. To celebrate this long-anticipated DVD release, special screenings took place at the 2009 USA Film Festival (KidFilm) in Dallas, Texas Jan. 24 and 25.

Online Headline News

Moviegoers Follow the Angels & Demons Path of Illumination in Online Contest

On May 15, 2009, famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon will follow the Path of Illumination in order to thwart the Illuminati's plot to commit unspeakable acts of violence in their quest to destroy the Vatican in Columbia Pictures' ANGELS & DEMONS.

Online moviegoers from seven countries will have the chance to follow their own path with the Angels & Demons Path of Illumination Contest on www.AngelsAndDemons.MSN.com.

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