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Geographical Region: North America

Series Headline News

The Backyardigans Setting Up In Your Backyard

In advance of MIPTV, Nelvana Enterprises announced an agreement that provides worldwide home entertainment rights for THE BACKYARDIGANS to FremantleMedia Enterprises for all territories, excluding Canada and the U.S.

This landmark deal will see up to 60 episodes of the popular CG series available internationally on DVD for the first time.

Season 1 will be available in Japan, with Seasons 2 and 3 to be offered in many global territories except for Canada and the U.S., where they are already available.

Game Headline News

Wii Users: Rock Band Coming Soon

ROCK BAND will be released on Wii this summer in the U.S. and Canada.

The game was developed by Harmonix and MTV Games, along with distribution partner Electronic Arts.

ROCK BAND for Wii will be released June 22 as a Special Edition bundle including the software, drums, microphone and a wireless guitar for the US and Canada for $169.99.

Headline News

Bleach Out The Memories, Thanks To Viz

VIZ Media has secured the license from TV Tokyo Corporation, Shueisha and Dentsu for BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY in the Americas, Europe and Oceania.

The feature film, which will be aimed primarily at teens and older teens, will have a limited theatrical release in major cities throughout North America this summer with the DVD release to follow winter 2008. Subsequent details will be released in coming weeks.

Series Headline News

DVD Releases For This Week

The Mist On DVD

THE MIST, with vfx by CafeFX, is now out on DVD, either in a two-disc Collector's Edition or on regular DVD.

THE MIST was originally part of King's short story collection SKELETON CREW. Set in a small town, a murderous fog sends frightened townsfolk to hide out in a supermarket, where vicious creatures prey upon them. Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden and Andre Braugher starred in the Frank Darabont-helmed film.

The Kite Runner On DVD

Entertainment Headline News

Lionsgate Selected To Distribute HIT DVDs

Reflecting the continued growth of its home entertainment business, Lionsgate has acquired the home entertainment distribution rights to family entertainment leader HIT Entertainment's portfolio of children's programming in the US and Canada.

The announcement was made today by Lionsgate President and Co-Chief Operating Officer Steve Beeks and HIT Entertainment Chief Financial Officer Jim Weight.

Headline News

4Kids and Subway Partner On Yu-Gi-Oh!

4Kids Entertainment and Subway have partnered for an international promotional partnership for the hit animated television series YU-GI-OH! GX.

Beginning March 24 through May 11, YU-GI-OH! GX branded premiums will be available exclusively with purchase of any Subway Fresh Fit Kids Meal at participating restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Additionally, the YU-GI-OH! GX promotion will launch at Subway restaurants in the UK and Ireland April 7-May 18.

World Headline News

Big Big World Headed Out To the Big Big World

The Contender Entertainment Group has acquired the worldwide distribution rights (excluding US and Canada) for the environmentally focused pre-school show IT'S A BIG BIG WORLD.

Contender Entertainment Group will manage international TV sales, home entertainment and merchandising.

Emmy nominated IT'S A BIG BIG WORLD, created by Mitchell Kriegman (BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE, BOOK OF POOH, CLARISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL) is produced in a unique patented process at Wainscott Studios Kriegman's digital production studio complex in the Hamptons, New York.

Animation Headline News

Download The Latest Animation World Magazine Acrobat Edition Today

The newest Acrobat edition of Animation World Magazine is now available for download. The featured article has Oscar-winning animator Gene Deitch contemplating the future of animation in light of the growth of performance/motion capture. Additionally, Joe Strike braves the (virtual) cold of the Canadian winter to report on the merger of two of Canada's premier producers of animation -- Studio B and DHX. Janet Hetherington talks to the creators of the new VEGGIETALES movie about the challenges of animating vegetables and making pirates more jolly and less jolly roger.

Headline News

Submissions Requested for FJORG!

ACM SIGGRAPH officially announced the opening of submissions for FJORG!, the International Animation Contest taking place at the upcoming SIGGRAPH conference, August 11-15 2008 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

FJORG! is an "iron animator" event in which competing teams from around the world have 32 hours to create a 15-second, character-driven animation while adhering to at least one of two themes and facing multiple distractions. The online submission system is now open, and submission and uploaded materials are due by May 7 2008.

Advertising Headline News

Advertising Deal Signed For Cookie Jar's Magi-Nation Game

Cookie Jar Entertainment has signed on GoFish Corporation as the exclusive in-game advertising partner for their highly anticipated online, role-playing game MAGI-NATION: BATTLE FOR THE MOONLANDS.

GoFish, a leading youth entertainment and media network, will provide content-appropriate advertising support for the free-to-play adventure game.

The advertising in MAGI-NATION: BATTLE FOR THE MOONLANDS will be seamlessly incorporated into the players' gaming experience, and will be suitable for the 8-14 year old target audience.

Marvel Headline News

Marvel Sells Cable Rights To FX

Marvel Studios, in its first major TV deal since going independent in 2005, has pre-sold the cable rights to IRON MAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK to FX, VARIETY reports.

The deal also includes three yet-to-be determined superhero movies, none of which has debuted in theaters.

"This is a watershed deal for the company," said David Maisel, chairman of Marvel to VARIETY. "It's a real vote of confidence" in the viability of the Marvel superheros.

Channel Headline News

BabyFirst TV Enters Taiwan

BabyFirst has expanded its Asian presence by adding Taiwan to its growing international roster.

The channel is a 24/7 commercial-free educational and child development channel for babies, toddlers and their parents.

Partnering with BabyFirst in Taiwan is Chunghwa, the country's top IPTV provider.

