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Geographical Region: North America

Game Headline News

DeVry University Offers Online Game & Simulation Programming Degree Program

Building on the success of the game and simulation programming (GSP) baccalaureate degree program at 11 of its campuses nationwide, DeVry University will offer the GSP degree program online beginning in spring 2006.

The relatively young academic specialty of computer game technologies has grown in popularity in response to the skyrocketing videogame industry. According to the NPD Group, Inc. a global leader in sales and marketing information, videogame sales have grown from $6.6 billion in 2000 to $9.4 billion in 2004.

Anime Headline News

Central Park Media & New England Anime Society Celebrate 2006

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 29, 2005 at 12:00am

New England Anime SocietyBoston, Massachusetts, USADecember 31, 2005

Boston is home to America's longest running First Night celebration, and for the past two years, the city's New England Anime Society has been a part of this tradition. This year, the New England Anime Society is back and hopes to have its largest and most successful First Night anime event yet. On Dec. 31, 2005, the New England Anime Society will be welcoming in 2006 this time with a little help from Central Park Media.

Licensing Headline News

4Kids Not Renewing Pokemon License

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 29, 2005 at 12:00am

4Kids Ent. Inc. and Pokemon USA Inc. announced that they have agreed not to renew the POKEMON representation agreement set to expire on Dec. 31, 2005. Beginning in 2006, Pokemon USA Inc.'s in-house licensing group will handle all POKEMON licensing outside of Asia.

Business Headline News

Carrie Dumont to Run Business Affairs for Cookie Jar

Carrie Dumont joins Cookie Jar Ent. as vp of its business affairs group to lead its expanding property acquisition, development and merchandising activities. Dumonts immediate focus will be in overseeing agreements with the ever-expanding roster of partners involved in Cookie Jars latest global television and merchandising sensation, THE DOODLEBOPS, as well the companys other renowned classic preschool brand, CAILLOU.

Brickyard Headline News

Brickyard VFX Expands Workload for Volkswagen Shorts

Brickyard VFX expanded its work for Volkswagen from visual effects to end-to-end creative direction with 14 short films to promo the 2006 Volkswagen (VW) Passat. VW and advertising agency Arnold Worldwide tapped Brickyard as one of a handful of production entities to conceive and produce the clever and artsy :15-second films, each of which focuses on one of the features of the new "beyond-loaded" Passat. The Volkswagen Passat Feature Films Project has been rolled out via www.vw.com and traditional broadcast media.

Mill Headline News

The Mill Names Marc Ruxin COO

Marc Ruxin has been hired as the coo of The Mill Group North America and Alistair Thompson has been promoted to md of The Mill New York.

Ruxin will be responsible for the growth, management and development of new products and services for The Mill and BEAM.TV. Ruxin brings 13 years of experience leading strategy, business development and marketing efforts on both the client and agency side of the technology and entertainment business.

Brand Headline News

Bill Burke New HIT Ent. Brand Management VP

Bill Burke joins HIT Ent. as vp, brand management, to oversee the brand development of HIT's premiere properties BARNEY and THE WIGGLES, as well as the portfolio of brands from The Jim Henson Co. that HIT acts as worldwide representative for, including FRAGGLE ROCK and ANIMAL JAM. Additionally, he will focus on brand management for new content development. Burke is based in the HIT's New York City office and reports to Jamie Cygielman, svp, consumer products.

Digital Headline News

Carmike Cinemas to Install 2,300 Digital Cinema Projection Systems

Carmike Cinemas Inc., the third largest national movie theater chain, has signed a deal with Christie/AIX for the installation of up to 2,300 Digital Cinema projection systems throughout the U.S. With this agreement, Carmike and Christie/AIX will begin installing 2K DCI-compliant DLP Cinema projectors. The rollout is scheduled to begin in January 2006 and to be completed by Oct. 31, 2007.

International Headline News

Mantis Parable Bites At ION Fest

The ION Festival is now over. The winners of the second ION International Animation, Games & Short Film Festival include:

ION International Animation Of The Year AwardTHE MANTIS PARABLE, Josh Staub (USA)

ION International Short Film Of The Year Award ANTEBODY, James P. Gleason (USA)

ION International Music Video Of The Year Award CON TODA PALABRA, Brigitte Henry, Ralph Dfouni (Canada)

ION International Game Of The Year Award CALL OF DUTY 2, Activision (USA)

Charlie Headline News

Designer Charles McElmurry Passes Away

Designer/illustrator Charles O. McElmurry passed away Dec. 5, 2005, at the age of 84 in Santa Rosa, California. McElmurry grew up in Los Angeles and attended Chouinard Art Institute. He began his career in the animation industry at Walt Disney in 1942, but was soon drafted into the Marine Corps and sent to Quantico, Virginia. He spent the war years in a film unit there. He attended Chouinard Art Institute on the GI bill.

He later worked for many independent studios in New York, France, and California including Quartet Films, Jay Ward, Cartoon Farm and Bill Melendez.