Making the announcement of the latest international sign-on for the channel was Glenn Kopelson, Executive Vice President of Distribution for BabyFirst.

Film Headline News

Canadian Animator Potterton To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Three-time Academy Award- nominee Gerald Potterton will be awarded the Pulcinella Lifetime Achievement Award 2008 from the 12th Annual Cartoons on the Bay International Festival of Television Animation next month in Salerno, Italy.

The award, presented each year to "a prestigious personality of the world of cinema and television animation," will be given to Potterton during the awards ceremony on April 12.

Headline News

New Identity For Advil Liqui-Gels

When Young & Rubicam's John Kyriakou challenged The Juggernaut's Craig Small to develop an updated end tag mnemonic for Advil Liqui-Gels, the project initially seemed straightforward.

The current Advil Liqui-Gel pour shot -- the familiar stream of liquid filling the Advil capsule -- had been around for some years and had been very effective in visually demonstrating the liquid-fast benefit of the product.

But Advil as a brand developed rapidly to become the top pain reliever in Canada andY & R needed an updated visual metaphor.

Series Headline News

Storm Hawks Launching On GMTV

Following a highly successful launch in the U.K. on digital television, Nerd Corps Entertainment's hit 3D animated series STORM HAWKS is heading over the dial to free-to-air broadcaster GMTV.

The 52 x half hour series will launch mid-March, starting with back to back episodes each weekday morning on GMTV's Action Stations block and simulcast on CITV.

This unique comedy/action-adventure series currently airs more than 25 times per week on Cartoon Network U.K., where it launched in August 2007.

Film Headline News

Dinner For Two From Emmy Award-Winning Animator

Conflicts between two people can sometimes lead to dire consequences: relationships are broken, innocent bystanders sometimes get hurt and there always is a possibility that violence will erupt.

The Responsibility Project and the National Film Board of Canada presents DINNER FOR TWO, an animated film short that brings these themes to life in the rawest of places -- the jungle.

Home Headline News

Horak Moving Up At Warner Home Video

Mark Horak has been named President, Warner Home Video North America, it was announced Tuesday by Ron Sanders, President, Warner Home Video.

Horak, who most recently served as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Worldwide Operations and New Packaged Media, Warner Home Video, will take charge of the division's North American operations, to include the US, Canada, and Mexico.

In addition, he will continue to oversee worldwide global sales process and category management and will continue to report to Sanders.

Film Headline News

Return From Hiatus: Parnassus

Terry Gilliam's THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS has recommenced shooting in Vancouver, VARIETY reports.

The film was put on hold after cast member Heath Ledger's death in New York on Jan. 22. Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law are all replacing Ledger for sections of the film.

The live-action section of the production had just been completed in London at the time of Ledger's death, with several weeks of bluescreen work in Canada about to begin.

Series Headline News

4Kids Inks More International Deals For Chaotic

4Kids Entertainment, has licensed its animated adventure series, CHAOTIC, to leading broadcasters in Europe, Australia and Asia, it was announced Tuesday.

Scheduled to launch in spring 2008, CHAOTIC has been acquired by TEN Network (Australia), RTBF (Belgium), SIC (Portugal), MNet (South Africa), and Kids Central (Singapore).

Produced in high definition, the series chronicles the adventures of two teenage boys who discover a fascinating trading card game that transports them into a multidimensional world of action and adventure.

Digital Headline News

AccessIT And Four Major Studios Announce Agreement

Access Integrated Technologies announced commitments from four major motion picture studios, including The Walt Disney Studios' Motion Pictures Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures, to provide movies to up to 10,000 digital cinema systems in the United States and Canada in conformance with the DCI specifications.

These commitments signal the official beginning of AccessIT's "Phase Two" Digital Cinema Program.

AccessIT intends to deploy up to 10,000 systems throughout the U.S. and Canada over the next three years.

Headline News

Promotion for Gareton At Warner Bros.

Marc Gareton has been promoted to Executive Vice President, International, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, it was announced Monday.

Gareton will report directly to Thomas Gewecke, President, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.

As Executive Vice President, International, Gareton will continue his oversight of the studio's digital strategy, partnerships in digital services and emerging business activities outside of the US.

Series Headline News

HIV-Prevention Animated Shorts Off To Asia

The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) will now distribute THE THREE AMIGOS, a series of 20 animated Public Service Announcements designed to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS, throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The ABU will distribute the series in multiple languages under its Media Awareness Exchange (MAE) banner to more than 120 broadcasters in 53 countries.

It could potentially reach an audience of more than 3 billion people.

The MAE involves a monthly satellite delivery mechanism of pro-social content to broadcasters across the region.

Disney Headline News

Monster Buster Nabbed By Toon Disney

Marathon Group's MONSTER BUSTER CLUB has been picked up by Toon Disney to air in the U.S. VARIETY reports.

French-based Marathon is the country's biggest TV animator, and has already sold three big franchises to the U.S.: TOTALLY SPIES!, TEAM GALAXY and MARTIN MYSTERY.

MONSTER BUSTER is Marathon's first CG animated series, complete with a big price tag for the first season: $21 million.

The series is about a secret club of 4-10 year olds who rumble an alien invasion in their town.

Friends Headline News

DVD Releases For March 4


Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment unleashes 101 of the world's most famous dogs when Walt Disney's original dog classic, 101 DALMATIANS: PLATINUM EDITION comes to DVD March 4 for a limited time.

This all-new two-disc Platinum Edition is a must-own for fans big and small, featuring beloved characters Pongo, Perdita, and their 99 puppies, as well as one of Disney's most deliciously evil villains of all time -- Cruella De Vil (ranked on American Film Institute's Best Villains of All Time List).