Series Headline News

No Hibernation For Porchlight & Benjamin Bear Brand

Following its agreement with Canadas Amberwood Ent. for the U.S. broadcast, video and merchandising rights to the animated series, THE SECRET WORLD OF BENJAMIN BEAR, PorchLight Ent. has launched its branding campaign for the preschool hero by signing a home entertainment deal with Genius Products Inc. The inaugural deal grants Genius exclusive DVD and video distribution rights in the U.S. for nine half-hour episodes. The series is already an international hit throughout Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Music Headline News

DIC Named Global Entertainment Licensing Agent for Zizzle's iZ

DIC Ent. has been appointed the global entertainment licensing agent for Zizzle Toys new, innovative musical icon iZ. As part of the licensing initiative, DIC will translate the toy into animated direct-to-DVD movies.

Festival Headline News

Slamdance Film Festival 2006 Announces Lineup

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 7, 2005 at 12:00am

The Slamdance 2006 Film Festival, which runs from Jan. 19-27, 2006, in Park City, Utah, has announced the films to screen at the 12th annual festival. Festival films come from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Cuba, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, South Korea, Spain, U.K. and the U.S.

The films competing in the Animated Short Competition include:* THE FLOODED PLAYGROUND (2005, 20 min., USA) Directed by Lisa Crafts.* THE LOVE TRAIN (2005, 8 min., UK) Directed by Eva Bennett.

Design Headline News

Calling All Students to the Adobe Design Achievement Awards

Adobe Design Achievement AwardsToronto, Ontario, CanadaJuly 20, 2006Deadline: April 26, 2006

Students in 24 countries will have the opportunity to test their skills in a number of creative endeavors and, perhaps, get a jump-start on their careers with a prestigious award from Adobe Systems.

Adobe has this date issued a call for entries for the sixth annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards for promising students in graphic design, photography, illustration, animation, digital filmmaking and computer arts.

Disney Headline News

Chicken Little Scores $7 Million in Disney Digital 3-D; REAL D Expands to Japan

REAL D, a leader in the delivery of premium 3-D experiences, plans to expand to Japan with the installation of the first two screens after the successful launch of CHICKEN LITTLE in Disney Digital 3-D, which has grossed more than $7 million through the Thanksgiving weekend. REAL D will open screens at Oriental Land Co.'s AMC Ikspiari 16 and Warner Mycal's Tama for the presentation of CHICKEN LITTLE starting Dec. 23, 2005.

Headline News

Walt Disney Treasures Wave 5 DVDs Available

Wave 5 in the illustrious Walt Disney Treasures DVD collection arrives Dec. 6, 2005 (Buena Vista Home Ent., $32.99 each). Individual two-disc sets (packaged in collectible tins) consist of: The Chronological Donald Volume Two, Disney Rarities: Celebrated Shorts 1920s-1960s, ELFEGO BACA and THE SWAMP FOX: Legendary Heroes and THE ADVENTURES OF SPIN & MARTY: THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB

Donald Duck extras include:* A Day in the Life of Donald Duck* Drawing and Talking Duck with Tony Anselmo

Million Headline News

The Triangle Night One Shatters Ratings Records

The premiere of night one of SCI FI Channel's original miniseries THE TRIANGLE averaged a 3.7HH rating and more than 4.3 million viewers (P2+) in its 9-11:00 pm block. Night one of THE TRIANGLE is the highest-rated program to air on SCI FI since 2003 and is the channel's highest-rated and most watched miniseries premiere night since the Emmy Award-winning STEVEN SPIELBERG PRESENTS TAKEN (12/2/2002, 4.9 HH/6.1 million P2+).

Animation Headline News

Wallace & Gromit Leads Annie Nominations

ASIFA-Hollywood has announced the nominees for the 33rd annual Annie Awards, which will take place Feb. 4, 2006, in Glendale. WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT led the list of nominees with 16, including Best Animated Feature. The film also swept the Feature Voice Acting category with nods for Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Sallis and Nicholas Smith. DreamWorks MADAGASCAR came in second with nine nominations.

Headline News

Elastic Rights Snaps Up Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs for Iberia

Madrid-based Elastic Rights (ER) has snapped up pre-school toon, HARRY AND HIS BUCKET FULL OF DINOSAURS, for distribution across all platforms in Spain and Portugal (except free TV.

The 52x12 animated series, aimed at kids 2-5, is co-produced by CCI Ent. (Canada) and Collingwood OHare (U.K.) in association with Silver Fox Films (U.K.). Based on the best-selling books by British author Ian Whybrow, the enchanting series follows the adventures of five-year-old Harry and his toy dinosaur friends, which come to life when no one else is watching.

Disney Headline News

E. Cardon Walker, Disney's Former Corporate Leader, Dies

E. Cardon "Card" Walker, who led The Walt Disney Co. for nearly a decade and a half following the death of co-founder Roy O. Disney, passed away at his La Canada, California home on Monday, Nov. 28, 2005, at the age of 89.

Digital Headline News

Thayer’s Quest to Debut on DVD & CD-ROM

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 30, 2005 at 12:00am

Originally released in the arcades in 1984, THAYERS QUEST is about to be released on DVD and CD-ROM by Digital Leisure. Designed for the arcade scene by Rick Dyer, the creator of DRAGONS LAIR, THAYERS QUEST was a game that gave players more choice and allowed each player to have a unique gaming experience.

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